Clear guidance on conflicts

     
   

Since the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, technology transfer has brought thousands of academic inventions to the private sector. For almost as long, universities have struggled with the conflicts of interest that could arise if investigators held a financial stake in the outcome of their research. When an Association of American Medical Colleges task force issued guidelines on conflicts of interest in December, it all but ruled out participation by scientists who might profit from the research. The panel, which included Yale Vice President and General Counsel Dorothy K. Robinson, urged institutions to presume that individuals with a financial interest in a clinical study may not conduct it and to enforce that view through close scrutiny of research proposals. “Transparency,” the task force members agreed, “must be the watchword.”


 

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