No wonder the US model of pharmaceutical research is so fracked up.
In a report expected to be made public on Thursday, Daniel R. Levinson, the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, said 90 percent of universities relied solely on the researchers themselves to decide whether the money they made in consulting and other relationships with drug and device makers was relevant to their government-financed research.
And half of universities do not ask their faculty members to disclose the amount of money or stock they make from drug and device makers, so the potential for extensive conflicts with their government-financed research is often known only to the researchers themselves, the report concluded.
[Click to continue reading Researchers’ Financial Interests Often Not Reported to U.S. – NYTimes.com]
Don’t ask, don’t tell, right? You keep your money, and we keep you on staff so that our university can use your name in our PR materials.
Most of the reported conflicts involved equity ownership in companies that could be affected by the results of government-financed research. In only a third of the cases did the universities specify to the government the size of the financial conflict and, among those, six had equity stakes valued at greater than $100,000. But in only 29 of the cases did the universities require researchers to reduce or eliminate their stakes. In most cases, the universities deemed that some sort of the disclosure of the conflict was enough to manage it.
Can you imagine this sort of arrangement for any other industry? Well, besides maybe defense contractors and Congress, but they at least have a couple of years of cushion between action and reward.