US: Tighter rules on conflicts of interest in science

The Obama administration announced last week the final form of new rules governing financial conflicts of interest in federally sponsored medical research, saying it hoped to boost public confidence after years of scandals tied to corporate influence, writes Paul Basken for The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The rule changes, the first in 16 years, bring new standards for universities to evaluate financial ties between their researchers and companies, for the researchers to disclose them, and for the public and government agencies to understand them. While it is recognised that the changes would place some additional burdens on universities, Francis S Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, said they still leave universities largely responsible for ensuring that the integrity of the science underpinning the quality of US medical care is not diminished by universities' own multimillion-dollar ties to corporate partners.
Full report on The Chronicle site