Tuesday, February 01, 2005

NIH Cleans Up Its Act

I was delighted to read today that the National Institute of Health will be banning its staff scientists from taking any consulting fees or from holding stock holdings in pharma companies, eliminating what had been an invidious conflict of interest. We would be shocked if it came out that a judge had been providing consulting services to a plaintiff's attorney. What had been going on at NIH was just as egregious: government scientists with moonlighting payroll from the same pharma companies whose products they were evaluating. (Congrats to the LA Times, who provided the exemplary investigative journalism that provided the pressure needed to make this change, with a steady drumbeat on this for the last two years.)

It's good to see a firm ethical stand being made here. Now these are the sorts of values I'd like to see sweeping the nation.

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