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Posted by on May 21, 2010

HHS Invites Comments on Proposed Conflict of Interest Regs

The Department of Health and Human Services is planning to overhaul its researcher financial conflict of interest regulations and is inviting public comment on the proposed changes.

Among other things, the changes would expand the scope and coverage of the regulations, amend the definition of “significant financial interest”, expand research institutions’ responsibilities for identifying and managing conflicts of interest, and strengthen the federal government’s oversight roles and responsibilities.

The conflict of interest regulations are intended to help ensure that there is no bias in the design, conduct, or reporting of government-funded research due to financial relationships between researchers and the private sector. But with the growing inter-relationship between academia, government, researchers, and the private sector, HHS said there is a need to revamp the regulations. According to HHS, financial support of biomedical research increased from $37.1 billion in 1994 to $94.3 billion in 2003, and more than half of the funding in 2003 came from industry sources. At the same time, relationships between academic researchers and industry have also increased from 28% in a 1996 survey to 53% in 2007.

You can view the full Federal Register notice by clicking here. The notice includes information on how to submit comments, which are due July 20.

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