This past week the NIH announced that it was tightening its rules on financial conflict of interest for researchers receiving funding from drug and medical device companies. The new rules include the following revised regulations:
- Require investigators to disclose to their institutions all of their significant financial interests related to their institutional responsibilities.
- Lower the monetary threshold at which significant financial interests require disclosure, generally from $10,000 to $5,000.
- Require institutions to report to the PHS awarding component additional information on identified financial conflicts of interest and how they are being managed.
- Require institutions to make certain information accessible to the public concerning identified SFIs held by senior/key personnel.
- Require investigators to complete training related to the regulations and their institution’s financial conflict of interest policy.
According to the Washington Post, there are over 40,000 scientists who currently receive more than $5,000 in annual funding from the drug and medical device industries.
Despite the NIH’s move towards increasing financial transparency, not all watchdog groups are happy with the measure.