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From: TSS ()
Subject: CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Forty-Four Researchers Broke NIH Consulting Rules
Date: July 22, 2005 at 1:11 pm PST

Science, Vol 309, Issue 5734, 546 , 22 July 2005
News of the Week
CONFLICT OF INTEREST:
Forty-Four Researchers Broke NIH Consulting Rules
Jocelyn Kaiser
An internal review of 81 National Institutes of Health researchers who consulted for industry since 1999 has found that 44 did not follow NIH ethics rules for such activities. Nine cases are serious enough to be investigated for possible criminal misdeeds, according to the review.

These results, released last week by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, are part of an examination of NIH ethics rules begun in late 2003 following media reports of large payments by drug and biotech companies to some NIH employees. The furor led NIH earlier this year to temporarily ban all consulting (Science, 11 February, p. 824).

The violations show that "the ethical problems are more systemic and severe than previously known," declared Representative Joe Barton (R-TX), chair of the panel that has been investigating NIH. Spokesperson John Burklow says NIH "has been aware of the issues and problems for some time" and is addressing them. Some NIH staffers and observers suggest that the report actually demonstrates how few of the agency's thousands of researchers committed serious violations. Still, "nine is too many," says Howard Garrison, public affairs director of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in Bethesda, Maryland.

The 81 names appeared on lists that 20 drug companies gave to the committee but not on NIH's own tally of staff consulting activities. Although 37 people were cleared, the rest didn't request approval for their consulting, did the work on company time, and/or did not report the income, according to an 8 July letter from NIH Director Elias Zerhouni to the committee. Eight have since left NIH. Officials have concluded that the consulting in some instances conflicted with the employee's official duties and in other cases traded on "the name of NIH as an affiliation."

Nine cases have been referred to the Department of Health and Human Services' inspector general (IG), the letter says. A few of those names have been reported in the press previously--such as Alzheimer's disease researcher Trey Sunderland, who is still at NIH, and cancer researcher Lance Liotta, who left this spring for George Mason University in Manassas, Virginia. A spokesperson in the IG's office said that former government employees may still be prosecuted.

NIH is still reviewing the cases of 22 staffers. These scientists either admitted not reporting an activity or were named in stories by the Los Angeles Times that sparked the ethics overhaul.

http://www.sciencemag.org/

i'm not suprised. look at the USDA et al, the are in bed with the industry. same with the NIH. and this did not surprise me at al;

>Nine cases have been referred to the Department of Health and Human Services' inspector general (IG), the letter says. A few of those names have been reported in the press previously--such as Alzheimer's disease researcher Trey Sunderland,...<

there hiding cases of mad cow disease, who knows what strain, scrapie rampant, cwd rampant, and humans of young and old are dying in the USA of CJD of unknown origin. r i g h t !

still disgusted in stormy, balmy, dang right hot, bacliff, texas




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