Competing interests: The need to control conflict of interests in biomedical research

Science and Engineering Ethics 2 (4):457-468 (1996)
Individual and institutional conflict of interests in biomedical research have becomes matters of increasing concern in recent years. In the United States, the growth in relationships — sponsored research agreements, consultancies, memberships on boards, licensing agreements, and equity ownership — between for-profit corporations and research universities and their scientists has made the problem of conflicts, particularly financial conflicts, more acute. Conflicts can interfere with or compromise important principles and obligations of researchers and their institutions, e.g., adherence to accepted research norms, duty of care to patients, and open exchange of information. Disclosure is a key component of a successful conflict policy. Commitments which conflict with a faculty member's primary obligations to teaching, research, administrative responsibilities, or patient care also need attention. Institutional conflict of interests present different problems, some of which are discussed in an analysis of an actual problem posed by two proposed clinical trials.
Keywords Conflicts in biomedical research  financial conflict of interests  conflict of commitment  sponsored research  institutional conflict of interests  conflicts in clinical trials
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DOI 10.1007/BF02583932
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