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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Series of ethical stumbles tests NIH’s reliance on private sector for research funding

Lev Facher
Originally published August 1, 2018

Here is an excerpt:

Now, the NIH is seeking to bounce back from the hit to its reputation — and to demonstrate that the failures of recent years are isolated incidents and not emblematic of a broader cultural problem. At the same time, some congressional aides have hinted at more aggressive oversight of the foundation through which the NIH takes on many of its partnerships.

NIH officials told STAT this week the agency is completing a plan to ensure better ethical compliance and better delineate the actual process for private-sector collaboration. The officials said the plan will be presented to an advisory committee in December.

Already, as STAT reported in April, the NIH proactively nixed a long-touted plan to accept roughly $200 million from pharmaceutical manufacturers to pursue research on pain and addiction treatment, with an explicit acknowledgement that involving companies being sued for their role in the crisis could taint the perception of the research.

NIH Director Francis Collins acknowledged the setbacks in an interview with STAT this week, but defended his staff’s efforts.

The info is here.