House Energy and Commerce Committee Releases Letter on NIH Ethics Review
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Rep. John Dingle (D-Mich.) on Thursday released a letter to the committee from NIH Director Elias Zerhouni about NIH scientists' compliance with department ethics rules, the New York Times reports (McNeil, New York Times, 7/15).
More than half of NIH scientists examined in an internal review violated the agency's previous policies or recommendations on drug company consulting payments, according to excerpts from the ongoing review that Zerhouni recently provided to three members of Congress. The review -- which was outlined in Zerhouni's letter -- found that 44 of the 81 scientists examined had "violated policies or regulations and were recommended for administrative action" (California Healthline, 7/14).
Zerhouni had asked that his letter remain confidential because of the ongoing investigation of 103 people, but Barton and Dingle said they were releasing it because of "the compelling public interest" (New York Times, 7/15).
The followings newspapers on Friday also reported on the review:
- "Review by NIH Finds 44 Cases of Ethics-Rule Violations" (Freking, AP/Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/15).
- "44 Violated Ethics Rules, NIH Director Tells Panel" (Weiss, Washington Post, 7/15).
APM's "Marketplace" on Thursday included an interview with David Willman, reporter for the Los Angeles Times, about the internal NIH review (Brown, "Marketplace," APM, 7/14). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.