Johns Hopkins University Might Strengthen Conflict-of-Interest Rules for Medical Researchers
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine might "tighten up on certain wording" in its conflict-of-interest rules for medical researchers who have consulting arrangements with financial firms, according to Julie Gottlieb, assistant dean of policy coordination, Bloomberg/Boston Globe reports. Gottlieb said changes at Johns Hopkins -- the single largest recipient of NIH funding -- could come within the next six to 12 months, although she declined to name specific measures.
Concerns that doctors might "give investors an unfair edge" have increased in recent months after articles in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Seattle Times and other news outlets reported that large numbers of doctors are being paid to advise venture capitalists, hedge funds and investment banks.
Alan Meisel, director of the Center for Bioethics and Health Law at the University of Pittsburgh, said institutions might face difficulty reining in the practice among physicians. "There could be a serious battle between doctors and the health care institutions," Meisel said, adding, "It will be tough for institutions to hold much sway" (Tannenbaum, Bloomberg/Boston Globe, 8/23).