NIH Rules on Consulting Activities Should Be Extended, Editorial States
Policy changes restricting NIH employees' outside consulting activities that agency Director Elias Zerhouni announced last week "are a good start, but they should go further," a Los Angeles Times editorial states. According to the Times, the modified policy does not apply to researchers based at universities, a group that receives "the lion's share" of NIH research funding.
Zerhouni could enact further policy changes to require university researchers applying for NIH funds to "disclose whether they have private stakes in the science they are proposing to conduct," the editorial states, adding that "[s]uch basic disclosure ... seems very modest." The editorial concludes that Zerhouni "should make sure that the sunshine about conflicts extends to all the funds he distributes" (Los Angeles Times, 2/7).