Zerhouni Should Maintain New NIH Conflict-of-Interest Rules, Los Angeles Times Editorial States
NIH Director Elias Zerhouni "should stand ... off" against lawmakers and agency scientists who have asked him to "ease the strict conflict-of-interest rules he imposed last month," a Los Angeles Times editorial states.
A "few people might leave" NIH because of the guidelines, but "the rules should bolster the agency's status as one of the few places where scientists can work with true autonomy," the editorial states. Although some provisions in the guidelines, such as a "prohibition on accepting prizes or awards of more than $200, may need slight softening," others "don't go far enough," according to the editorial.
The editorial adds that "non-staff scientists who receive the lion's share of the agency's money at universities across the country" should have "to disclose any financial interests in the research they are proposing to conduct" (Los Angeles Times, 4/11).