Medical schools strengthen conflict-of-interest policies

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 11, 2004

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Some 95% of allopathic medical schools in the United States now have standards regarding financial conflicts of interest in clinical trials with human subjects, according to a survey by the Assn. of American Medical Colleges.

The survey is a follow-up to a 2001 AAMC report offering medical schools guidelines on how to provide such oversight. A number of deaths of participants in clinical trials sparked the effort to more closely monitor the growing tie between researchers and biotech businesses. These events also prompted the birth of the Assn. for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs.

According to the survey, 95% of responding schools now require researchers to disclose financial interest of $10,000, with 64% requiring disclosure of all equity in nonpublicly traded companies regardless of value along with nonroyalty payments not directly related to the research taking place.

In addition, the survey revealed that 85% require monitoring of the research, 74% require disclosure of a significant financial interest to the participants in the consent form and 76% have established a standing committee on conflicts of interest.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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