In the News

CRISPR heavyweights battle in US patent court

Nature - It was a tough day in US patent court for the University of California, Berkeley. On 6 December, lawyers for the university laid out its claim to the gene-editing tool called CRISPR–Cas9 during a hearing at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) — and drew intense, sometimes sceptical, questioning from the three judges who will decide the fate of patents that could be worth billions of dollars. Read More

Citizen expectations of 'academic entrepreneurship' in health research: public science, practical benefit

Health Expectations - We explore citizen expectations of the specifically academic nature of commercial science [i.e. academic entrepreneurship (AE)] and the influence of conflict of interest concerns, hopes about practical benefits and general beliefs. Read More

Reviews Of Medical Studies May Be Tainted By Funders' Influence

NPR - When doctors want to help untangle confusing and sometimes contradictory findings in the scientific literature, they often turn to specially crafted summary studies. These are considered the gold standard for evidence. But one of the leading advocates for this practice is now raising alarm about them, because they are increasingly being tainted by commercial interests. Read More

The 18th Annual HHS SBIR/STTR Conference

NIH New Release - The 18th Annual HHS SBIR/STTR Conference, titled Shining a Light on Small Business Innovation, will be co-hosted by the State University System of Florida and the University of Central Florida, Orlando, and is expected to attract nearly 800 participants from around the country.

One of the key objectives of the SBIR and STTR programs is to foster and encourage participation in innovation and entrepreneurship by women and socially and economically disadvantaged people. Read More

Should a paper be retracted if an author omits a conflict of interest?

Retraction Watch - A JAMA journal has quickly issued a correction for a 2016 paper after the author failed to mention several relevant conflicts of interest. Read More

When Doctors Have Conflicts of Interest

NPR - It’s complicated. Certainly, the relationships doctors have with drug or device manufacturers drive innovation, and help make those products better for patients. But can we ever be sure these relationships aren’t influencing the purity of our practice of medicine, even a little? Read More

Doctors At Southern Hospitals Take The Most Payments From Drug, Device Companies

NPR - Where a hospital is located and who owns it make a big difference in how many of its doctors take meals, consulting and promotional payments from pharmaceutical and medical device companies, a ProPublica analysis shows. Read More

Doctors who accepted meals from drug makers prescribed more of their pills

STAT - Doctors who were fed meals costing even less than $20 later prescribed certain brand-name pills more often than rival medicines, according to a new analysis published on Monday of a federal database. Read More

Big Coal Funded This Prominent Climate Change Denier, Docs Reveal

Huffington Post - One of the world’s largest coal companies, Peabody Energy, paid a prominent scientist and dozens of others to promote climate change denial, new documents reveal. Read More

A Reader’s Guide to Conflicts of Interest in Biomedicine

PLOS - A systematic review by Adam Licurse and colleagues (2010) suggests we tend to want more disclosure of financial conflicts in interest in clinical research and care – and we’re moving towards more ways of achieving that, like online databases. ProPublica’s Dollars for Docs is one example of making that information accessible. But is it making a difference? Are things getting better or worse? Read More

Legislative auditor: Bureaucracy slows U conflict-of-interest reforms

Star Tribune - Ethics reforms at the University of Minnesota are improving the safety and oversight of clinical research, a legislative audit report has found, but bureaucratic hurdles are slowing efforts to rein in researchers’ financial conflicts. Read More

Dual Loyalties

Inside Higher Ed - In California and Arizona, two college presidents joined the board of for-profit education company. After widespread criticism, one quit and another is facing demands that she do the same. Read More

In medical research, financial conflicts of interest do matter

Boston Globe - Financial conflicts of interest matter. They can best be defined as any financial association (or promise of one in the future) that would give researchers an incentive to distort their work. Read More

How an obscure law brought us nasal flu spray — and new conflicts of interest

Stat News - We may owe the nasal flu vaccine in part to an obscure law signed 35 years ago this week. Read More

Reconnecting the Dots — Reinterpreting Industry–Physician Relations

NEJM - Physician–industry interactions are common and diverse, ranging from the $10 bagel sandwich to the $1 million research grant. Although most observers agree that we must mitigate the risk of bias introduced by these relationships, the benefits wrought by interactions between physician-scientists and industry at the basic or translational research level are equally clear. Read More

U of Connecticut investigated for conflict of interest in buying from faculty start-up

Tech Trnasfer Central - The University of Connecticut (UConn) and some of its faculty are being investigated for allowing a no-bid contract for $250,000 worth of equipment purchased from a start-up company the faculty have a stake in. Read More

Targeted by crusading congressman, scientist speaks out on conflicts, climate, and controversy

Science Magazine - Conflicts of interest and disclosure of funding sources have been topics du jour lately in science policy circles. Read More