News FocusEthics

Private Money, Public Disclosure

Science  03 Jul 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5936, pp. 28-30
DOI: 10.1126/science.325_28

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Summary

Last summer, Senator Charles Grassley (R–IA) accused a Stanford psychiatrist of concealing from his university that he held stock in a company he'd co-founded worth $6 million. Grassley's efforts to clean up what he sees as a corrupt enterprise have targeted nearly a dozen researchers to date. As part of his probe, Grassley has homed in on an overlooked trouble spot: federal rules requiring that institutions track and "manage" faculty members' industry ties. NIH is now contemplating the first major overhaul of these rules in nearly 15 years. It has solicited public comments on a variety of issues—the deadline for responses is next week—as a prelude to proposing tighter regulations. The end result is expected to vastly expand the information that faculty—both basic and clinical—must report to their institutions and to NIH.