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Monday, 3 March 2008

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST IN THE SCIENTIFIC AND MEDICAL PROFESSIONS

The British Medical Journal published two articles debating the issue of conflict of interest that corporate funding causes in the scientific and medical profession.

The ‘’No’’ side to the question: Has the hunt for conflicts of interest gone too far? No, is defended by Kirby Lee, assistant professor of clinical pharmacy who declares no competing interests and the ‘’Yes’’ side to the same question: Has the hunt for conflicts of interest gone too far? Yes, is defended by Thomas P Stossel, professor, who declared the following competing interests: TPS is on the boards of directors and owns stock options in ZymeQuest and Critical Biologics Corporations, and his employer has licensed intellectual property to these companies, which may result in his receiving milestone payments, royalties and in the stock options having financial value. He receives fees for speaking to corporations and other organisations on the topic of conflict of interest. He has served on scientific advisory boards for Biogen, Dyax, and Merck.

You may want to read both sides of the debate and vote on the poll (during the time it’s available) on either of the pages. You may also wish to post a comment on the comments to the article section.

As far as our views on this, from our past articles and our critical analysis on the pharmaceutical industry, you may have correctly guessed that we think that the hunt on conflicts of interest, hasn't gone far enough.



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