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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:02 AM
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Researchers mum on financial interests
Report: Researchers mum
on financial interests
Patients in the dark about scientists' royalties from government experiments

Elias Zerhouni, director of the National Institutes of Health, testifies before a Senate hearing. The agency delayed action on a policy that ordered the disclosure of researchers' financial interests in experiments.

By John Solomon
The Associated Press

Updated: 5:02 p.m. ET Jan. 10, 2005WASHINGTON - Government scientists have collected millions of dollars in royalties for experimental treatments without having to tell patients testing the treatments that the researchers had a financial connection, according to documents and interviews.

The personal royalties are legal, though the researchers developed the treatments at government expense. But the Health and Human Services Department promised in May 2000 that scientists financial stakes would be disclosed to patients, a pledge that followed an uproar over conflicts of interest and mistakes in federal experiments.

The National Institutes of Health says it didnt implement a policy to order the disclosure until last week, shortly after The Associated Press filed a Freedom of Information Act request.

Quite frankly, we should have done it more quickly. But as soon as Director (Elias A.) Zerhouni found out about it, he ordered it done immediately, NIH spokesman John Burklow said.
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