A survey published in the New York Journal of Medicine found that more than a third of experts who oversee clinical trials at both medical schools and research hospitals have financial ties to pharmacutical and/or medical device companies. It was further found that some experts had a direct conflict of interest under federal rules; voting on or discussing clinical trials sponsored by companies they had relationships with or competitors of those very same companies. These experts may be part of review boards who are supposed to be insuring the scientific validity of clinical trials and safeguarding the safety of patient participants. Susan L. Rose, executive director of University of Southern California’s Office for the Protection of Research Subjects, said academic institutions had been reassessing their policies and discussing the need for mandatory disclosures.
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