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The Nation; NIH Inquiry Shows Widespread Ethical Lapses, Lawmaker Says
Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles, Calif.
Subjects: Pharmaceutical industry; Investigations; Moonlighting; Scientists; Conflicts of interest; Professional ethics
Author: Willman, David
Date: Jul 14, 2005
Start Page: A.23
Section: Main News; Part A; National Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

"We discovered cases of employees who consulted with research entities without seeking required approval, consulted in areas that appeared to conflict with their official duties, or consulted in situations where the main benefit was the ability of the employer to invoke the name of NIH as an affiliation," [Elias A. Zerhouni] said in a letter to the congressmen dated Friday.

After announcing an agencywide ban Feb. 1 on accepting company consulting fees or stock, Zerhouni was urged by some NIH employees and their defenders to relent.

In spring 2004, after it was unable to obtain documentation from the NIH of the extent of such deals, the House Energy and Commerce Committee wrote to 20 companies and asked executives to voluntarily identify consulting fees paid to NIH scientists.

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