Harvard to Review Research Ethics Policies

Quite a few universities have come under fire over the last few months for the ties between key researchers and drug companies. One step in the right direction for institutions under fire is to review existing policies. Harvard Medical School has announced that it’s going to be reviewing its research ethics policies — in particular, its conflict of interest policy.

See the story from Bloomberg, here:
Harvard Medical School to Review Drug Research Ethics

Harvard Medical School, which lists more than 10,000 faculty members, said a committee will review its policy on conflicts of interest on drug research.

The 19-person panel is charged with studying the school’s principles, provisions and procedures regarding interactions between faculty and the pharmaceutical industry, the school said in a statement today. The last policy review took place in 2004, the school in Boston said. The institution, part of Harvard University, boasts 15 Nobel Prize winners among its current and former faculty.

Institutions have come under fire as scientific researchers have been found to have financial interests that may bias their work….

Yesterday, Nancy asked who the most influential people in research ethics are. Given the status that Harvard Med School has in the world, and the fact that it employs over 10,000 faculty members, I’d say that whoever is chairing the committee reviewing Harvard’s research ethics policies might just be a candidate.
See also:
Conflict of Interest Policies at Canadian Universities: Clarity and Content, by Bryn Williams-Jones and Chris MacDonald, Journal of Academic Ethics 6:1, 2008.

~ by Nancy Walton on January 16, 2009.

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