Conflict of Interest and Medical Innovation: Ensuring Integrity While Facilitating Innovation in Medical Research

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This is the summary of a workshop convened by the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Translating Genomic-Based Research for Health in June 2013 to explore the appropriate balance between identifying and managing conflicts of interest and advancing medical innovation.

The translation of research advances into clinical applications has so far been slower and more costly than anticipated. The government, pharmaceutical companies and academical institutions are collaborating to identify new drug targets, enhance the understanding of the underlying basis of disease, discover novel indications for the use of already approved products, and develop biomarkers for disease outcomes or directed drug use.

This report focuses on current conflict of interest policies and their effect on medical innovation in an effort to identify best practices and potential solutions for facilitating innovation while still ensuring scientific integrity and public trust.
While the potential benefits of collaboration are significant, the fact that the relationships among development partners are often financial means that it is vital to ensure trust by identifying, disclosing, and managing any potential sources of conflict that could create bias in the research being performed together.

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