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January 22, 2019
"Conflicts of Interest and Research: Is Disclosure Enough?"
The inaugural CARE panel featured Matthew McCoy (Medical Ethics and Health Policy, UPenn) and Dr. Clark Anderson, MD (Professor Emeritus, Division of Rheumatology and Immunology).
A New York Times/Pro Publica investigation recently exposed dozens of leading medical figures who have failed to report their financial relationships with pharmaceutical and health care companies when their studies are published in medical journals. This has resulted in high profile resignations from leading medical research centers and investigations into the policies of leading journals. In this inaugural panel we will discuss the nature of this pressing problem and how it can best be addressed. Some questions that we will discuss: How should we address the danger of conflicts of interest? Is disclosure enough? Given the nature of these ethical abuses, is the term 'conflict-of-interest' the appropriate term? Is it too bland? Failure to disclose conflicts of interest is a breach of public trust, but is there any evidence that COIs actually have any effect on research outcomes? Do professional and institutional bodies overemphasize the dangers of financial COIs without attending to the prevalence of non-financial conflicts of interest?