Some 36% of hospital experts responsible for overseeing the safety of clinical trials said they had at least one business relationship with a drug or device company in the past year, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study was based on anonymous survey responses from 575 members of institutional review boards at 100 university medical centers in mid-2005. About 86% of those surveyed said they had never felt that another review-board members relationship with the industry affected decisions on clinical studies in an inappropriate way. Still, the study authors urged review boards to attend to the disclosure and management of relationships between industry and their members in the same way that medical schools and universities have focused on ties between industry and faculty members. A related NEJM article reported that patients involved in clinical trials expressed little or no worry about financial ties that researchers or institutions might have with drug companies. Read the abstract for the institution review board study or patient survey. -- by Michael Romano
Drug-, device-industry ties common on institutional review boards
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