Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) urged the Office of Management and Budget to continue to require a publicly available website that will track financial relationships between the drug industry and the researchers (PDF) who receive funding from the National Institutes of Health.
Grassley presses OMB to maintain transparency on industry-researcher ties
Grassley wrote in an Aug. 4 letter to OMB Director Jacob Lew that “any weakening of publicly available information requires careful scrutiny.”
A news report published this week in Nature magazine said the OMB was proposing to eliminate the online requirement, which prompted the letter. The proposed rule was made public in May 2010.
“If the online requirement is gone, it will be much harder for the public to see and use this information,” Grassley said in a news release. “Without public scrutiny, we'd lose a valuable layer of oversight.”
He also requested records of communications between OMB staff relating to the proposed rule and records of meetings for Cass Sunstein, administrator of OMB's office of information and regulatory affairs, starting in May 2010.
The proposed 2012 budget for NIH is $32 billion. Of that, nearly $27 billion will be used for research at universities, medical schools and other research institutions, Grassley said.
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