In response to criticism and Congressional inquiries, National Institutes
of Health (NIH) Director Elias Zerhouni, MD, announced the creation of a "blue
ribbon" panel to examine the agency's rules governing financial conflicts
of interest. The panel is to examine all applicable laws and regulations and
hand recommendations to Zerhouni within 90 days.
The controversy over conflicts of interest began December 7, when The Los Angeles Times reported that top NIH officials,
including several institute directors, had collected millions of dollars in
consulting fees from pharmaceutical companies. House and Senate hearings on
the matter are scheduled.
Vastag B. NIH Panel Examines Conflicts. JAMA. 2004;291(6):684. doi:10.1001/jama.291.6.684-a