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Conflicts of interest in medical research, education, and practice are well known to increase the risk of undue influence by corporate sponsors. Because conflicts of interest are so prevalent and troublesome, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) was asked to develop guidelines for dealing with them. An IOM committee reviewed the substantial body of evidence demonstrating that financial ties with pharmaceutical and medical device companies influence prescribing practices; the opinions of experts; and the design, conduct, and interpretation of research studies. The guidelines produced by the IOM focus on financial connections with industry, largely because such connections are easier to monitor than other conflicting interests, such as career advancement or personal favors.1
Nestle M. Conflicts of Interest in the Regulation of Food SafetyA Threat to Scientific Integrity. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(22):2036-2038. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.9158