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Health Agencies Update
May 25, 2005

NIH Ethics Rules Revisited

JAMA. 2005;293(20):2463. doi:10.1001/jama.293.20.2463-a

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is now reconsidering its recently implemented ethics standards, following the resignation of such high-level NIH administrators as James F. Battey, MD, PhD, director of the NIH’s Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, due to new conflict-of-interest rules.

The regulations, which were to take effect this fall, would restrict NIH employees from holding stock in pharmaceutical companies or medical entities such as health care companies and insurers, forcing them to divest. The new policy was designed after disclosures that some NIH scientists and administrators had consulting arrangements with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.