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New Evidence "Objective" Research is Tainted by Drug Industry Ties

Long known for "impeccable science," the federally funded National Institutes of Health (NIH) is in tumult over disclosures that hundreds of the government agency's scientists have worked as consultants for drug and biotechnology companies or accepted cash prizes from universities that depend on the NIH to fund research. The disclosures of potential ethical breaches have generated outraged calls for changes from members of Congress. The NIH has responded with anguished mea culpas and promises to fix the problem, and NIH leaders have been scrambling to reassure the public that research remains untainted. The number of NIH scientists who do outside work for drug or biotechnology companies has ranged from a little more than 100 to more than 200 at any given time, according to the NIH director. Only recently has the NIH begun asking all its scientists to disclose the compensation they receive as a result of the contracts. Conventional medicine is based upon the research of the NIH and other public health agencies, and yet again the powerful drug industry is tainting that "impeccable science" with their influence. This is yet another reason why the conventional health care system is so fatally flawed.

The San Diego Union Tribune June 1, 2004

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