NIH to Ban Deals With Drug Companies

This is a reform that’s long overdue:

Under a far-reaching reform to be announced today, all staff scientists at the National Institutes of Health will be banned from accepting any consulting fees or other income from drug companies, and the employees must also divest industry stock holdings, officials said.

The new regulations — drawn up by administrators from the NIH, the Office of Government Ethics and the Department of Health and Human Services — are aimed at halting lucrative deals that have led to conflict-of-interest inquiries at the government’s premier agency for medical research.

They should follow suit at the Centers for Disease Control. The number of recommended vaccines for infants has about doubled in the last 20 years to about 40. Are there that many more childhood diseases, or is the fact that the CDC holds patents on some of the vaccines an incentive to recommend more shots every year?

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