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HHS Finalizes Conflict of Interest Rules for NIH

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The Department of Health and Human Services finalized its conflict of interest rules Tuesday, requiring investigators at the National Institutes of Health to disclose all significant financial interests related to their responsibilities.

The new rules also lower the threshold at which significant financial interests require disclosure, down to $5,000 from the previous $10,000 threshold.

The NIH said staff from both agencies worked to revise regulations implemented in 1995 to maintain objectivity and integrity in health research.

“The medical research conducted and funded by the federal government has long been the gold standard of scientific investigation,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Our financial conflict of interest rules must keep up with the times if we are to maintain our leadership role in the global scientific community.”

The new regulations will be implemented no later than 365 days after the final rule is published in the Federal Register.

Institutions will be required to publicly disclose significant financial interests held by senior and key personnel.

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