One-Stop Filing for Conflict-of-Interest Disclosures?

For all the requirements to disclose financial conflicts of interest by medical researchers—from universities, from journals, from the Food and Drug Administration—it is still often difficult for regulators and others to follow the money. Some say the numerous disclosure rules actually make it even more confusing—and create a paperwork pain for the researchers.

Now, an impressive group of academics, ethicists, and policy makers are circulating a proposal that calls for the creation of a centralized data repository to house all disclosures. Such a repository, they argue, could increase transparency in medical research and practice.

As described by Pharmalot, a widely read blog covering the pharmaceutical industry, backers envision a new nonprofit entity that would be a one-stop shop for collecting disclosures that doctors and other medical researchers file, listing such interests as intellectual-property rights, grants from industry, investment and ownership stakes in businesses, and gifts of travel, food, and lodging from drug companies.

Yet, as Pharmalot notes, the idea also faces a long road before it’s likely to come into being.

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