NIH to ban researchers from consulting work

The National Institutes of Health will no longer allow its employees to do outside consulting work with pharmaceutical companies. The NIH announced the new policy on Thursday at a press conference led by director Elias Zerhouni. The agency did not go as far as some critics might have preferred. Scientists will still be able to own up $15,000 worth of stock in any given drug company and will be able to receive compensation from pharmaceutical companies for teaching continued medical education classes. The issue of potential conflicts of interest at the Institutes became a major story late last year after the Los Angeles Times published a series of investigative reports detailing abuses.

- see this story from The New York Times