Standardized CoI Policies Can Help Foster Collaboration and Innovation
06.07.13 | By Karl Uhlendorf
Earlier this week, PhRMA’s Gabriela Lavezzari, Assistant Vice President, Scientific Affairs, participated in an Institute of Medicine (IoM) workshop, titled “Conflict of Interest in Medical Innovation: Assuring Integrity while Facilitating Innovation in Medical Research.” Gabriela presented on the impact of conflict of interest (CoI) policies on medical innovation as part of a panel that included government and academic representatives.
Gabriela stressed the importance of increasing confidence in CoI policies by sharing best practices, standardizing policies, promoting beneficial relationships and creating efficiency standards. She cited evidence that the current CoI policies, which are more stringent than ever, have led to a decrease in expert participation in Food & Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committees. This trend poses a threat to medical innovation because our brightest minds have a more limited role in the process.
The Association of American Medical College's (AAMC) Heather Pierce echoed Gabriela's comments when she stated, “We have been clear about the risks of conflict of interest, but we have not been as clear about benefits of collaboration.” Pierce also stressed the need to standardize policies and promote beneficial relationships in order to continue driving medical innovation.
The common theme throughout the workshop was the many challenges surrounding CoI. At the same time, participants agreed there are opportunities to implement a proven and trusted set of CoI policies based on research and data analysis. By working together to reform these policies, we can ensure that biopharmaceutical research companies, academia and government can continue to collaborate in their efforts to bring innovative new treatments to patients in need.
You can view an archived webcast of the discussion on the workshop site.