• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of jmedethJournal of Medical EthicsCurrent TOCInstructions to authors
J Med Ethics. Feb 2004; 30(1): 73–79.
PMCID: PMC1757115

Potential research participants' views regarding researcher and institutional financial conflicts of interest

Abstract

Background: Financial conflict of interest in clinical research is an area of active debate. While data exist on the perspectives and roles of academic institutions, investigators, industry sponsors, and scientific journals, little is known about the perspectives of potential research participants.

Methods: The authors surveyed potential research participants over the internet, using the Harris Interactive Chronic Illness Database. A potential research participant was defined by: (1) self report of diagnosis by a health care professional and (2) willingness to participate in clinical trials. Email invitations were sent to 20 205 persons with coronary artery disease, breast cancer, or depression; a total of 6363 persons were screened; of these, 86% or 5478 met inclusion criteria and completed the survey. The outcome measures were respondents' ratings on: importance of knowing conflict of interest information, whether its disclosure ought to be required, and its effect on willingness to participate—across seven widely discussed scenarios of financial conflicts of interest (ranging from commercial funding to equity ownership).

Results: Majority responded that knowing conflict of interest information was "extremely" or "very" important; a larger majority felt financial conflicts of interest should be disclosed as part of informed consent (64% to 87%). In all seven scenarios, a majority was still willing to participate but in some scenarios a sizable minority would be wary of participation. Respondents were more wary of individual than institutional conflicts of interest. Illness group and sociodemographic factors had modest effects and did not affect the main trends.

Conclusions: The prevailing practice of non-disclosure of financial conflicts of interest in clinical research appears contrary to the values of potential research participants.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (203K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Drazen JM, Koski G. To protect those who serve. N Engl J Med. 2000 Nov 30;343(22):1643–1645. [PubMed]
  • Lo B, Wolf LE, Berkeley A. Conflict-of-interest policies for investigators in clinical trials. N Engl J Med. 2000 Nov 30;343(22):1616–1620. [PubMed]
  • McCrary SV, Anderson CB, Jakovljevic J, Khan T, McCullough LB, Wray NP, Brody BA. A national survey of policies on disclosure of conflicts of interest in biomedical research. N Engl J Med. 2000 Nov 30;343(22):1621–1626. [PubMed]
  • Blumenthal D, Campbell EG, Causino N, Louis KS. Participation of life-science faculty in research relationships with industry. N Engl J Med. 1996 Dec 5;335(23):1734–1739. [PubMed]
  • Bodenheimer T. Uneasy alliance--clinical investigators and the pharmaceutical industry. N Engl J Med. 2000 May 18;342(20):1539–1544. [PubMed]
  • Rothman KJ. Conflict of interest. The new McCarthyism in science. JAMA. 1993 Jun 2;269(21):2782–2784. [PubMed]
  • Krimsky S, Rothenberg LS. Financial interest and its disclosure in scientific publications. JAMA. 1998 Jul 15;280(3):225–226. [PubMed]
  • Davidoff F, DeAngelis CD, Drazen JM, Nicholls MG, Hoey J, Højgaard L, Horton R, Kotzin S, Nylenna M, Overbeke AJ, et al. Sponsorship, authorship, and accountability. N Engl J Med. 2001 Sep 13;345(11):825–827. [PubMed]
  • Emanuel EJ, Steiner D. Institutional conflict of interest. N Engl J Med. 1995 Jan 26;332(4):262–267. [PubMed]
  • Martin JB, Kasper DL. In whose best interest? Breaching the academic-industrial wall. N Engl J Med. 2000 Nov 30;343(22):1646–1649. [PubMed]
  • Angell M. Is academic medicine for sale? N Engl J Med. 2000 May 18;342(20):1516–1518. [PubMed]
  • Blumenthal D, Causino N, Campbell E, Louis KS. Relationships between academic institutions and industry in the life sciences--an industry survey. N Engl J Med. 1996 Feb 8;334(6):368–373. [PubMed]
  • La Puma J, Stocking CB, Rhoades WD, Darling CM, Ferner RE, Neuberger J, VandenBurg M, Dews I, Tobias JS. Financial ties as part of informed consent to postmarketing research. Attitudes of American doctors and patients. BMJ. 1995 Jun 24;310(6995):1660–1663. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Wilkinson TM. Research, informed consent, and the limits of disclosure. Bioethics. 2001 Aug;15(4):341–363. [PubMed]
  • Shimm DS, Spece RG., Jr Industry reimbursement for entering patients into clinical trials: legal and ethical issues. Ann Intern Med. 1991 Jul 15;115(2):148–151. [PubMed]
  • Lind SE. Fee-for-service research. N Engl J Med. 1986 Jan 30;314(5):312–315. [PubMed]
  • Blumenthal D, Gluck M, Louis KS, Stoto MA, Wise D. University-industry research relationships in biotechnology: implications for the university. Science. 1986 Jun 13;232(4756):1361–1366. [PubMed]
  • Cho MK, Shohara R, Schissel A, Rennie D. Policies on faculty conflicts of interest at US universities. JAMA. 2000 Nov 1;284(17):2203–2208. [PubMed]
  • Moses H, 3rd, Martin JB. Academic relationships with industry: a new model for biomedical research. JAMA. 2001 Feb 21;285(7):933–935. [PubMed]
  • Zhang J, Yu KF. What's the relative risk? A method of correcting the odds ratio in cohort studies of common outcomes. JAMA. 1998 Nov 18;280(19):1690–1691. [PubMed]
  • Edwards SJ, Lilford RJ, Hewison J. The ethics of randomised controlled trials from the perspectives of patients, the public, and healthcare professionals. BMJ. 1998 Oct 31;317(7167):1209–1212. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Karlawish JH, Lantos J. Community equipoise and the architecture of clinical research. Camb Q Healthc Ethics. 1997 Fall;6(4):385–396. [PubMed]
  • Finkel Marion J. Should informed consent include information on how research is funded? IRB. 1991 Sep-Oct;13(5):1–3. [PubMed]
  • Ende J, Kazis L, Ash A, Moskowitz MA. Measuring patients' desire for autonomy: decision making and information-seeking preferences among medical patients. J Gen Intern Med. 1989 Jan-Feb;4(1):23–30. [PubMed]
  • Jellinek Michael S, Levine Robert J. IRBs and pharmaceutical company funding of research. IRB. 1982 Oct;4(8):9–10. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Medical Ethics are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

  • Cited in Books
    Cited in Books
    PubMed Central articles cited in books
  • PubMed
    PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...