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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Why Are Drug Companies Funding Less Academic Research?
4 November 2009 1:46 pm
Fewer academic biomedical scientists are relying on industry support for their research than in the mid-'90s, according to a study highlighted today in The Boston Globe. That's the most surprising result of the latest survey of industry relationships at universities led by conflicts of interest expert Eric Campbell of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Campbell and his co-workers found that 20% of the more than 2000 life sciences faculty who responded in 2007 have direct industry funding, according to a paper in Health Affairs. That's down from 28% in a 1995 survey.
In a press release, the authors point to the growth of the National Institutes of Health budget and level research funding in industry as possible factors—as well as a growing public uproar about drug company payments. “Industry relationships may be declining because of increased regulation by universities as well as a general attitude among the public that working with industry is somehow bad,” Campbell says.
One of Campbell's longstanding messages hasn't changed: Industry relationships are pervasive in academic biomedicine.
More than half (53%) of respondents reported industry ties (such as consulting, speaking, or receiving research grants from drug companies), and they tended to be the more senior and productive faculty. Still, Campbell argues that it should be possible to find experts without industry connections to fill the rosters of federal advisory committees.
In a related story, The New York Times reviews provisions in the big health care reform bills that would require drug companies to report their payments to physicians (but not necessarily basic researchers) in a public database. Campbell served on an Institute of Medicine panel that earlier this year endorsed such a database for all payments as well as full disclosure of faculty members’ industry ties to their universities.