Document Type


Publication Date



A recent report issued from the Institute of Medicine contains an extensive analysis of financial conflicts of interest (FCOIs) in biomedical science. In brief, an FCOI exists when a profit-seeking motive either unduly influences or appears to influence an academic scientist’s primary obligations. The cornerstone of current policy to address FCOIs at academic medical centers (AMCs) is disclosure; however, disclosure does not appear to appropriately regulate, manage, or eliminate FCOIs.

Although the relationships between intramural scientists and industry and extramural scientists and industry may be structurally different, they both can lead to FCOIs that threaten scientific integrity. Overall, the NIH policies governing FCOIs for intramural scientists are much stricter than those applied in AMCs. This Essay proposes that the NIH policies for intramural scientists can be used as a template to create default rules in AMCs that govern the extramural scientist-private company relationship.