Grass­ley: Keep site track­ing re­searchers’ fi­nan­cial ties

Modern Healthcare - - Late News -

Sen. Chuck Grass­ley urged the Of­fice of Man­age­ment and Bud­get to con­tinue to re­quire a pub­licly avail­able web­site that will track fi­nan­cial re­la­tion­ships be­tween the drug in­dus­try and the re­searchers who re­ceive fund­ing from the Na­tional In­sti­tutes of Health. The Iowa Repub­li­can wrote in a letter to OMB Di­rec­tor Ja­cob Lew that “any weak­en­ing of pub­licly avail­able in­for­ma­tion re­quires care­ful scrutiny.” A news re­port in

Na­ture mag­a­zine said the OMB was propos­ing to elim­i­nate the on­line re­quire­ment, which prompted the letter. The pro­posed rule was made pub­lic in May 2010. “If the on­line re­quire­ment is gone, it will be much harder for the pub­lic to see and use this in­for­ma­tion,” Grass­ley said in a news re­lease. He also re­quested records of com­mu­ni­ca­tions be­tween OMB staff re­lat­ing to the pro­posed rule and records of meet­ings for Cass Sun­stein, ad­min­is­tra­tor of OMB’s of­fice of in­for­ma­tion and reg­u­la­tory af­fairs, start­ing in May 2010. The pro­posed 2012 bud­get for NIH is $32 bil­lion. Of that, nearly $27 bil­lion will be used for re­search at uni­ver­si­ties, med­i­cal schools and other re­search in­sti­tu­tions, Grass­ley said.

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