Title

The Money Blind: How to Stop Industry Bias in Biomedical Science, Without Violating the First Amendment

Author granted license

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2011

ISSN

0098-8588

Publisher

American Society of Law & Medicine

Language

en-US

Abstract

The pharmaceutical and medical device industries use billions of dollars to support the biomedical science that physicians, regulators, and patients use to make healthcare decisions—the decisions that drive an increasingly large portion of the American economy. Compelling evidence suggests that this industry money buys favorable results, biasing the outcomes of scientific research. Current efforts to manage the problem, including disclosure mandates and peer reviews, are ineffective. A blinding mechanism, operating through an intermediary such as the National Institutes of Health, could instead be developed to allow industry support of science without allowing undue influence. If the editors of biomedical journals fail to mandate that industry funders utilize such a solution, the federal government has several regulatory levers available, including conditioning federal funding and direct regulation, both of which could be done without violating the First Amendment.

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