Biomedical researchers and their home institutions will now need to track, report, and make available more information regarding financial conflicts of interest, according to a revised rule issued by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The changes come after multiple scandals shook public confidence about some medical research findings, and raised serious questions about the influence of corporate partners on researchers.

The updated rule requires scientists to report financial conflicts of interest, such as payments or equity in companies, of $5,000 or more. This is a change from the current threshold of $10,000. Researchers will also have to disclose significant financial interests that are “related to an Investigator’s institutional responsibilities,” such as research, consulting, and teaching.

Universities will now be expected to report in more detail about the value of the financial interest, the nature of the conflict, and how they will address the problem. This information is required to be made public, but it does not have to be published on a public website.

Researchers will continue to report information on financial conflicts of interest to their employing university, which has primary responsibility for ensuring compliance with the federal regulation.

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