Congress has been trying to stop corruption of medical research through legislation. In 2010, as part of the health care reform package, it passed the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. Starting in 2013, the law compels all pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers to reveal most of the money that they are putting in the pockets of physicians. Because most (but not all) medical researchers are medical doctors, in theory, these data will help universities, research hospitals and the NIH to pin down whether a grantee has a potential conflict of interest. The information, however, will be worthless unless it is used.
The case of Robert Lindsay shows how deep the problem of conflicted medical research is and how difficult it will be to fix.
This article was originally published with the title Is Drug Research Trustworthy?.