chapter  3
17 Pages

Financial conflicts of interest in human subjects research: Domestic and international issues

Public policies designed to use free market incentives to organize health

care systems are under constant scrutiny, most notably in the United States. There is no better example of both the success and danger of injecting the

profit motive into health care than the system by which new medicines are

developed and tested in humans. On the one hand, reliance on the free

market to develop new drugs has attracted substantial private investment,

which, in turn, has produced significant advances in medicine. On the other

hand, physician-investigators and their research institutions have acquired

unprecedented financial interests in the drug research they conduct on

humans, interests which conflict with their responsibility to protect human subjects from unnecessary risks.