To the Editor: I agree entirely with Drs Moses and Martin1 in that "conflicts of interest are ubiquitous and inevitable in academic life." This truth also applies to the situation in Central and Eastern Europe.
Chronic economic difficulties of the health care system in these countries, in particular underfinancing and low wages, do not provide an optimal atmosphere for promoting and executing standards of good scientific practice and health care. Nevertheless, the trend toward greater privatization and commercialization of clinical research and health care thrives (in the short run) because of the lack of public support for these activities. As in the United States, this lack of public support creates a conflict of interest that undermines the public health and the quality of research.
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