A harmonized system for reporting conflicts of interest isneeded to ease the burden of reporting and promote transparency, according to a report published in November by leaders from US health agencies, professional organizations, journals, and consumer interest organizations participating in Institute of Medicine (IOM) efforts.
Scientists and clinicians are required to report potential conflicts of interest to their academic institutions, funders, journals, continuing education groups, and other stakeholders. The Physician Payment Sunshine Act also will soon require companies to publicly report payments they have made to physicians and academic medical centers. Previously, the IOM had noted that such reporting may burden researchers who have to repeatedly fill out and submit paperwork to various entities. Redundant and scattered reporting of conflicts may also hamper efforts to understand the effect of conflicts of interest on science and medicine.