Concerns about the influence of financial interests on research have increased, along with research dollars from pharmaceutical and other for-profit companies. Researchers’ financial ties to industry sponsors of research have also increased. Financial interests in biomedical research could influence research design, conduct, or reporting, and could compromise data integrity, participant safety, or both. Investigators’ financial ties with for-profit companies may influence reported scientific results, and may have compromised research participant safety.
Disclosure is one commonly accepted method of managing financial relationships in order to minimize possible threats to scientific objectivity, the safety of research participants, or public trust in the integrity of clinical research. Disclosure is presumed useful to the extent that “it gives those who would be affected, or who are otherwise in a good position to assess the risks, information they need to make their own decision.”