CR TIDBIT: Conflict of Interest

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Conflict of Interest

Conflict of interest can be defined as “A conflict between the private interests and official responsibilities of a person in a position of trust.”In clinical drug trials, conflict of interest usually refers to the situation in which an investigator has a financial relationship (often research funding) with a company whose product the investigator is studying.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with conflicts of interest; they are virtually ubiquitous in clinical drug trials because so many trials are funded by the manufacturer of the product being studied. The problem is less conflict of interest itself; the problem is that conflict of interest may be a risk factor for scientific misconduct..

Forms of COI:


  • Money
  • Employment
  • Property/ Stock Ownership


  • Professional
  • Personal
  • Physical
  • Psychological

Steps to control Conflict of Interest:

Step One:

  •                   Always disclose!

Step Two:

  •                   Mitigate and manage, where possible
  •                   Modify research design
  •                   Monitor research by independent  reviewers

Step Three:

If monitoring is not feasible, you may be required to:

  •                   Discontinue the compensated activity
  •                   Divest self of the financial interest
  •                   Terminate the research



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