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The Money Blind: How to Stop Industry Bias in Biomedical Science, Without Violating the First Amendment

31 Pages Posted: 1 Sep 2013  

Christopher T. Robertson

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law; Harvard University - Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

The pharmaceutical and medical device industries use billions of dollars to support the biomedical science that physicians, regulators, and patients use to make healthcare decisions—the decisions that drive an increasingly large portion of the American economy. Compelling evidence suggests that this industry money buys favorable results, biasing the outcomes of scientific research. Current efforts to manage the problem, including disclosure mandates and peer reviews, are ineffective. A blinding mechanism, operating through an intermediary such as the National Institutes of Health, could instead be developed to allow industry support of science without allowing undue influence. If the editors of biomedical journals fail to mandate that industry funders utilize such a solution, the federal government has several regulatory levers available, including conditioning federal funding and direct regulation, both of which could be done without violating the First Amendment.

Keywords: biomedical science, bias, healthcare decisions, disclosure, blinding mechanism, regulation, funding, First Amendment

Suggested Citation

Robertson, Christopher T., The Money Blind: How to Stop Industry Bias in Biomedical Science, Without Violating the First Amendment (2011). 37 American Journal of Law and Medicine 358 (2011); Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 13-42. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2318616

Christopher T. Robertson (Contact Author)

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.arizona.edu/faculty/getprofile.cfm?facultyid=714

Harvard University - Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics ( email )

23 Everett Street
Cambridge, MA 02155
United States

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