Two experts question on bmj.com today whether the conflict of interest is unethical when drug companies perform clinical trials on their own medicines.
Their opinions come as new guidance on the obligatory standards for communicating company sponsored medical research.
Vincent Lawton is a healthcare consultant and non-executive director at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in London. He argues that after having invested billions of pounds in medicine development, it is unrealistic to expect the drug industry to "surrender its intellectual property." He comments that withdrawing research from pharmaceutical companies will lead to delays, ineffectiveness and a deficiency in innovation.
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