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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

Scientific Papers and Clinical Trials – Issues Regarding Insider Knowledge and Disclosures by

The substance of sponsored medical literature remains a controversial issue. A 2009 article by Mark S. Frankel in the ABA’s SciTech lawyer raises a variant issue. The article is titled “Clinical Trials and the Financial Markets, ” and is online here. The article recounts market knowledge and manipulation issues arising from leaks of information involving sponsored clinical trials and other clinical trials. The following quote caught my eye especially since the 2009 ASCO Conference ended a few weeks ago nd I was watching articles pop up online from the conference on cancer treatments. Some of the results/articles plainly did move the markets, which of course is fine so long as the information is accurate:

“Recognizing these challenges for researchers, at least one scientific society has taken a strong stand on researcher- investor relationships. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recently issued recommendations for how its members should conduct themselves in relation to investment analysts. First and foremost, it is on record as discouraging its members from establishing “relationships with investment firms that put them at risk.”However, realizing that such researchers are free to engage in discussions with investors, the society cautions its members to “beware of the underhanded approaches used by investment firms to to obtain nonpublic information.” It also “require[s] that relationships with investment advisors be disclosed in the context of ASCO activities,” such as reviewing papers, serving on society committees, and advising on society meeting programs. Although this is a good beginning, other societies whose members conduct clinical trials also need to take similar action.”

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