The Sponsored Research Conundrum – The Moderate Drinking Example
Sponsored research is needed to answer some questions. This seems especially true in an age in which government budgets are less than abundant, and Congress sometimes blocks research agencies from spending money on certain topics. However, some groups continue to find ways to not succeed with sponsored research. A recent failure occurred with respect to a proposed study of so-called moderate drinking, as highlighted in a June 15, 2018 article at the Washington Post. According to the article, one problem was secretive recruiting of sponsors:
“NIH Director Francis S. Collins said the results of the 10-year, $100 million study would not be trusted because of the secretive way in which staff at an institute under NIH met with major liquor companies, talked to them about the trial’s design and convinced them to pick up most of the tab for it.”
The failure, however, may produce something positive via an inquiry “not yet completed,  examining the wider issue of possible industry influence on NIH-funded research overall.” Hopefully the outcome will provide some guidelines and best practice approaches for sponsored research.