Clinical Investigators and the Pharmaceutical Industry

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Virtually all new drugs are introduced, evaluated, and marketed under the control of the pharmaceutical industry and general supervision of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The clinical investigator must look to the pharmaceutical industry for support of studies of drugs, and the industry, in turn, needs the investigator to evaluate agents before FDA approval and to present findings in the medical media. A survey of members of the Infectious Disease Society of America has shown heavy dependence on the pharmaceutical industry for support of applied studies of antibacterial and other chemotherapeutic agents. More than half the respondents believed that industry support was essential, about one third felt it was useful, and about one quarter would prefer other sources of support. Several proposals are presented to clarify the relations between investigators and the pharmaceutical industry and to provide for a broad-based clinical infectious disease consortium to provide research funds and plan educational programs in the field of infectious disease.

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