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The other side of the conflicts-of-interest story

Here's an interesting editorial exploring the other side of conflicts of interest among researchers with ties to companies. A snip:

    Over the past two decades, private biotechnology firms and other drug companies have increasingly played a major role in cutting-edge medical research. These companies have built relationships with many of the best and brightest academic scientists, helping to bring about huge advances in medical treatment, including powerful new hormones and anti-cancer drugs as well as new devices that repair heart damage.

    But they have also drawn scrutiny from those who believe that, with so much money at stake, corruption must surely be present. Instead of assuming that scientists would want, above all, to protect their reputations and their research, critics have assumed the worst -- and have underestimated the positive impact of relationships between university researchers and companies.

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