Federal Agencies Generally Meet Requirements for Disclosure and Review of Financial Interests Related to Lyme Disease

GAO-01-787R: Published: Jun 22, 2001. Publicly Released: Jun 22, 2001.

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Janet Heinrich
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Some Lyme disease patients and Lyme disease organizations are concerned that federal agencies and advisors have financial interests that may affect their decisions on the funding of Lyme disease research and the approval of Lyme disease products. These agencies include the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This report reviews (1) the financial interests that CDC, NIH, and FDA employees and members of advisory committees working on Lyme disease have reported and (2) how these agencies addressed any potential conflicts of interest identified in those reports. GAO found that CDC, NIH, and FDA have generally met the requirements for disclosure and review of financial interests related to Lyme disease. Employees and special government employees (SGE's) working on Lyme disease-related activities have reported financial holdings in, and arrangements with, health sector firms, travel paid for by health sector firms, and patents related to Lyme disease. Program officials and agency officials reviewed the interests of the employees and determined that they did not present conflicts.

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