Well, that’s what Dr. Peter Slavin, president of Massachusetts General Hospital, told STAT news in a story about Harvard’s revised conflict of interest policy:
Slavin said the change may help with a recruitment problem: “Some faculty don’t come because they perceive that Harvard Medical School has rules that are much too restrictive.”
Or they leave, according to Gretchen Brodnicki, dean for faculty and research integrity.
Brodnicki said she has heard anecdotes of faculty leaving, or being unable to conduct specific studies, because of the rule, though she said the impact is hard to measure.
Here’s the new rule:
First, the school is raising the thresholds: Faculty will have to receive at least $25,000 in income (up from $10,000), or hold $50,000 in equity of a publicly traded company (up from $30,000) to trigger the prohibition on clinical research. Faculty still cannot hold any equity in a privately held company if they want to do clinical trials on that company’s product.
Second, the school will now allow faculty to petition for an exemption if they’re over those thresholds and still want to do the research.