How a flood of corporate funding can distort NIH research

June 27, 2018

This month, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins seemed to shut down a noxious ethical problem. The agency released a 165-page internal investigation of an alcohol consumption study that had been funded mostly by beer and liquor companies. The study’s lead investigator and NIH officials were in frequent contact with the alcohol industry while designing the study, which, according to the postmortem, seemed predetermined to find alcohol’s benefits but not potential harms, such as cancer.