A conflict of interest occurs when an individual's private goals are inconsistent with that person's official responsibilities. The interrelationship between scientists, physicians, and researchers and the pharmaceutical industry has given rise to a variety of well-publicized cases raising concerns about conflicts of interest.
Researchers and drug companies are interdependent. The pharmaceutical industry depends on scientists and clinicians for research, development, and marketing. Conversely, the medical profession depends on research that is largely financed by the pharmaceutical industry. While this interdependence often benefits industry, research, and patient care, conflicts of interest may arise in two main areas: (1) drug research and development and (2) clinical education and product marketing.
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