December 18, 2009 — 9:49am ET | By Tracy Staton
The conflicts-of-interest police have turned their attention to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services issued a report saying that CDC did a poor job of screening its medical experts for financial conflicts when it engaged them for advice on vaccine safety, the New York Times reports.
According to the report, 64 percent of the advisers had potential conflicts of interest their were either never identified of never resolved, and 13 percent of them had never filed the required conflicts disclosures–an omission that should have kept them from serving at all. Three percent even voted on issues that the agency’s ethics officers had barred them from considering, the Times says.
CDC responded to the report by saying that it already has strengthened its conflicts of interest process since the time period covered in the IG’s review. The IG’s report is expected to be released later today.