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Research hospital director resigns amid conflicts of interest

Oncologist José Baselga, medical director of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, has stepped down after acknowledging that he failed to disclose his connections with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in dozens of scientific papers. The American Association for Cancer Research created rules regarding the disclosure of this type of information when Baselga himself was president of the association. Since 2014, he has received more than US$3 million from Roche Pharmaceutical in consulting fees and for his stake in an affiliated company. He also served on the boards of Bristol-Myers Squibb and Varian Medical Systems. An investigation by The New York Times and nonprofit journalistic organization ProPublica revealed that since 2013, Baselga failed to disclose conflicts of interest in 60% of the 180 scientific papers that name him as an author. In an interview after his resignation, the physician said that the omissions were unintentional and that he planned to correct them in at least 17 scientific articles, some of which were published in high-impact journals such as The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine.