3 of 4 Authors in Medical Journals Have Conflicts of Interest

Discussion in 'Health and medical' started by Ilena, Mar 4, 2004.

  1. Ilena

    Ilena Guest

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3513791.stm

    EXCERPTS:

    "The problem has been that people have believed the myth that science is a pure objective activity.

    Around three out of four authors in medical journals have some sort of conflict of interest.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Inside the world of medical journals By Ray Dunne BBC News Online health staff

    One of the world's most respected medical journals says it should never have published a
    controversial paper on MMR. What steps do journals take to ensure studies are robust and
    trustworthy?

    Richard Horton sees thousands of research papers pass his desk every year. As editor of The Lancet,
    he decides what is published in one of the world's most prestigious journals.

    In 1997, he received a paper from Andrew Wakefield, a doctor at the Royal Free Hospital in
    Hampstead, north London.

    Dr Wakefield and colleagues had carried out tests on 12 children. They claimed to have found a
    possible link between the three-in-one MMR vaccine and autism and bowel disease.

    Around three out of four authors in medical journals have some sort of conflict of interest Dr
    Richard Smith, British Medical Journal editor The study was published in 1998 and its findings
    sparked a media furore. Many parents subsequently decided to shun the three-in-one jab. Last week,
    Dr Horton was told Dr Wakefield may have had a potential conflict of interest.

    Within two days, The Lancet editor had issued a statement acknowledging the potential conflict of
    interest. He told journalists the study had "fatal flaws" and should never have been published.

    The Lancet maintains it should have been told that Dr Wakefield was being paid to carry out another
    similar study.

    It says Dr Wakefield should have been aware of the potential conflict of interest after reading the
    journal's guidelines on the issue.

    In 1998, these stated: "The conflict of interest test is a simple one. Is there anything...that
    would embarrass you if it were to emerge after publication that you had not declared it?"

    Full declarations

    Today, those guidelines are slightly more detailed. The Lancet now demands that contributors declare
    all potential financial conflicts of interest.

    It no longer accepts articles from anyone who has been employed by or held shares in a relevant
    company or its competitors during the previous years.

    Possible sanctions against doctors A letter of explanation pointing out genuine misunderstandings A
    letter of reprimand and warning as to future contact A formal letter to the relevant head of
    institution or funding body Publication of a notice of redundant publication or plagiarism An
    editorial giving full details of the misconduct Refusal to accept future submissions from those
    involve for a stated period Formal withdrawal or retraction of the paper Reporting the case to the
    General Medical Council It will accept articles from people who have received money towards
    research, travel or accommodation from relevant companies but only if these are declared in the
    published paper. The new rules reflect a growing trend by medical journals to be seen to more
    transparent.

    "People have really only started looking at this seriously in the past few years," says Dr Richard
    Nicholson, editor of the Bulletin of Medical Ethics.

    "The pressure has come from the American journals. Some journals have had big problems with
    undeclared conflicts of interest."

    Last year, the Nature Publishing Group announced that it would require all authors to declare if
    they had financial ties to products.

    It followed the news that the author of one paper on experimental treatments for depression held a
    patent, stock options and was being paid consultancy fees by a company named in the article.

    In 2002, the New England Journal of Medicine introduced new rules banning articles by people with
    "significant" financial interests in relevant companies - namely those who have received $10,000 or
    more from these companies.

    "Around three out of four authors in medical journals have some sort of conflict of interest," says
    Dr Richard Smith, editor of the British Medical Journal.

    "For some, this is being paid to go to a meeting or receiving a research grant.

    "A few years ago, very few of these conflicts of interests or competing interests were declared.
    Things have changed but we still have a way to go."

    In 1997, some of the editors of the leading medical journals got together to form the Committee on
    Publication Ethics (COPE).

    It aimed to provide editors with a sounding board and help them "to deal with possible breaches in
    research and publication ethics".

    National guidelines

    In 1999, they issued guidelines aimed at stamping out research fraud and potential conflict of
    interests.

    They state that editors and contributors must always declare potential conflicts of interests. "If
    in doubt, disclose," they advise.

    The committee has also drawn up sanctions to be taken against doctors who fail to stick to
    the rules.

    They range from a simple letter pointing out errors or misunderstandings to a decision to report the
    doctor to the General Medical Council, which has the power to ban them from practising medicine.

    This latest controversy has led to calls for these guidelines to be tightened up.

    "Guidelines need to be sufficiently clear so that people have absolutely no excuse," says Dr Evan
    Harris, a Liberal Democrat MP and a member of the British Medical Association's medical ethics
    committee.

    "It is vital for the credibility of science that all possible steps are taken to ensure that
    everything is above board and everything is seen to above board."

    Dr Smith, who is also vice-chair of COPE, acknowledges that more needs to be done.

    "The problem has been that people have believed the myth that science is a pure objective activity.

    "It's not. It's a human activity and it's prone to all of the joys and downsides of being a human
    activity. We've fooled ourselves."

    Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/health/3513791.stm

    Published: 2004/02/23 17:52:19 GMT

    © BBC MMIV

    ~~~~~~~

    There have been many, many conflicts of interest in the breast implant "science" ... for info on the
    real risks, please visit:

    www.BreastImplantAwareness.org
     
    Tags:


  2. Jan

    Jan Guest

    >Subject: 3 of 4 Authors in Medical Journals Have Conflicts of Interest
    >From: [email protected] (Ilena)
    >Date: 3/4/2004 10:12 AM Pacific Standard Time
    >Message-id: <[email protected]>

    Thank you, the *GANG* is a bit selective about conflicts of interest. If it comes for organized
    medicine, there is one here who calls it honest. Others who refuse to discuss it.

    This is just another typical witch hunt.

    Jan

    >http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3513791.stm
    >
    >EXCERPTS:
    >
    >"The problem has been that people have believed the myth that science is a pure objective activity.
    >
    >
    >Around three out of four authors in medical journals have some sort of conflict of interest.
    >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    >
    >
    >Inside the world of medical journals By Ray Dunne BBC News Online health staff
    >
    >One of the world's most respected medical journals says it should never have published a
    >controversial paper on MMR. What steps do journals take to ensure studies are robust and
    >trustworthy?
    >
    >
    >Richard Horton sees thousands of research papers pass his desk every year. As editor of The Lancet,
    >he decides what is published in one of the world's most prestigious journals.
    >
    >In 1997, he received a paper from Andrew Wakefield, a doctor at the Royal Free Hospital in
    >Hampstead, north London.
    >
    >Dr Wakefield and colleagues had carried out tests on 12 children. They claimed to have found a
    >possible link between the three-in-one MMR vaccine and autism and bowel disease.
    >
    >
    >Around three out of four authors in medical journals have some sort of conflict of interest Dr
    >Richard Smith, British Medical Journal editor The study was published in 1998 and its findings
    >sparked a media furore. Many parents subsequently decided to shun the three-in-one jab. Last week,
    >Dr Horton was told Dr Wakefield may have had a potential conflict of interest.
    >
    >Within two days, The Lancet editor had issued a statement acknowledging the potential conflict of
    >interest. He told journalists the study had "fatal flaws" and should never have been published.
    >
    >The Lancet maintains it should have been told that Dr Wakefield was being paid to carry out another
    >similar study.
    >
    >It says Dr Wakefield should have been aware of the potential conflict of interest after reading the
    >journal's guidelines on the issue.
    >
    >In 1998, these stated: "The conflict of interest test is a simple one. Is there anything...that
    >would embarrass you if it were to emerge after publication that you had not declared it?"
    >
    >Full declarations
    >
    >Today, those guidelines are slightly more detailed. The Lancet now demands that contributors
    >declare all potential financial conflicts of interest.
    >
    >It no longer accepts articles from anyone who has been employed by or held shares in a relevant
    >company or its competitors during the previous years.
    >
    >
    >Possible sanctions against doctors A letter of explanation pointing out genuine misunderstandings A
    >letter of reprimand and warning as to future contact A formal letter to the relevant head of
    >institution or funding body Publication of a notice of redundant publication or plagiarism An
    >editorial giving full details of the misconduct Refusal to accept future submissions from those
    >involve for a stated period Formal withdrawal or retraction of the paper Reporting the case to the
    >General Medical Council It will accept articles from people who have received money towards
    >research, travel or accommodation from relevant companies but only if these are declared in the
    >published paper. The new rules reflect a growing trend by medical journals to be seen to more
    >transparent.
    >
    >"People have really only started looking at this seriously in the past few years," says Dr Richard
    >Nicholson, editor of the Bulletin of Medical Ethics.
    >
    >"The pressure has come from the American journals. Some journals have had big problems with
    >undeclared conflicts of interest."
    >
    >Last year, the Nature Publishing Group announced that it would require all authors to declare if
    >they had financial ties to products.
    >
    >It followed the news that the author of one paper on experimental treatments for depression held a
    >patent, stock options and was being paid consultancy fees by a company named in the article.
    >
    >In 2002, the New England Journal of Medicine introduced new rules banning articles by people with
    >"significant" financial interests in relevant companies - namely those who have received $10,000 or
    >more from these companies.
    >
    >"Around three out of four authors in medical journals have some sort of conflict of interest," says
    >Dr Richard Smith, editor of the British Medical Journal.
    >
    >"For some, this is being paid to go to a meeting or receiving a research grant.
    >
    >"A few years ago, very few of these conflicts of interests or competing interests were declared.
    >Things have changed but we still have a way to go."
    >
    >In 1997, some of the editors of the leading medical journals got together to form the Committee on
    >Publication Ethics (COPE).
    >
    >It aimed to provide editors with a sounding board and help them "to deal with possible breaches in
    >research and publication ethics".
    >
    >National guidelines
    >
    >In 1999, they issued guidelines aimed at stamping out research fraud and potential conflict of
    >interests.
    >
    >They state that editors and contributors must always declare potential conflicts of interests. "If
    >in doubt, disclose," they advise.
    >
    >The committee has also drawn up sanctions to be taken against doctors who fail to stick to
    >the rules.
    >
    >They range from a simple letter pointing out errors or misunderstandings to a decision to report
    >the doctor to the General Medical Council, which has the power to ban them from practising
    >medicine.
    >
    >This latest controversy has led to calls for these guidelines to be tightened up.
    >
    >"Guidelines need to be sufficiently clear so that people have absolutely no excuse," says Dr Evan
    >Harris, a Liberal Democrat MP and a member of the British Medical Association's medical ethics
    >committee.
    >
    >"It is vital for the credibility of science that all possible steps are taken to ensure that
    >everything is above board and everything is seen to above board."
    >
    >Dr Smith, who is also vice-chair of COPE, acknowledges that more needs to be done.
    >
    >"The problem has been that people have believed the myth that science is a pure objective activity.
    >
    >"It's not. It's a human activity and it's prone to all of the joys and downsides of being a human
    >activity. We've fooled ourselves."
    >
    >Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/health/3513791.stm
    >
    >Published: 2004/02/23 17:52:19 GMT
    >
    >© BBC MMIV
    >
    >~~~~~~~
    >
    >There have been many, many conflicts of interest in the breast implant "science" ... for info on
    >the real risks, please visit:
    >
    >www.BreastImplantAwareness.org
    >
    >
    >
     
  3. "Jan" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > >Subject: 3 of 4 Authors in Medical Journals Have Conflicts of Interest From: [email protected]
    > >(Ilena) Date: 3/4/2004 10:12 AM Pacific Standard Time Message-id:
    > ><[email protected]>
    >
    > Thank you, the *GANG* is a bit selective about conflicts of interest. If
    it
    > comes for organized medicine, there is one here who calls it honest.
    Others who
    > refuse to discuss it.

    You are a nitwit. There are conflicts and then there are things you do not understand. The latter
    category is far larger.

    >
    > This is just another typical witch hunt.

    10 of the co-authors have distanced themselves from Wakefield now that they know the truth. You
    see, he used the clients of the lawyers as his test subjects...and you cannot see the inherent
    conflict here....
     
  4. Jeff

    Jeff Guest

    "Ilena" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3513791.stm
    >
    > EXCERPTS:
    >
    > "The problem has been that people have believed the myth that science is a pure objective
    > activity.
    >
    >
    > Around three out of four authors in medical journals have some sort of conflict of interest.
    > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Try all of them. Whatever their arrangements, publishing in medical journals is a job requirement.
    If you don't publish, you lose your job. And you don't get grants.

    As the article points out, many of the authors also have other financial incentives. And these
    should be reveiled.

    Jeff
     
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