Medical Journals: Still Too Lazy to ID Pharma-Funded Research | BNET Pharma Blog | BNET

Pharma blogger Jim Edwards on the inability of journals to monitor ghostwriting and other shenanigans in reports of medical studies.

“JAMA’s editorial calls for independent researchers to oversee all studies funded by drug companies to ensure that the data can be checked by someone not on the company payroll. JAMA already requires authors to disclose all payments when the publish in its pages.

These ideas are fine, but the gatekeepers here are the journal editors, not the drug companies. And journals keep publishing studies by researchers who have failed to disclose that they were paid by drug companies. JAMA itself was caught doing this in March 2009, and the authors of today’s editorial — Catherine D. DeAngelis and Phil B. Fontanarosa — responded by insulting the academic who pointed it out. Then, JAMA instituted a policy demanding silence from everyone involved whenever an allegation of undisclosed conflict was made. JAMA then rescinded, or at least hid, its “silence while we investigate” policy.

More broadly, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that 71.2% of authors fail to properly disclose their conflicts of interest. So the problem is widespread. When it comes to GSK and Avandia specifically, doctors on the company payroll were found in a British Medical Journal study to be more likely to say favorable things about the drug.

And the problem doesn’t end there. Editors at academic archives and libraries fail to remove (or at least add addenda to) studies that were ghostwritten with drug company money. Ghostwriters are rarely listed as actual study authors. And medical schools, which generate thousands of studies every year, mostly don’t prohibit their professors from having their articles drafted by drug company ghostwriters.”….

via Medical Journals: Still Too Lazy to ID Pharma-Funded Research | BNET Pharma Blog | BNET.


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