[MOL] Ethics Conflict-NEJM= AMUST READ! [01054] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] Ethics Conflict-NEJM= AMUST READ!

Home > News & Reports > Daily Briefing > Med Journal Admits Ethics Conflict
  FEBRUARY 25, 2000

Med Journal Admits Ethics Conflict

      The New England Journal of Medicine, one of the nation's most prestigious medical journals, confessed to violating its own ethics rules.
      In a letter published in the Feb. 24 issue, the editors apologized for not disclosing conflicts of interest by authors of 19 articles published in the Journal since Jan. 1, 1997. The Boston-based weekly admitted it failed to apply its own ethics policy and allowed these authors to publish articles about various drugs when they had financial relationships with drug manufacturers.
      Interim Editor in Chief Dr. Marcia Angell says the authors did disclose their financial associations with drug companies when they submitted research. The Journal's policy is to prohibit the publication of articles by researchers who have direct or indirect financial support from the drug companies. The articles in question included research on drug therapy for a variety of illnesses, including breast cancer, glaucoma, hepatitis and alcohol dependence.
      The Los Angeles Times wrote about the conflict in October, but NEJM editors didn't admit there was a policy violation. The conflict could cause problems for patients since doctors rely on the latest medical information to make treatment decisions. "We regret our failure to apply our policy correctly," write the editors Drs. Angell, Robert D. Utiger and Alastair J. J. Wood. "Steps have been taken to ensure against any recurrence."

Warmly, lillian
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