An online post-publication literature evaluation service aiming to highlight the best articles in medicine has received evaluation of articles published in supplement issues of journals. Given that many supplements are funded by pharmaceutical companies, should we have a different policy on how to handle such evaluations? If so, what suggestions do you have?
The committee felt that it is not necessary to dismiss supplements out of hand as some can be very informative (published abstracts, non-commercial supplements). On the other hand, some members of the committee felt that the conflict of interest combined with the commercial interests of the pharmaceutical companies should deter publication of any evaluations of supplements. The majority view, however, was that a different policy for supplements is not necessary, as long the sponsorship and conflict of interest issues are transparent. It should be made clear if funding is received from pharmaceutical companies.