News & Opinion

Opinion / The relationship of academia and companies covered in Nature Biotechnology

A news feature in Nature Biotechnology (subscription required for full text) discusses the potential perils of academia and companies getting into bed with each other in these financially straightened times, and the  need for especially careful management of competing interests.

Opinion / Elsevier comments on its "fake" journals

A story that has receive extensive coverage over the past few weeks on the web is of a series of allegedly "fake" journals which were revealed during a court case in Australia concerning marketing of the drug Vioxx.

Opinion / Should the FDA trump the Declaration of Helsinki?

A BMJ editorial discusses the recent FDA ruling  that clinical trials performed outside the US no longerhave to conform to the Declaration of Helsinki if used to supportapplications for registration of products in the US but that the regulatory standard expected is that of the International Conference on Harmonisation Good Clinical

Opinion / Institute of Medicine Medical Conflict of Interest Report Released

This report apparently focuses on financial conflict of interests, especially where there is a potential for patient harm.

Opinion / Victory for science and peer-review publishing

An editorial in American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy describes the outcome of a legal action against their journal from a manufacturer who claimed that an article (abstract only, full text requires a subscription) published in the 15 March 2007 issue of AJHP defamed the manufacturer "through the criticism and test results published in the article" as the manufacturer's prod

Opinion / Wall Street Journal report on an undercover operation by US congress on institutional review boards

The full piece, published on March 26th, which describes the operation as being a "congressional sting operation" is here, excerpt:

"The sting, detailed at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Thursday, involved the creation of a fictitious company and a fake medical device, a surgical adhesive gel. The sham firm then applied to three for-profit oversight groups — called institutional review boards, or IRBs — for approval to begin a clinical trial using their adhesive on human subjects."

Opinion / Trouble over conflicts of interest leads JAMA to revise its policy

An editorial in JAMA1 describes a case of an author’s undeclared conflict of interest which was reported to the journal by a reader, Jonathan Leo. The reason for the editorial (in addition to a published correction) is that Leo sent a copy of his letter to the New York Times and also posted his concerns in a BMJ Rapid Response2 which appeared before JAMA published its correction in its print issue of March 11.

News / COPE Annual General Meeting

Download the agenda and materials for the COPE AGM held on 27 March 2009 (Download PDF, 21kb).

The minutes of the AGM are available to download here (Download PDF, 76kb).

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