News & Opinion
The news story reports that the National Council on Ethics in Human Research (NCEHR), has had its funding withdrawn by Health Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Apparently this will primarily affect education, but also scotches the possibility that the Council would devolp into a Canadian national accrediting and oversight body for research ethics boards.
The story relates to an announcement on June 10 by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations. An exerpt from the IFPMA press release states:
We received this report from Behrooz Astaneh, Deputy Editor of the Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences.
Behrooz can be contacted on [email protected]
The second seminar of Iranian Medical Journal editors- A Report
Well worth reading. http://www.trialsjournal.com/content/pdf/1745-6215-11-37.pdf
The overall message and the recommendations aren't new, but thus is a succinct and informative review by the German health technology asessement body that's worth citing and using in talks. It includes and goes well beyond the usual suspects (rofecoxib, gabapentin, SSRIs, rosiglitazone, oseltamivir) and gives a really nice overview of all the recent attempts to make people behave better eg through trial registration.
A study by Wang et al in the BMJ (340:c1344) found that 21 out of 90 papers (23%) reporting studies on the antidiabetic agent rosiglitazone had incomplete Conflict of Interest information and 3 of the 21 stated that the authors had no competing interests although their other publications indicated that they did.
It's possible that this may, partly, be explained by journals using different thresholds for CoIs, but it suggests that editors may not be requesting or checking CoI statements sufficiently thoroughly.
Over at the BMJ blogs, Behrooz Astaneh has written an interesting perspective on the "culture of compliments", which exists in many cultures. He notes that because of this culture "authors feel compelled to put the name of a senior colleague in the byline of their article even though the senior researcher did not contribute to it because they feel it would be rude not to.
A recent perspective "Serving Two Masters-Conflicts of Interest in Academic Medicine" by Bernard Lo in the New England Journal of Medicine discusses the conflicts that researchers encounter when they have positions both as academics and are on the boards of for profit companies. The perspective highlights the example of Partners Health care in Boston, which has recently begun to set limits on the amount of compensation that its employees can receive from serving on the board of companies.