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Prevalence of Financial Conflicts of Interest Among Authors of Clinical Guidelines Related to High-Revenue Medications/Evaluation of Industry Relationships Among Authors of Clinical Practice Guidelines in Gastroenterology

Khan R, Scaffidi MA, Rumman A, Grindal AW, Plener IS, Grover SC.  JAMA Intern Med. 2018 Oct 29. [CrossRef]

Combs TR, Scott J, Jorski A, Heavener T, Vassar M. JAMA Intern Med. 2018 Oct 29. [CrossRef]

Two studies appeared in JAMA Internal Medicine in yesterday’s JAMA Internal Medicine on conflict of interest amongst guideline writing committees. The first study examined financial conflicts of interest of authors writing clinical practice guidelines recommending high-priced medications. Of the 160 authors, 50 (31.3%) declared payment from companies marketing the medication recommended in the guideline. An additional 41 authors (25.6%) received, but did not disclose, payments from the marketers. In the second study, payments disclosed in gastroenterology clinical guidelines often differed from those reported by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). 44 of 83 (53%) authors received industry payments but only 16 (19%) fully disclosed their financial conflicts of interest. Various organizations, including the Institute of Medicine, recommends that guideline development teams be composed of at most 50% authors who have financial relationships to disclose, and recommends abstaining from financial conflicts for a period of 1 year following guideline publication. These studies would seem to indicate that those writing clinical practice guidelines are not adhering to these policies.

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