Healthy Skepticism
Join us to help reduce harm from misleading health information.
Increase font size   Decrease font size   Print-friendly view   Print
Register Log in

Healthy Skepticism Library item: 14623

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: Journal Article

Go RS.
Issues Behind Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest
JAMA 2008 Dec 12; 300:(18):


To the Editor: In their Commentary, Drs Cain and Detsky1 discussed that conflicts of interest are more likely to result from unintentional bias rather than intentional bias, based on studies of human psychology. This underscores the need for full disclosure of conflicts of interests among researchers, even physicians. The Commentary considered the study by Cain et al2 that suggested that full disclosure may have the opposite effect of making professionals more biased. However, the primary purpose of disclosure is not to make researchers less biased; it is to inform readers and the public of potential bias so that they can make their own judgments on the credibility of the information presented.

In addition, it is likely that not all financial conflicts of interest are equal when it comes to introduction of bias. The higher the monetary value involved, the more likely that bias may be introduced. After all, this is . . .


  Healthy Skepticism on RSS   Healthy Skepticism on Facebook   Healthy Skepticism on Twitter

Click to Register

(read more)

Click to Log in
for free access to more features of this website.

Forgot your username or password?

You are invited to
apply for membership
of Healthy Skepticism,
if you support our aims.

Pay a subscription

Support our work with a donation

Buy Healthy Skepticism T Shirts

If there is something you don't like, please tell us. If you like our work, please tell others.

Email a Friend

Cases of wilful misrepresentation are a rarity in medical advertising. For every advertisement in which nonexistent doctors are called on to testify or deliberately irrelevant references are bunched up in [fine print], you will find a hundred or more whose greatest offenses are unquestioning enthusiasm and the skill to communicate it.

The best defence the physician can muster against this kind of advertising is a healthy skepticism and a willingness, not always apparent in the past, to do his homework. He must cultivate a flair for spotting the logical loophole, the invalid clinical trial, the unreliable or meaningless testimonial, the unneeded improvement and the unlikely claim. Above all, he must develop greater resistance to the lure of the fashionable and the new.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963