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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 19068

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

Lacasse JR, Leo J
Knowledge of ghostwriting and financial conflicts-of-interest reduces the perceived credibility of biomedical research
BMC Research Notes 2011 Jan 31; 4:27
http://www.biomedcentral.com/1756-0500/4/27/abstract


Abstract:

Background
While the impact of conflicts-of-interest (COI) is of increasing concern in academic medicine, there is little research on the reaction of practicing clinicians to the disclosure of such conflicts. We developed two research vignettes presenting a fictional antidepressant medication study, one in which the principal investigator had no COI and another in which there were multiple COI disclosed. We confirmed the face validity of the COI vignette through consultation with experts. Hospital-based clinicians were then randomly assigned to read one of these two vignettes and then administered a credibility scale.

Findings
Perceived credibility ratings were much lower in the COI group, with a difference of 11.00 points (31.42%) on the credibility scale total as calculated through the Mann-Whitney U test (95% CI = 6.99 – 15.00, p < .001). Clinicians in the COI group were also less likely to recommend the antidepressant medication discussed in the vignette (OR=0.163, 95% CI = .03 = 0.875).

Conclusions
In this study, increased disclosure of COI resulted in lower credibility ratings.

 

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A small group known as Healthy Skepticism; formerly the Medical Lobby for Appropriate Marketing) has consistently and insistently drawn the attention of producers to promotional malpractice, calling for (and often securing) correction. These organisations [Healthy Skepticism, Médecins Sans Frontières and Health Action International] are small, but they are capable; they bear malice towards no one, and they are inscrutably honest. If industry is indeed persuaded to face up to its social responsibilities in the coming years it may well be because of these associations and others like them.
- Dukes MN. Accountability of the pharmaceutical industry. Lancet. 2002 Nov 23; 360(9346)1682-4.