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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 3975

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

Relman AS.
Economic incentives in clinical investigation.
N Engl J Med 1989 Apr 6; 320:(14):933-4


Medical research is becoming commercialized and clinical investigators now find themselves in situations involving conflicts of interest. In particular, researchers are acquiring financial interests in the new drugs or clinical devices they are studying. Economic incentives can introduce subtle biases into the conduct, analysis or reporting of research results that may escape even careful peer review. The author reviews the two commonest justifications for economic incentivese for clinical investigators. All institutions sponsoring clinical research or employing clinical investigators should develop policies to deal with possible conflicts of interest.

*editorial/conflict of interest/drug company sponsored research/academic freedom/relationship between researchers, academic institutions and industry/REGULATION, CODES, GUIDELINES: ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS/SPONSORSHIP: RESEARCH Clinical Trials/economics* Commerce Motivation


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Email a Friend influence multinational corporations effectively, the efforts of governments will have to be complemented by others, notably the many voluntary organisations that have shown they can effectively represent society’s public-health interests…
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.