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Medical journal misled again

The case of authors not disclosing possible conflicts comes after an announced crackdown

Jul 19, 2006 | AP Just days after announcing a crackdown on researchers who do not disclose drug company ties, the editor of a prestigious medical journal says she was misled again.

This time, she says, it was by the authors of a study linking severe migraines to heart attacks in women.

All six study authors have done consulting work or received research funding from makers of treatments for migraines or heart-related problems. Their research is appearing today in The Journal of the American Medical Association, a week after the crackdown was announced.

The authors said they did not report their financial ties because they did not think that they were relevant to the study.

Catherine DeAngelis, the editor in chief, said The Journal editors did not know about the ties until The Associated Press brought them to her attention late last week.

She said she would have published the authors’ associations with drug makers had she known about them.

Last week, The Journal disclosed that the authors of a depression study failed to report ties to makers of antidepressants. Two months ago, The Journal reported similar omissions from authors of a study linking certain arthritis drugs to cancer.

The Journal has long required researchers whose articles it will publish to sign statements disclosing all potential financial conflicts. An editorial last week said The Journal was getting tougher. The new policy, effective in January, requires disclosures even before articles are accepted for publication.

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