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[IP] Doctors, Drug Co. Links Studied
I doubt this article will come as a surprise to the IP List members ;-)
Doctors, Drug Co. Links Studied
.c The Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) - A survey of doctors who wrote treatment guidelines for common
diseases such as diabetes and arthritis found that most had ties to drug
companies, but few thought those ties influenced their recommendations.
The findings, published in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical
Association, suggest drug company connections could have compromised the
doctors' ability to create objective guidelines that served patients' best
Among those who responded to the survey, 58 percent said they had received
research funding from drug companies and 38 percent said they had served as
company employees or consultants.
Moreover, 59 percent of the doctors said they had ties to pharmaceutical
companies whose drugs were considered in the drafting of the guidelines they
Of these authors, 96 percent said the relationships were formed before the
guidelines were created. Only 7 percent thought the ties affected their own
guideline recommendations, although 19 percent thought such ties influenced
their co-authors' recommendations.
``Unfortunately, bias may occur both consciously and subconsciously, and
therefore its influence may go unrecognized,'' lead author Dr. Niteesh
Choudhry and his colleagues at the University of Toronto said in the study.
The results were based on a survey mailed to 192 doctors involved with
creating 44 ``clinical practice guidelines'' for treating diseases. Only 100
doctors provided usable responses, and whether they accurately assessed drug
companies' influence over them is not known, the survey authors said.
The survey was mailed to authors of guidelines endorsed by North American and
European medical societies and published between 1991 and 1999.
Guidelines were for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive lung
disease, cardiovascular disease, heart failure, depression, diabetes, peptic
ulcers, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis and pneumonia.
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