Websites on screening for breast cancer:Not all advocacy groups receive industry fundingBMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7442.769-c (Published 25 March 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:769
- Georgana Hanson, clearinghouse coordinator ()
EDITOR—Jørgensen and Gøtzsche explored the relation between corporate funding and the presentation and dissemination of health information.1 As an organisation dedicated to providing a critical analysis of women's health issues, the National Women's Health Network recognises the important influence such funding can have over those who provide consumers and policy makers with health information.
I would, however, like to comment on and correct how the National Women's Health Network was categorised in the study. The authors placed us in the advocacy group category: “general purpose is to promote the interests of patients and their relatives.” Although we are an advocacy group, we are also a consumer group: “general aim is to assess the quality of the health care services that are offered to patients and citizens.” We are something of a hybrid and can be difficult to categorise.
I am concerned, however, that the authors said that all 13 advocacy groups included in the study accepted industry funding. The National Women's Health Network has maintained a strict “no industry” funding policy since its inception in 1975. This policy has allowed the network to remain independent and has earned us a reputation as one of the few organisations that provide accurate and reliable information on women's health, free from industry influence.
Competing interests None declared