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WHO admits to “inconsistencies” in its policy on conflicts of interest

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c3167 (Published 15 June 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c3167
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

    The World Health Organization has admitted that its policies governing the publication of conflicts of interests of its expert advisers have “inconsistencies” and that safeguards “surrounding engagements with industry” need to be tightened.

    The agency was responding to criticisms of its handling of the swine flu pandemic in an investigation by the BMJ and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and a report from the Council of Europe published last week.

    The joint BMJ and bureau investigation found that key scientists advising WHO on planning for a flu pandemic had done paid work for drug firms that stood to gain from the guidance and that the agency had not declared these conflicts of interests (BMJ 2010;340:c2912, 3 Jun, doi:10.1136/bmj.c2912). In addition, …

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