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Current guidance for medical journals allows industry input to remain hidden, critic says

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 09 August 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5132
  1. Stephen Ginn
  1. 1BMJ

International guidelines for medical journals are too lax and enable drug companies to conceal their contributions to scientific papers, says a personal view published in PLoS Medicine (doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001072).

Alastair Matheson, who has worked as a consultant and freelance writer for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries for more than 15 years, says that the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors need to be “fundamentally revised,” because they fail to differentiate clearly between authors and contributors.

The guidelines identify authors as those who have contributed to the preparation of a study at three stages, the third of which is the final sign-off. As long as researchers make some …

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