Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Editor's Choice

Turning the tide on conflicts of interest

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 10 August 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5147

Rapid Response:

Isn't there an easier way to control COIs . . . albeit radically different from the current SOP?

Considering the various interests and views expressed in the Rapid
Responses to Dr. Godlee's editorial (BMJ 2011
343:d5147doi:10.1136/bmj.d5147) at issue, why not let all and sundry
express whatever they wish . . . on condition that they make available the
original data of the research about which they are editorializing
favorably or unfavorably? Interested readers can then independently assess
the accuracy of those who are editorializing. I believe that opinions
about reported findings based on data and analysis beyond the reach of
replication are not only cheap but invite bias and distortion. How could
it be otherwise? "Whose bread I eat, his praise I sing."

Surely, the
research of AW Chan, et al. provides strong documentation of the bias that
exists between commercial sponsorship and reported findings. See: Chan AW,
Hrobjartsson A, Haahr MT, Gotzsche PC, Altman DG, 'Empirical evidence for
selective reporting of outcomes in randomized trials: comparison of
protocols to published articles', Journal of the American Medical
Association, vol. 291, no. 20, 2004, pp. 2457-2465, available at [accessed on
September 7, 2006]; Chan AW, Altman DG, 'Identifying outcome reporting
bias in randomized trials on PubMed: review of publications and survey of
authors', British Medical Journal, vol. 330, no. 7494, 2005, pp. 1-6,
doi:10.1136/bmj.38356.424606.8F, available at
[accessed on September 7, 2006]; Chan AW, Krieza-Jeric K, Schmid I, Altman
DG, 'Outcome reporting bias in randomized trials funded by the Canadian
Institutes of Health Research', Canadian Medical Association Journal, vol.
171, no. 7, 2004, pp. 735-740, available at [accessed on September 7,

Competing interests: No competing interests

23 August 2011
John H. Noble, Jr.
Professor Emeritus, SUNY/Buffalo