This week, HealthNewsReview published a terrific new primer on conflicts of interest in healthcare, academics, public relations & journalism.
The editors write:
* “Healthcare is big business, and conflicts of interest are pervasive. Who stands to gain what is always an important question to ask–whether you’re a journalist or a healthcare consumer. But as we’ve found, many financial relationships are obscured or not ever reported, so it can be very hard to answer that question.”
Among the compilation of posts:
* “The first of a four-part series responding to the New England Journal of Medicine’s call to “reinterpret” industry–physician relations. Many were troubled to see one of the most respected and influential journals in medicine downplay the impact of industry money in health care. They wondered how the NEJM could overlook the enormous amount of unethical and illegal behavior that industry conflicts have contributed to. Our response exposes the poor logic that underlies the NEJM series, and points to the vast body of literature (largely overlooked by NEJM) that attests to the negative impact of physician conflicts of interest on medicine and medical journals.”
* “Why did the University of Maryland issue a news release claiming that a certain brand of chocolate milk could help with recovery from concussions … and then clam up when we asked to see the data? Our pursuit of that question led the university to launch an institutional investigation that uncovered flawed research, undisclosed donations from a dairy company totaling some $200,000, and a failure to understand the potential for conflict when partnering with a private company.”