Marketing to Professionals: We Asked, They Told - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Marketing to Professionals: We Asked, They Told
Editors tell us how their readers react to pharma-funded research.

Pharmaceutical Executive



Judith M. Orvos, Els
Editor


Contemporary OB/GYN
WITHOUT A DOUBT, the answer is yes. Results from randomized clinical trials impact the way physicians practice. Readers of medical journals cannot place such reports into the proper context without complete information about the research. That includes not only the methods and results, but also the credentials of the investigators and their funding sources. Full disclosure of such information is the only way physicians can judge the credibility of research underwritten by the pharmaceutical industry.

GERIATRICS Janice T. Radak

Editor-In-Chief


Janice T. Radak
IT MATTERS DRAMATICALLY to some, some could care less—and that's probably the point of disclosure.


Geriatrics
Case in point was a recent cover story by an expert who received consulting fees from the drug manufacturer. Our peer reviewers allowed the story because a) the author disclosed his relationship, b) he was the pre-eminent expert on the drug and c) he agreed to make all corrections personally. The peer reviewers felt, as long as the author agreed to those conditions, we shouldn't pass up the opportunity to have the expert write on the drug, simply because he was a consultant to the manufacturer. After all, to be the premier expert, he has to have that inside knowledge.

We received a letter calling the article a conflict of interest. The letter said that even though the physician was an expert in the disease state and the drug, in the letter writer's mind, acceptance of personal financial benefits from industry inherently compromised the expert's credibility.

We're never going to get around this issue. But the people for whom it bothers bring to the table a healthy skepticism and that makes everybody examine the process and keeps it above board. Skepticism and science go hand-in-hand.

DIABETES CARE Mayer Davidson, MD

Editor-in-Chief

WE JUDGE MANUSCRIPTS submitted for publication by three criteria regardless of source of funding.

1. Good science (most important)

2. new or relatively new information


Diabetes Care
3. clinical relevance (current or near term).

Although most don't care about who funds the studies, a few are concerned that the studies are set up to enhance a positive result. That doesn't mean that they are not carried out well, but that the importance of the result is suspect for clinical care. But we have to leave it up to the reader to interpret the results and draw their own conclusions.


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