Financial Conflicts of Interest Prevalent Among Clinical Practice Guideline Authors
There is a high prevalence of financial conflicts of interest among authors of clinical practice guidelines related to high-revenue medications and in gastroenterology.
HealthDay News — There is a high prevalence of financial conflicts of interest among authors of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) related to high-revenue medications and in gastroenterology, according to two research letters published online Oct. 29 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Rishad Khan, from St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, and colleagues quantified the presence and extent of undeclared industry payments among authors of CPGs. The researchers identified 18 CPGs, written by 160 U.S.-based physicians, that provided recommendations for 10 high-revenue medications. Overall, 49.4 percent of the authors declared receipt of a payment in the CPG or supplemental materials; 31.3 percent declared receipt of payments from companies marketing one of the 10 high-revenue medications recommended in the CPG. An additional 25.6 percent had received but not disclosed receipt of payments from companies marketing one of these 10 high-revenue medications.
Tyler R. Combs, from Oklahoma State University in Tulsa, and colleagues examined industry payments received by and financial conflict of interest (FCOI) disclosure practices of 83 authors of 15 gastroenterology CPGs. The researchers found that 53 percent of the authors received industry payments; per CPG, a median of 50 percent of guideline authors had FCOIs. The median total payment received by guideline authors was $1,000. Only 19 percent of authors both disclosed FCOIs in the CPG and had received payments according to the OpenPayments database (OPD) or had disclosed no FCOIs and had received no payments according to OPD.
"Financial conflicts of interest in clinical practice guidelines remain an intractable problem in the United States, and improvement is unlikely without decisive actions," write the authors of an accompanying editorial.
Two authors from the Khan letter disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.