An editorial accompanying a JAMA thyroid drug study criticized private-sector funding of professional associations.
A recent editorial in JAMA-Journal of the American Medical Association that detailed the events surrounding the suppression of a pharmaceutical study has drawn attention to the relationship between scientific professional societies and sponsorship by private companies (D. Rennie, JAMA, 277:1238-43, 1997). In its April 16 issue, the journal published a long-subdued study that showed that a popular thyroid drug called Synthroid was no more potent than less costly formulations (B.J. Dong et al., JAMA, 277:1205-13, 1997). The editorial, which ran in the same issue, decried the growing trend of industry-sponsored research and called for professional societies to reexamine their relationship with the private sector. Yet society officials point out that there are already many conflict-of-interest safeguards in place.

RESTRICTIONS: JAMA deputy editor Drummond Rennie contends that to maintain credibility, societies should set...

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