Only 37% of physician authors disclosed conflicts of interest, study in 'JAMA Surgery' finds

A study, published in JAMA Surgery, found a significant discrepancy between self-declared conflicts of interest and the actual conflicts of interests for authors who received industry payments.

Researchers examined payment information from the CMS Open Payments Database. They selected the 10 physicians with the highest compensation from 10 companies, including Medtronic, Stryker, Intuitive Surgical, Covidien, Edwards Lifesciences, Ethicon, Olympus Corp., Gore & Associates, Life-Cell and Baxter Health.

The 100 physicians included in the study were paid a total of $12,446,969.

Here's what researchers found:

  • All together, the physicians published 412 articles in 2016.
  • Of those articles, 225 were relevant to the general payments received by the authors.
  • Authors only declared conflicts of interest in 84 of the 225 relevant publications.

"A high level of inconsistency was found between self-declared COI and the OPD among the physicians receiving the highest industry payments. Therefore, a policy of full disclosure for all publications, regardless of relevance, is proposed," study authors said.

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