Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor
In Reply: Dr Henley raises
important concerns about the scientific process. For any study, readers
and peer reviewers must critically scrutinize the methods for validity
and search for potential biases. However, governmental or nonprofit
funding does not eliminate biases or conflicts of interest. Governments
are often mindful of the implications of their studies and
recommendations on limited resources and on politics. Professional
organizations sometimes reflect the needs of their membership. These
conflicts of interest can be complex; for example, an investigator
working on a competing product could provide a harsh editorial, a
biased manuscript review, or an unfavorable grant application review.
Investigators, reviewers, and editors should disclose the existence of
potential biases. Readers should consider the biases and their
potential effects and interpret studies accordingly.
Wong JB, Koff RS, Pauker SG. Cost-effectiveness of Interferon Treatment for Hepatitis C—Reply. JAMA. 1999;281(22):2083-2084. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-281-22-jbk0609