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February 15, 1995

Are the Peers Peers?-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of California, San Francisco

JAMA. 1995;273(7):523-524. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520310014015

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In Reply.  —The statement by Dr Gruder and colleagues that tobacco policy applications were funded by the TRDRP at a higher rate than applications as a whole is misleading. By our count, in the last review cycle only two tobacco policy grants were funded (out of a total of five submissions), and one of these was a grant application submitted by Dr Bero, which had the policy components of the proposal deleted by the study section. This compares with 90 funded grants out of 391 applications for nonpolicy grants. One of our points was that the inappropriate selection of peers discouraged submission of policy grants.We were, nonetheless, surprised that Gruder et al criticized our article, because he and his colleagues at TRDRP had already taken affirmative steps to remedy the problems in the peer review process we identified. In particular, last year TRDRP convened a new study section to

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