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July 7, 1993

Unfunded Research? I Am Shocked, Shocked!

Author Affiliations

University of Louisville (Ky) School of Medicine

JAMA. 1993;270(1):43. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510010049016

To the Editor.  —We read with great interest the article by Stein et al1 on funding of medical research. Their data show that 7% of the surveyed published work was not directly funded; all other aspects of their discussion are speculative, and many of their conclusions are rooted in unsupported assumptions. Most troubling is their assumption that unfunded research is more likely to be unethical. In fact, scientific misconduct is most frequently reported in well-funded groups. While we concede that some investigators may attempt to take advantage of patients or third-party payment systems, we do not believe that availability of funding is the determinant of this behavior. It is certainly clear that the study design of Stein et al does not address this issue adequately.