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June 9, 1999

Cost-effectiveness of Interferon Treatment for Hepatitis C—Reply

Author Affiliations

Copyright 1999 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1999

JAMA. 1999;281(22):2083-2084. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-281-22-jbk0609

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.