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October 7, 1998

Industry Affiliations and Scientific Conclusions

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;280(13):1141-1142. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-280-13-jbk1007

To the Editor: The conclusion of Ms Barnes and Dr Bero1 that review articles that exculpate passive smoking are written overwhelmingly by authors with some tie to the tobacco industry appears reasonable based on their data.

However, the authors also state that "investigators have found that original research articles that acknowledge sponsorship from the pharmaceutical industry . . . tend to draw pro-industry conclusions." Among the cited articles is one by Cho and Bero2 that examined only articles from symposia sponsored by single drug companies. From this sample the authors concluded that "articles with drug company support are more likely . . . to have outcomes favoring the drug of interest." A second article3 cited to support the claim states that "we report on only manufacturer-sponsored trials."