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August 27, 2008

Guest Authorship, Mortality Reporting, and Integrity in Rofecoxib Studies

JAMA. 2008;300(8):900-906. doi:10.1001/jama.300.8.904-a

To the Editor: The Editorial by Drs DeAngelis and Fontanarosa1 addressed publication policies and scientific ethics. We agree with many of the concerns expressed and with many of the proposed solutions. We have serious disagreement, however, about the recommendation to hold authors from for-profit companies and academic or government authors to different professional standards. Drs DeAngelis and Fontanarosa have previously argued that industry could submit biased reports favoring their products.2 The argument that, because someone in a specified group could take a certain action, everyone in the group is suspect is unfair. The implied assumption that academic investigators are immune to outside influences is also unwarranted.