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October 26, 1994

More Conflicts of Interest: Review Articles Sponsored by the Pharmaceutical Industry-Reply

JAMA. 1994;272(16):1254. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520160037033

In Reply.  —Dr Nahata suggests that honoraria received in support of writing review articles be disclosed as part of the biomedical publishing process.The proposal is consistent with the general practice of disclosure so that readers can effectively evaluate information. Such disclosure is consistent with the promotional practice guidelines adopted by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America member companies.We have commented on an abuse of the system, in which prominent physicians are paid to allow their names to be added to reviews entirely written by ghost authors hired by pharmaceutical companies.1 Since those whose names appear are not authors, and those who did the writing remain anonymous, none of the criteria for authorship are satisfied, and the principle that named authors are entirely responsible for published articles is flouted.2Ed.