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September 17, 1997

Bioequivalence of Levothyroxine Preparations: Issues of Science, Publication, and Advertising

JAMA. 1997;278(11):896. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550110034020

To the Editor.  —Dr Rennie's1 impassioned plea for honesty is exceptional. He believes that the corrupting influence of money and gifts on institutions and researchers who accept research contracts from pharmaceutical companies could be mitigated by standards set up by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Association of American Universities. Yet it is clear from the almost universal acceptance of books, instruments, free dinners, free travel, honoraria for giving grand rounds, and all the other lucre provided by the pharmaceutical companies that their influence is too pervasive to be resolved by standards set up by "prestigious societies."Rather than have the individual pharmaceutical companies directly fund research, all of the money for independent investigations should be pooled. The funds could then be given to an independent agency, perhaps one modeled after the Consumers Union. This strategy would at least begin to ensure that the funding for research and even for