Research plagued by financial conflicts
07 Jan 2011
Financial conflicts of interest are common in research, and procedures intended to reduce their impact are poorly adhered to. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Trials polled 844 researchers based in Canada about their experiences of conflicts, finding that 269 had personally experienced or witnessed such an event.
Paula Rochon, vice-president, Senior Scientist at Women's College Research Institute, Toronto, Canada, worked with a team of researchers to carry out the email survey. She said, "Of 1109 eligible investigators at Canadian sites, 844 responded. 236 of these had witnessed a financial conflict of interest situation, and 76% of these were related to industry-funded trials. The most frequently described situations related to recruitment pressures".
Adherence to preferred practices was generally poor, with less than half of the respondents reporting full compliance, but was at its highest when they were required by an external agent. Speaking about the results, Rochon said, "Our study is the first to obtain information directly from investigators about practices related to financial conflicts. Guidance introduced early in the Design of the trial could introduce changes regarding trail preparation, conduct, and dissemination that would reduce potential effects of investigator financial conflicts of interest."
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Notes to Editors
Investigator Experiences with Financial Conflicts of Interest in Clinical Trials
Paula A. Rochon, Melanie Sekeres, John Hoey, Joel Lexchin, Lorraine E. Ferris, David Moher, Wei Wu, Sunila R. Kalkar, Marleen Van Laethem, Andrea Gruneir, Jennifer Gold, James Maskalyk, David L. Streiner, Nathan Taback and An Wen Chan
Trials (in press)
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Trials is an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal that will encompass all aspects of the performance and findings of randomized controlled trials. Trials will experiment with, and then refine, innovative approaches to improving communication about trials. We are keen to move beyond publishing traditional trial results articles (although these will be included). We believe this represents an exciting opportunity to advance the science and reporting of trials. Prior to 2006, Trials was published as Current Controlled Trials in Cardiovascular Medicine (CCTCVM). All published CCTCVM articles are available via the Trials website and citations to CCTCVM article URLs will continue to be supported.
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