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Study identifies wide-spread conflict of interest in medical journal articles

Dr. Marcia Angell, a former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine described the study--which she was not associated with--as "one more indication of the widespread corruption of the medical profession by industry money."  The study, published on the website of the Archives of Internal Medicine, identified 32 doctors and researchers who were paid at least $1 million dollars in 2007 and published research articles in medical journals the following year.  More than half did not disclose their (obviously significant) financial support from medical device makers and likely conflict of interest.  The research relied heavily upon government-initiated disclosure records of consultant and royalty payments totaling more than $250 million dollars made by five medical device manufacturers, including DePuy Orthopaedics, Stryker, Biomet, Zimmer and Smith & Nephew.  Of that total, $114 million dollars was paid to only 41 doctors, of whom 32 wrote or co-authored orthopaedic articles the following year.  25 of the 32 doctors did not disclose these massive payments "some or all of the time" and 51% never mentioned financial ties with the device manufacturer paying them as a consultant.
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