In May 18, 2000, Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, wrote an editorial, “Is Academic Medicine for Sale?”, which began:
One year later, in 2001, Dr. Catherine DeAngelis, editor of JAMA, wrote a similar editorial, “Reporting Financial Conflicts of Interest and Relationships Between Investigators and Research Sponsors.” It began:
Almost echoing Dr. Angell, Dr. DeAngelis continued: “Since 1985, The Journal has requested authors to disclose financial interests related to the subject matter of their research and since 1989 has required authors to submit signed financial disclosure statements.”
Thus, the editors of two of the most prestigious medical journals in America, acknowledged several years ago that financial ties between Big Pharma and medical researchers has been a problem since the 1980s. Both editors were firm in their conviction that researchers must, at the very least, disclose their financial connections to Big Pharma.
Yet, over time, the problem has only gotten worse, with John Abramson, MD, and Barbara Starfield, MD, writing in the September–October 2005 edition of the Journal of the American Board of Family Practice (“The Effect of Conflict of Interest on Biomedical Research and Clinical Practice Guidelines: Can We Trust the Evidence in Evidence-Based Medicine?”)