One in four medical researchers fail to declare conflict of interest

For anyone who has ever wondered why 47 XXY/Klinefelter research is biased in favour of masculinity, testosterone and fertility treatments, then look no further than this revelation published in The Journal of General Internal Medicine.

One in four Australian medical researchers fails to declare important conflicts of interest in medical trials, such as payments from big pharma companies, a new study claims.

Big pharma money has frequently been shown to influence trials – making them more likely to find what the companies want – but science continues to rely on an honour system by asking researchers to declare their conflicts of interest.

The researchers cross-checked drug company payments made to researchers, available on the Medicines Australia database, with the authors’ self-reported conflicts.

It found that of 323 Australian authors listed in the trials, one quarter had at least one “missing or incomplete conflict of interest declaration”.

Bond University researcher Dr Ray Moynihan, who studies the link between money and medicine, said the research showed a “lack of rigour from the journals and authors that these things aren’t being declared”.

“One of the fundamental problems for medicine and healthcare is that so much of science is funded by companies who have a vested interest in the outcome of the studies,” he said.

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