When a scientist or doctor has a financial conflict of interest, open disclosure in scientific publications might actually backfire and make bias worse, warn the editors of PLoS Medicine in an editorial out yesterday April 24. Furthermore, disclosure policies in general do nothing to confront the issues of the conflicts of interest themselves, they write.
Category: Conflict of interest
I don’t oppose the disclosures of industry payment to physicians, but I’m skeptical that they will have the purifying effect that its proponents promise. Remember, we’re not outlawing corporate payments. A disclosure doesn’t eliminate a potential conflict of interest; it only announces it. Ethical physicians behave ethically because they are wired to do so, not because they disclose payments and gifts.