A series of articles in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) recently questioned whether the conflict of interest movement has gone too far in its campaign to stop the drug industry influencing the medical profession (for example, see here).
In direct response to these articles, three former senior NEJM editors have written a critical essay in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) this week.
The essay starts as follows: “A seriously flawed and inflammatory attack on conflict of interest policies and regulations appeared recently in a most unexpected location: the venerable and trusted New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). In a series of rambling articles, one of the journal’s national correspondents, Lisa Rosenbaum, supported by the editor in chief, Jeffrey Drazen, tried to rationalise financial conflicts of interest in the medical profession. As former senior editors of the NEJM, we find it sad that the medical journal that first called attention to the problem of financial conflicts of interest among physicians would now backtrack so dramatically and indulge in personal attacks on those who disagree.”.
The full text of the article can be read here.