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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

Publication standards for clinical research sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2003, vol.14, n.1, pp. 62-66. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892003000600018.

The role played by the private sector, in particular the pharmaceutical industry, in funding research has been growing at an accelerated pace in recent decades. So much so, in fact, that the private sector has become the primary funding source of clinical trials in some countries. As a result, pharmaceutical companies exercise ever-growing control over not only the design of clinical trials but also the publication of their results. The conflicts of interest involved in this kind of situation can lead to ethical breaches (for example, suppression or distortion of results or the intimidation of investigators), and it is crucial to take concrete steps to guard against such breaches. This is exactly what a Working Group made up of members of the pharmaceutical industry itself has done, preparing a series of guidelines for that industry in order to promote good publication practices. These guidelines, which were just recently published in English, represent an important step in efforts to achieve greater transparency and accountability in the presentation of results of research funded by manufacturers of pharmaceutical products. Although the guidelines, now translated into Spanish in this piece, are subject to future revisions, they are a valuable starting point for further discussion of a problem that deserves the urgent attention of the scientific community.

Keywords : etica; publicación científica; industria farmacéutica; conflicto de intereses.

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