Should research ethics committees police reporting bias?

BMJ 2017; 356: j1501
Authors: Simon E Kolstoe, Daniel R Shanahan, Janet Wisely
“Progress through the application of science cannot be achieved if the results of scientific studies are not communicated appropriately. This is particularly relevant in medical research, where experiments are often conducted on human volunteers. Expensive new innovations cannot be produced without returns for investigators, but the distortion of the evidence base by long term withholding of data, either for financial gain or simply through negligence, can do real harm to patients.”
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“I’m Willing To Try Anything”: Compassionate Use Access To Experimental Drugs And The Misguided Mission Of Right-To-Try Laws

Health Affairs Blog, 27 March 2017
Authors: Amy Scharf, Elizabeth Dzeng
“Beneath its seemingly altruistic and uncontroversial veneer, the Compassionate Use program has been a lightning rod for intense legal, legislative, and public policy controversies, many of which have been framed as ‘libertarian vs. regulatory’ battles between those who wish to allow patients freer, even unrestricted, access to experimental drugs (often by changing or limiting the role of the FDA), and those who prefer a more measured, rigorous approach to dispensing unproven and potentially dangerous therapies.”
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Prescription Drug Regulation, Promotion, And Advocacy Has Gotten More Vexing In 2017

Health Affairs Blog, 23 March 2017
Author: Jerry Avorn
“Early 2017 has been one of the most interesting and challenging times for anyone concerned with medication regulation and evidence-based prescribing — as well as for the patients and health care professionals who will be so heavily impacted recent policy changes.”
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Scope of practice largely undefined

MJA Insight, 20 March 2017
Author: Sue Ieraci
“Most people working in medicine are familiar with the term “scope of practice”, but many of us may not have thought much about how guidelines are developed or regulated. As more intra- and inter-professional problems occur, however, we may find that the structures for doing so are not as robust as we may hope.”
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Conflict of Interest in Seminal Hepatitis C Virus and Cholesterol Management Guidelines

JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(3):352-357.
Authors: Akilah A. Jefferson, Steven D. Pearson
“Neither the cholesterol guideline nor the hepatitis C virus guideline fully met the IOM standards for commercial COI management, and discordance between committee leader guideline disclosures and those in contemporaneous articles was common. Adherence to additional IOM standards for guideline development and evidence review was mixed. Adoption of consistent COI frameworks across specialty societies may help ensure that clinical guidelines are developed in a transparent and trustworthy manner.”
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No doubt about it: smokefree laws cut heart attacks in big way

The Conversation, 7 March 2017
Author: Stanton Glantz
“There is strong and consistent evidence that exposure to secondhand smoke causes heart attacks and that smokefree workplace and public place laws cut heart attacks (and other diseases). The most recent evidence comes from a large study in Sao Paolo, Brazil, where heart attack deaths dropped by 12 percent following implementation of its smokefree law.”
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How We Are Manipulated To Believe New Is Better When It Comes To Our Health

Forbes, 2 March 2017
Author: Robert Pearl
“What struck me was that neither medical device story presented convincing evidence that the product would make a real difference in outcomes for patients. Yet both medical devices were backed by investors with billion-dollar expectations. The applications were clever, but the promises made and the media coverage provided far surpassed what the research demonstrated.”
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Guidelines to Limit Added Sugar Intake: Junk Science or Junk Food?

Ann Intern Med. 2017; 166(4): 305-306.
Authors: Dean Schillinger, Cristin Kearns
“When it comes to added sugars, there are clear conflicts between public health interests and the interests of the food and beverage (F&B) industry. Studies are more likely to conclude there is no relationship between sugar consumption and health outcomes when investigators receive financial support from F&B companies. Industry documents show that the F&B industry has manipulated research on sugars for public relations purposes. Erickson and colleagues report a systematic review of the scientific basis of guidelines on sugar intake, providing another occasion for concern about these conflicts.”
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The Scientific Basis of Guideline Recommendations on Sugar Intake: A Systematic Review

Ann Intern Med. 2017;166(4):257-267.
Authors: Jennifer Erickson, Behnam Sadeghirad, Lyubov Lytvyn, Joanne Slavin, Bradley C. Johnston
“Guidelines on dietary sugar do not meet criteria for trustworthy recommendations and are based on low-quality evidence. Public health officials (when promulgating these recommendations) and their public audience (when considering dietary behavior) should be aware of these limitations.”
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