Author + information
- Gabe Vorobiof, MD⁎ ()
- ↵⁎Cardiovascular Imaging Section, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 75 Francis Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02115
It is with interest that I read the expedited publication on the recently enacted “black box” warnings on perflutren-containing ultrasound contrast agents in the December 18/25, 2007 issue of the Journal (1).
After reading the informative piece, which I believe enhanced my understanding on the issue at hand, I glanced over the authors' conflict-of-interest information near the bottom of the page (i.e., the fine print). I was surprised to find that 2 of the 3 authors are paid consultants of Bristol-Myers Squibb Medical Imaging (who manufactures Definity), and all 3 have some form of financial involvement in the field of perflutren-containing ultrasound contrast agents. Although I have no issues with the decision to publish this timely information, I cannot comprehend why an opinion piece is solicited from authors who have direct financial relationships with the companies manufacturing the products in question.
Does anyone read the conflict-of-interest fine print? And if not, what is its purpose? I believe stricter journal policies need to be established for publication of opinion pieces that specifically focus on scrutinizing authors' financial relationships with drug and device manufacturers. How else is the average, unseasoned reader meant to appreciate the degree to which, if any, these authors' comments have been altered or encouraged by their conflicted interests?
- American College of Cardiology Foundation