New Study Reveals Financial Conflict of Interest in Drug Prescription Guidelines

According to an article published in the Wall St. Journal, researchers and physicians who write the rules on prescribing drugs have extensive financial interest in the pharmaceutical industry. The study undertaken by Nature revealed that more than 1/3 of the authors writing the prescription guidelines had substantial links to the relevant drug companies. In one case, every panel member charged with writing such guidelines had been paid by the company manufacturing the drug. Public health officials say the links with pharmaceutical links are more worrying than the financial conflicts known to plague clinical trials and reviews because the guidelines have such a direct effect on the drugs that doctors prescribe. This conflict of interest is a huge public health hazard and once again demonstrates the industry’s need to be monitored by an independent agency whose only compelling interest is the welfare of the public.