In Reply: Dr Kimball's argument that physicians deserve some mechanism for correcting factual errors in disclosed information about their financial ties is a reasonable one. In the context of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, such mechanisms should presumably involve the companies that are responsible for providing payment data to the Department of Health and Human Services. We take issue, however, with the assumption that requirements for disclosure of physicians' financial relationships imply a negative normative judgment about the legitimacy of those relationships. Disclosure mandates are not motivated by a desire to “out” physicians who have financial relationships with industry. Rather, they should be seen simply as serving the purpose of transparency. Patients, research participants, and consumers of the medical literature deserve access to material information about the interests of physicians and investigators as they make decisions about care, research, and the interpretation of scientific findings. Back to top Article Information Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Both authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest. Drs Carpenter and Joffe reported receiving grants from the National Center for Research Resources through Harvard Catalyst (Clinical and Translational Science Center). Dr Carpenter also reported receiving grants from the Safra Center for Ethics and Alfred Sloan Foundation. Dr Joffe reported also receiving grant support from the Greenwall Foundation Faculty Scholar Program and serving as a paid member of a data monitoring committee for Genzyme Corporation.
JAMA – American Medical Association
Published: Sep 14, 2011