Medical Journal Conflict of Interest Disclosure and Other Issues

Author disclosure of financial associations with commercial entities that have an interest in the research published in medical journals is common practice. The information provided in the disclosure helps readers assess the degree of commercial influence over the work. Recently, however, differing journal policies have led to unintentional omissions and there have been calls for medical journals to standardize their conflict of interest policies.


The New Placebo: Prescribing Positive Expectations with Real Drugs

A recent study finds that many U.S. doctors regularly prescribe placebo treatments in the form of real drugs for medical care [1]. Most physicians surveyed view this practice as ethically permissible. The study also finds that many physicians are not fully transparent regarding the use of placebo treatments, and most commonly describe the placebo treatment to patients as a potentially beneficial medicine or treatment not typically used for their condition.