Entanglements of conflicts of interest in health care news

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The Integrity in Science Watch project of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, in this week’s e-newsletter, has two different but related “jeers” for failure to disclose conflicts in two different health journalism efforts. Their posting:

Jeer to the National Press Foundation for an omission on its agenda for the Oct. 23 forum for journalists on “The New Understanding of Pain,â€? which was funded in part by the unit of Johnson & Johnson that makes pain medications. The agenda does not disclose that presenters Howard Heit of Georgetown Medical School and Aaron Gilson of the University of Wisconsin have consulted for Purdue Pharma, maker of the controversial pain medication OxyContin, and other manufacturers of pain medications.

Jeer to Erik Eckholm and Olga Pierce of the New York Times for failing to disclose in an August 15, 2008 article on methadone risks that Howard Heit of Georgetown Medical School, who is quoted warning about those risks, has served as a consultant for Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, a rival drug.

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