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ResourcesResearch IntegrityFinancial Conflicts of Interest Among Authors of Urology Clinical Practice Guidelines (Papers: Austin Carlisle, et al | September 2018)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Financial Conflicts of Interest Among Authors of Urology Clinical Practice Guidelines (Papers: Austin Carlisle, et al | September 2018)

 


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Abstract
Background
Recent studies have highlighted the presence of disclosed and undisclosed financial conflicts of interest among authors of clinical practice guidelines.

Objective
We sought to determine to what extent urology guideline authors receive and report industry payments in accordance with the Physician Payment Sunshine Act.

Design, setting, and participants
We selected the 13 urology guidelines that were published by the American Urological Association (AUA) after disclosure was mandated by the Physician Payment Sunshine Act. Payments received by guideline authors were searched independently by two investigators using the Open Payments database.

Outcome measures and statistical analysis
Our primary outcome measure was the number of authors receiving payments from industry, stratified by amount thresholds. Our secondary outcome measure was the number of authors with accurate conflict of interest disclosure statements.

Results and limitations
We identified a total of 54 author disclosures. Thirty-two authors (59.3%) received at least one payment from industry. Twenty (37.0%) received >$10 000 and six (11.1%) received >$50 000. Median total payments were $578 (interquartile range $0–19 228). Twenty (37.0%) disclosure statements were inaccurate. Via Dollars for Docs, we identified $74 195.13 paid for drugs and devices directly related to guideline recommendations. We were limited in our ability to determine when authors began working on guideline panels, as this information was not provided, and by the lack of specificity in Dollars for Docs.

Conclusions
Many of the AUA guideline authors received payments from industry, some in excess of $50 000. A significant portion of disclosure statements were inaccurate, indicating a need for more stringent enforcement of the AUA disclosure policy.

Patient summary
Pharmaceutical company payments to doctors have been shown to influence how doctors treat patients. If these doctors are charged with making clinical recommendations to other doctors, in the form of clinical practice guidelines, the issue of industry payments becomes more severe. We found that many urologists on guideline panels receive money from industry and that a significant portion did not disclose all payments received.

Carlisle, A., et al. (2018). “Financial Conflicts of Interest Among Authors of Urology Clinical Practice Guidelines.” European Urology 74(3): 348-354.
Publisher (Open Access): https://www.europeanurology.com/action/showCitFormats?pii=S0302-2838%2818%2930329-4&doi=10.1016%2Fj.eururo.2018.04.023



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