$368M+ in undisclosed spine journal industry contributions found in study; researchers want transparency


Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center are advocating for more transparency from spine journal authors after finding more than $368 million in undisclosed industry contributions in a recent study, according to News-Medical.

Financial conflict of interests were studied in Spine and two other spine journals between 2014 and 2017, including almost 40,000 authors and 6,800 articles.

The conflict of interests were compared with CMS' Open Payments Database, which requires pharmaceutical, medical device and biological products manufacturers to report all physician payments of more than $10.

Researchers found 15.8 percent of spine surgery authors had payments reported in the CMS database.

Undisclosed payments comprised $180 million in researcher funding and $188 million in royalties, and made up 22 percent of the $1.9 billion received by authors during the four-year period.

Spine had about 77 percent of study authors accurately disclose payments, compared to just over 40 percent for the other two journals, according to the study.

Researchers suggested searching public databases such as the Open Payments Database to verify financial ties between authors and industry before publishing.

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