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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Doctor raises conflict of interest questions on pregnancy study

By Carey Goldberg, Globe Staff

Late last month, Journal Watch, a publication for doctors seeking quick highlights of recent research, published an overview of an important question: whether pregnant women should take antidepressants.

Headlined "Antidepressants during Pregnancy: Treating the
Condition While Acknowledging the Risks
," it was written by Dr. Claudio N. Soares.

Today, Dr. Adam Urato, a Tufts assistant professor and obstetrician at New England Medical Center, sent The Globe a copy of a complaint he has just filed with the journal's editors, saying that the piece downplayed the potential dangers of antidepressants during pregnancy, and failed to adequately disclose that Soares had received payments from at least six drugmakers.

Journal Watch is published by the Massachusetts Medical Society, which also publishes the New England Journal of Medicine.

In an e-mail to the Globe, Urato said that Journal Watch "shouldn't be running one-sided editorials on antidepressants in pregnancy without notifying readers that the author is paid by the antidepressant manufacturers."

Dr. Sandra Ann Carson, Editor-in-Chief of Journal Watch, Women's Health, responded to a Globe query:

"Dr. Urato has mistakenly overlooked the disclosures by Dr. Soares at
http://womens-health.jwatch.org/misc/board_disclosures.dtl#dSoares.
Journal Watch's conflict-of-interest policy is publicly available at
http://www.jwatch.org/misc/conflict.dtl."

Sandra Jacobs, spokeswoman for the publishing division of the Massachusetts Medical Society, said that the site is in the process of being restructured to make financial disclosures more obvious.


Posted by Karen Weintraub at 03:34 PM
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