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Hypertension society turns down COI panel

Here's an interesting article in the Boston Globe about the American Society of Hypetension rejecting a panel discussion on conflicts of interest. The CME committee decided that, with the invited panelists being notable critics of the current system, it would be too biased. From the article:

    [former New England Journal of Medicine editor Dr. Marcia Angell] Angell, [Dr. Jerry Avorn, a Brigham and Women's Hospital physician and Harvard Medical School professor] Avorn, and [Dr. Jerome Kassirer, a former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine] Kassirer were invited to take part in the panel about conflicts of interest by Jean E. Sealey, a researcher and former president-elect of the American Society of Hypertension. Sealey has said the drug industry wields too much influence over the society's activities through its financial contributions to the group and by paying for honoraria, speakers fees, grants, and research contracts with individual doctors...

    The group said in a statement that it sent Sealey's panel proposal to its continuing medical education review committee, which determined Sealey's plan to limit the panel to three prominent drug industry critics lacked balance. It suggested adding a Food and Drug Administration official to the roster, but Sealey refused.

This isn't the first time the society has run into trouble over conflicts of interest (click here and here for some history on the topic.)

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