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For the past decade, many medical journals have begun requiring contributors to disclose their conflicts of interest, but a new study finds that many journal editors — who are also doctors — themselves receive hefty payments from industry and most of their journals do a poor job of disclosing relevant policies.

To wit, the study found that, in 2014, half of 713 journal editors, whose payments were reported to a U.S. government database, had received something of value from drug or device makers, and nearly 10 percent had received research funding. While the median general payment was only $11, the range was large — from $0 to more than $2,900. And two editors received more than $1 million in payments.


The study also pointed out that editors who preside over high-impact journals in specialties, such as cardiology, gastroenterology, and endocrinology, received larger payments than the typical practicing physician in the same medical field. The study, which was published in BMJ, examined 52 medical journals drawn from 26 specialties.

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