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Over the past seven years, a top editor at a medical journal devoted to obesity research received $1.2 million from companies that sold or were developing prescription weight-loss treatments, raising concerns about how potential conflicts of interest among those with especially influential roles in academic publishing are treated.

During that time, Obesity associate editor-in-chief Donna Ryan co-authored a paper describing the added benefits of a diabetes treatment sold by a company that paid her the bulk of those fees. The same company paid a communications firm to provide writing assistance. She also co-authored an editorial praising the pricing approach taken by a manufacturer with which she had a financial relationship, although the effectiveness of the diet drug was modest. Unlike the paper, the editorial did not disclose her ties.

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