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Amid ongoing concerns over conflicts of interest that may affect medical practice, a new analysis finds that 81% of authors whose work appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine and Journal of the American Medical Association — two of the most influential medical journals — failed to disclose payments as required.

The analysis examined 31 original research articles that were published in each journal in 2017 and then identified 118 authors who received a total of $7.48 million, according to OpenPayments, a U.S. government database to which drug and device makers must report payments to physicians and other health care providers. The payments were for speaking, consulting, travel and food, among other things.


Of the 118 authors, a dozen did not receive any payments. Of the 106 authors who did receive payments, the amounts ranged from $6.36 to nearly $1.49 million. And the 23 most highly compensated authors received $6.32 million, of which $3 million — or 47.6% — was undisclosed, according to the analysis, which was recently posted on the medRxiv preprint server, but not yet peer-reviewed.

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