Transdermal nicotine system for smoking cessation
ACP J Club. 1993 Mar-April;118:62. doi:10.7326/ACPJC-1993-118-2-062
To the Editor
An article published by the Transdermal Nicotine Study Group (Transdermal Nicotine System for Smoking Cessation) was abstracted and reviewed by ACP Journal Club (1). Because one of the authors is a friend, my attention was drawn to the comments of the reviewer. When this study was published, the authors carefully disclosed their financial relationships to the sponsoring pharmaceutical company. In his discussion the reviewer stated, ". . . 10 of the authors are identified as employees and stockholders . . . and 11 others have received honoraria and consultant fees from the maker . . ." He added, "Special precautions are needed to safeguard both the fact and appearance of objectivity in such cases." I am disturbed by the reviewer's implication. Although conflict of interest is a potential problem in sponsored research, we need to encourage such disclosures rather than impugn the authors and the results of those who make them known. It seems to me that relationships to sponsors of which we are unaware are potentially more of a problem than those few cases where full disclosure has occurred.
Rowen K. Zetterman, MD
University of Nebraska Medical Center
1. Bronson DL. Commentary on "Transdermal Nicotine System for Smoking Cessation." ACP J Club. 1992 May-June:80 (Ann Intern Med. vol 116, suppl 3). Comment on: Transdermal Nicotine Study Group. Transdermal nicotine for smoking cessation. Six-month results from two multicenter controlled clinical trials. JAMA. 1991;266:3133-8.