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Editorial boards of dermatology journals and their potential financial conflict of interest

  • Author(s): Updyke, Katelyn M
  • Niu, Wei
  • St Claire, Chelsea
  • Schlager, Emma
  • Knabel, Michael
  • Leader, Nicholas F
  • Sacotte, Ryan M
  • Dunnick, Cory A
  • Dellavalle, Robert P
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY-NC-ND' version 4.0 license
Abstract

Background: Financial relationships between editorial board members of peer-reviewed journals and pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing companies can potentially lead to biases and loss of objectivity of the medical literature. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential financial conflicts of interest that exist among editorial board members of dermatology journals.

Methods: Editorial board members for 36 dermatology journals were identified and searched using the Open Payments database on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services website. The total amount of general payments made to these physician editors were collected and stratified using a tier system: 1) nothing reported, 2) >$0 and <$10,000, 3) >$10,000 and <$100,000, and 4) >$100,000.

Results: We identified 551 editors from 36 dermatology journals for use in our analysis. Some form of general payment was made to 87% of these physicians (480 of 551). Four journals had >25% of their editorial staff receiving >$100,000.

Conclusions: Financial relationships exist between editorial board members of dermatology journals and pharmaceutical/medical device manufacturing companies, which could lead to financial conflicts of interest. Publications coming from journals with highly paid physician editors have more potential to be biased.

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