N - JAMA gags whistleblowers

Whistleblowers who spot undeclared competing interests in papers in the top medical journal JAMA will be told that they must “not reveal this information to third parties or the media while the investigation is under way,” according to an editorial coauthored by JAMA’s editor, Catherine DeAngelis (2009 Mar 20, doi:10.1001/jama.2009.480). The gagging policy comes after Jonathan Leo, a professor of neuroanatomy, divulged a dispute over competing interests to the BMJ (www.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/338/feb05_1/b463#208503). He had written to JAMA last May (JAMA 2008;300:1757-8) to criticise a study for being unduly favourable to a drug (JAMA 2008;299:2391-400, doi:10.1001/jama.299.20.2391). JAMA took five months to publish the letter. In a subsequent internet search, Leo found that one of the original authors had a further undeclared connection with the drug manufacturer. The Wall Street Journal reports that the journal's reaction to Leo’s criticism was "angry" (http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2009/03/13/jama-editor-calls-critic-a-nobody-and-a-nothing/tab/print/).
See http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/leo_statement_for_WSJ.htm