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Financial competing interests were associated with favorable conclusions and greater author productivity in nonsystematic reviews of neuraminidase inhibitors

  • Adam G. Dunn
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Tel.: +61 2 9850 2413; fax: +61 2 8088 6234.
    Affiliations
    Centre for Health Informatics, Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales 2109, Australia
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  • Xujuan Zhou
    Affiliations
    Centre for Health Informatics, Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales 2109, Australia

    School of Management and Enterprise, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350, Australia
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  • Joel Hudgins
    Affiliations
    Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA

    Department of Emergency Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
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  • Diana Arachi
    Affiliations
    Centre for Health Informatics, Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales 2109, Australia
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  • Kenneth D. Mandl
    Affiliations
    Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA

    Computational Health Informatics Program, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA

    Department of Biomedical Informatics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
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  • Enrico Coiera
    Affiliations
    Centre for Health Informatics, Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales 2109, Australia
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  • Florence T. Bourgeois
    Affiliations
    Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA

    Department of Emergency Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA

    Computational Health Informatics Program, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA
    Search for articles by this author

      Abstract

      Objective

      To characterize the conclusions and production of nonsystematic reviews about neuraminidase inhibitors relative to financial competing interests held by the authors.

      Study Design and Setting

      We searched for articles about neuraminidase inhibitors and influenza (January 2005 to April 2015), identifying nonsystematic reviews and grading them according to the favorable/nonfavorable presentation of evidence on safety and efficacy. We recorded financial competing interests disclosed in the reviews and from other articles written by their authors. We measured associations between competing interests, author productivity, and conclusions.

      Results

      Among 213 nonsystematic reviews, 138 (65%) presented favorable conclusions. Financial competing interests were identified for 26% (137/532) of authors; 51% (108/213) of reviews were associated with a financial competing interest. Reviews produced exclusively by authors with financial competing interests (33%; 71/213) were more likely to present favorable conclusions than reviews with no competing interests (risk ratio 1.27; 95% confidence interval 1.03–1.55). Authors with financial competing interests published more articles about neuraminidase inhibitors than their counterparts.

      Conclusion

      Half of nonsystematic reviews about neuraminidase inhibitors included an author with a financial competing interest. Reviews produced exclusively by these authors were more likely to present favorable conclusions, and authors with financial competing interests published a greater number of reviews.

      Keywords

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