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

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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.

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Dunn, A. G., Zhou, X., Hudgins, J., Arachi, D., Mandl, K. D., Coiera, E., & Bourgeois, F. T. (2016). Financial competing interests were associated with favorable conclusions and greater author productivity in nonsystematic reviews of neuraminidase inhibitors. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 80, 43–49. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2016.07.010

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