The Association of Health Care Journalists has sent a letter to the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association stating its objection to JAMA’s new policy that seeks to keep whistle-blowers from revealing information.
From the letter:
In an editorial (PDF) published March 20, JAMA said it will inform anyone filing a complaint about a potential conflict of interest that they “should not reveal this information to third parties or the media while the investigation is under way.”
JAMA also said it would require whistle-blowers to provide a “written detailed explanation of the unreported conflicts of interest and provide documentation to support the allegation.”
JAMA’s policy is counterproductive. It could discourage potential whistle-blowers from coming forward with crucial information that physicians and the general public urgently need to make informed decisions about medical care.