JAMA drops gag rule for whistle-blowers

About Scott Hensley

Scott Hensley runs NPR's online health channel, Shots. Previously he was the founding editor of The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog and covered the drug industry and the Human Genome Project for the Journal. Hensley serves on AHCJ's board of directors. You can follow him at @ScottHensley.

Disclosure of potential conflicts in health care always seems like a great idea until people start asking questions about you.

The editors at JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, found the tables turned when they sought to keep people who bring complaints about conflicts of study authors from going public with the allegations while the journal investigates. (To read the back story and the online JAMA editorial about the change, see this post from The Wall Street Journal Health Blog.)

Well, the JAMA editors have relented and an editorial published in the current issue of the journal drops the gag language while affirming the other elements of conflict policing.

In April, the Association of Health Care Journalists weighed in with a letter to JAMA calling the
policy “counterproductive” because “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.”

1 thought on “JAMA drops gag rule for whistle-blowers

Leave a Reply