Integrity of reporting

Integrity of reporting

Two stories that appeared in today’s Wall Street Journal show just how difficult it is to provide accurate, unbiased information. The first appeared on page one of the Marketplace section, “Medical Reviews Face Criticism Over Lapses” which covered the continuing issue over proper disclosure of financial interests. Just last week, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a correction indicating that seven authors of a February paper on depression during pregnancy failed to reveal they were paid by the makers of antidepressants. This was the third time this year JAMA had a problem over disclosure. JAMA isn’t the only periodical facing this issue as several well respected journals have encountered similar issues.

The second article appears on page one of the Money & Investing section, “Irascible Analyst Gives Up Fight” which covers the retirement of Evan Sturza a respected biotech analyst known for his straight forward assessment of biotech companies.

Although Diabetic Investor has never meet Mr. Sturza we certainly feel his pain. One reason Diabetic Investor has never accepted advertising or invested in any of the companies we have written about is to maintain a level of integrity with our subscribers. We believe that our subscribers want information untainted by a personal agenda. With our many correct calls over the years this has been a costly policy but one from which we will never wavier. Independent research serves an important role. No publication or analyst including Diabetic Investor is correct 100% of the time. This should not however prevent us from our continued search for the truth.

It should also be noted that Diabetic Investor does not condemn the practice of researchers having a financial association with a particular company. Research is very expensive and there is nothing wrong with the people doing the research making a living. I rue the day when the profit motive is removed from the process. The key here is full and fair disclosure. The fact that some researchers did not provide such disclosure taints anything they publish, even if the report turns out to be accurate. Just because there is a financial association does not mean these people cannot do good work.

Being a person with diabetes, I have used many of the products written about in Diabetic Investor. Often times these products are provided to Diabetic Investor at no cost. Does this mean we cannot provide an accurate assessment of the product? Of course not. In actuality having first hand knowledge gives us a better perspective and allows for more accurate reporting. It should also be noted we do not base our assessment on our experiences alone. Good reporting requires us to interview patients, physicians, researchers and corporate executives this is the only way to get the total picture.

Diabetic Investor has no intentions of straying from our policies and will continue to remain independent. This may be a tougher road to travel but the journey is well worth the struggle. Our goal continues to be providing our subscribers with independent unbiased research.

David Kliff
Diabetic Investor
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