Cholesterol report attacked for ‘drugs links’

TRENTON, NEW JERSEY: US consumer groups have blasted the government-funded National Cholesterol Education Program for failing to disclose that most of the authors of its new guidelines had drugs industry links.

The latest National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute-backed guidelines were

written by nine experts, at least six of whom received consultant or speaking fees, or other grants, from the makers of anti-cholesterol drugs.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest’s Merrill Goozner told the US media: ‘It’s outrageous they didn’t provide disclosure of conflicts of interest. It doesn’t mean their research is wrong, [but people need to know it was] funded by parties with a self-interest in that research.’

Public Citizen’s Health Research Group co-founder Dr Sidney Wolfe said: ‘These people should be disqualified from being the principal authors of publications that have the imprimatur of government.’

NCEP co-ordinator Dr James Cleeman said links with drugs firms would be put on the NHLBI’s website.

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