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Medical Journal Says It Was Again Misled

The Associated Press

Chicago - For the second time in two months, The Journal of the American Medical Association says it was misled by researchers who failed to reveal financial ties to drug companies.

The journal is tightening its policies for researchers as a result.

Dr. Catherine DeAngelis, the journal's editor in chief,said her main concern was the impact on readers, who she said needed to know about researchers' financial conflicts of interest to properly evaluate their studies.

The latest incident, disclosed in letters to the editor and a correction in Wednesday's journal, involves a study showing that pregnant women who stop taking antidepressants risk slipping back into depression.

Most of the 13 authors have financial ties to drug companies including antidepressant makers, but only two of them revealed their ties when the study was published in February.

Antidepressant use during pregnancy is controversial, and some studies have suggested that the drugs could pose risks to the fetus.

The authors of the study defended their research in a letter to the editor published Wednesday. The lead author, Dr. Lee Cohen of Massachusetts General Hospital, who is on the speaker's bureau for eight drug companies, disputed that such ties could influence findings.