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®: CRE Regulatory Action of the Week

An Open Letter to the AMA Chair-Elect

October 30, 2006

Edward L. Langston, RPh, MD
Board of Trustees
American Medical Association
515 N. State Street
Chicago, IL 60610

Dear Dr. Langston:

As one of the nation's leading science organizations, it is incumbent on the American Medical Association (AMA) to ensure that the information it disseminates comports with the highest levels of accuracy. At a very minimum, the AMA should take the steps necessary to:

    1. Avoid disseminating materially inaccurate information; and

    2. Allow parties the opportunity to fully and effectively respond to inaccurate data, either in print or through the internet.
Unfortunately, the peer review policies of Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) allow grossly and demonstrably inaccurate information to be published while the journal's editorial policies prevent the subject of an article from providing the detailed information and citations necessary to correct the false information.

To prevent continued publication of false, biased and otherwise sub-standard information, the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE) recommends that JAMA adopt the same peer review guidelines all federal agencies must adhere to before disseminating information. As an interim measure, JAMA should take two key steps to reform their peer review process:

    1. Transparency. JAMA should disclose the identity of peer reviewers along with the substance of their comments; and

    2. Response. JAMA should allow parties who, either directly or through their work, are the subject of an article the opportunity to fully respond either in print or through JAMA's website to the article.
Since JAMA has not allowed CRE to provide a meaningful correction to an article of which we were the subject [JAMA. 2006;295:2407-2410.], we have responded on our website,

Similarly, this letter is being published on the home page of the CRE website. CRE believes in adhering to the principles we advocate. Therefore, we will publish on our website, complete and unedited, the AMA's response to this letter.


                                                Jim Tozzi
                                                Member, Board of Advisors