Do Corporate Payments Influence Research Related To The Use Of Acellular Dermal Matrices In Breast Surgery?
Hilliard TT Brydges, BS, Z-Hye Lee, MD, Gustave K. Diep, MD, Zoe P. Berman, MD, Allyson R. Alfonso, MD, Elie P. Ramly, D, Bachar C. Chaya, MD, Vishal Thanik, MD.
NYU Langone, New York, NY, USA.
PURPOSE:No study has assessed the impact of financial conflicts of interests (COI) on the reporting of breast reconstruction outcomes with acellular dermal matrix (ADM) in peer-reviewed publications. We hypothesized that there is: (1) an association between financial COI and likelihood of studies reporting benefits in using ADM, and (2) inconsistent reporting of financial COI.
Methods: The PubMed database was used to identify articles that reported on the use of ADM in breast surgery in four leading plastic surgery journals from January 2014 to December 2019. Financial COI for authors were determined using the open payments database.
Results: Fifty-five articles were included. Twenty-four (43.6%) articles supported use of ADM, 12 (21.8%) did not promote ADM use and 19 (34.5%) were neutral. 92.7% (n=51) of studies had either a first or senior author with a COI and authors with a COI more commonly reported positive outcomes (p=0.025). Studies with positive outcomes featured first authors who received significantly larger financial payments ($100,127 vs. $15,624, p=0.025) compared to studies with negative or neutral outcomes. ROC curve demonstrated that studies with first authors receiving over $376.28 were more likely to report positive results. Eight senior authors and three first authors received greater than $500 from ADM producers yet did not report any financial disclosure.
Conclusions: Financial COI is associated with higher likelihood of studies reporting a benefit of using ADM in breast surgery. There remains inconsistent reporting of COIs and better oversight is needed to ensure unbiased publication on the use of ADM in breast surgery.
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