Dr. Mark Ebell, deputy editor of American Family Physician, said he would feel more comfortable if the guidelines had been "very clear about what support was provided and what they needed the support for: paying for literature searches, for staff. It's common to have support for guidelines. I think it's generally unintentional, but when we have a relationship, it creates the potential for problems."
Ebell said that Brandt had relationships with pharmaceutical companies.
Brandt had a different view. "I don't have any ties to industry that would have any relevance to this publication," he said. "I don't receive money directly from any company. I own no stock and, nor does my family, so this is a totally unbiased thing. I have no conflict of interest whatsoever, and I think that does it."
The American College of Gastroenterology said: "No company was involved in any way in either structuring or completing the meta-analysis that forms the basis for the College's evidence-based recommendations on IBS. Furthermore, no company was in any way involved in deciding who served on the Task Force or in any of its work."
To learn more about IBS, visit the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases online.
SOURCES: Lawrence J. Brandt, M.D., chief, division of gastroenterology, Montefiore Medical Center, and professor of medicine and surgery, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City; Mark H. Ebell, M.D., deputy editor, American Family Physician; January 2009, The American Journal of Gastroenterology
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