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Sponsored Supplements 

Ethical and Legal Considerations

Annette Flanagin

Sponsored supplements are collections of articles, usually on a single topic, and are published as an extra edition or a separate section of a journal, often after a meeting or symposium. A study of 58 highly cited and read medical journals found that the number of supplements published by these journals had increased 4-fold from 1966 to 1989. Forty-two percent (262 of 625) of these supplements were single-sponsored (ie, sponsored by 1 pharmaceutical company) and, compared with supplements funded by other types of sponsors, were less likely to have been formally peer reviewed and more likely to have promotional attributes,

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