To achieve some balance, Dr Tildesley (BCMJ 2005;47:362-363) should have pointed out to readers that the BC Pharmacare program, whether we like Fair Pharmacare or not, provides the most generous overall level of benefits of any province at this time and BC generally has the lowest overall level of pharmaceutical costs per patient. There will always be some products that are not covered as fully or as readily as their proponents would like, but let us not gut the process that has served the province well overall.
By the way, in the interest of transparency, how about a statement from BCMJ contributors as to the nature and dollar value of their support from specific drug manufacturers for themselves and the programs they are or have been associated with in the past 5 years?
—David Blair, MD
The BCMJ has an established system of identifying competing interests for its scientific articles, but not for letters or other opinion pieces (such as Dr Tildesley’s article in the September issue). We agree with Dr Blair that in certain instances it may be appropriate to obtain competing interest statements from contributors of opinion pieces, and will do so when we determine that it would be of benefit to readers. However, we do not agree that dollar values are appropriate, and will not request such information from contributors.
Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee
of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally
accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
About the ICMJE and citation styles
The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.
An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.
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For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org