Abstract in English:The role played by the private sector, in particular the pharmaceutical industry, in funding research has been growing at an accelerated pace in recent decades. So much so, in fact, that the private sector has become the primary funding source of clinical trials in some countries. As a result, pharmaceutical companies exercise ever-growing control over not only the design of clinical trials but also the publication of their results. The conflicts of interest involved in this kind of situation can lead to ethical breaches (for example, suppression or distortion of results or the intimidation of investigators), and it is crucial to take concrete steps to guard against such breaches. This is exactly what a Working Group made up of members of the pharmaceutical industry itself has done, preparing a series of guidelines for that industry in order to promote good publication practices. These guidelines, which were just recently published in English, represent an important step in efforts to achieve greater transparency and accountability in the presentation of results of research funded by manufacturers of pharmaceutical products. Although the guidelines, now translated into Spanish in this piece, are subject to future revisions, they are a valuable starting point for further discussion of a problem that deserves the urgent attention of the scientific community.
Abstract in English:The information on severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) that has been gathered up to this point has made it possible to prepare recommendations concerning the equipment needed to protect health workers responsible for patient care and for processing potentially infected samples. Protecting such personnel is a key element in the strategy to control the spread of SARS. The needed equipment includes clothing; footwear; such protective devices as masks, safety glasses, and gloves; disinfectant solutions; laboratory equipment; and materials for obtaining and transporting samples. Prepared by the Western Pacific Regional Office of the World Health Organization, this list will help implement measures to contain the epidemic. The list gives the recommended quantities, specifications for the items, and possible alternatives for some items. This list of equipment is not exhaustive; it is intended to provide a small emergency supply for a period of 3 or 4 days for a single isola-tion unit with approximately 50 workers. To guarantee the availability of the equipment in the needed quantities, infection control authorities should take into account the number of isolation units needed and the length of time that containment measures will need to be in place. Adequate reserves should be available 24 hours a day, and plans should be made for rapid access to larger stocks in the event of a larger outbreak.