Pubdate: Fri, 21 Sep 2007
Source: Peninsula News Review (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 Peninsula News Review
Author: Matthew M. Elrod


Re: Independent study needed on injection sites (Letters, Sept. 12).

Letter writer Kjell Nilsen opined "What is lacking is an independent 
evaluation of the Vancouver site and injection sites in general."

The external evaluators of the Vancouver site recently explained in 
Open Medicine, a peer-reviewed, independent, open access journal, 
"the Vancouver SIF evaluation was designed to stand up to the highest 
level of scientific scrutiny. Specifically, the following safeguards 
were put in place. First, a regional SIF oversight committee was 
developed which included senior members of all stakeholders groups, 
including the chief of the Vancouver police department and the 
provincial medical health officer. Second, in accordance with the 
Transparent Reporting of Evaluations with Nonrandomized Designs 
(TREND) criteria for observational research, it was required that the 
methodology for the evaluation be subject to external peer review to 
ensure scientific rigour, and publication to ensure scientific 
openness. Finally, it was required that all findings of the 
evaluation be subject to external peer review and publication prior 
to dissemination, and many of these studies were published in top 
journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine."

Citations are customary in peer-reviewed journals, but they are not 
typically found in letters-to-the-editor.

Dr. Keith Martin probably hoped that interested readers would take 
the time to independently investigate what research has been done on 
the Vancouver site and supervised injection facilities in general 
before jumping to the conclusion that independent evaluations are lacking.

Matthew M. Elrod

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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom