Pubdate: Fri, 21 Sep 2007
Source: Victoria News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 Victoria News
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: Derek