Hickie defends paper and rejects bias charge

The controversy began in May last year when The Lancet published a paper by Professor Hickie suggesting melatonin analogs could treat depression.

Critics complained Professor Hickie failed to fully declare his relationship with pharmaceutical company Servier, which could benefit from his paper, and in January The Lancet published six letters – including one co-authored by Flinders University professor Jon Jureidini – attacking the research. 

Lancet editor Richard Horton also sent several tweets criticising his journal’s actions, with statements including “the bias in [Professor Hickie’s] paper is very disturbing”.

Last week Professor Hickie said The Lancet had asked him to write the paper and that he had fully declared his relationship with Servier. 

He also dismissed calls from West Australian MP and anti-ADHD drug campaigner Martin Whitely to stand down from his government advisory role.