Letter to the editors

Thorax

We read with interest your ‘Highlights from this Issue’ in the November issue of Thorax.1 We noticed that you had a fresh comment on Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Diseases (GOLD) not recommending macrolides to prevent exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

We also noted that you hinted that it was probably too cheap for GOLD—suggesting that we were in the pockets of ‘big pharma’. We find the remark hurtful and wrong. GOLD does receive funding from the pharmaceutical industry—as do most of the major respiratory scientific societies and journals through advertising—but none of the people working with the GOLD document receives money for the work performed. In addition, GOLD has a steady income from sales of GOLD material and this income is sufficient to fund the work by the scientific committee, mainly expenses related to meetings at airport hotels.

However, we are much more interested...