True, and the policies for reporting COIs and their display in the article vary widely among journals, even in the US. Moreover, it's also been de rigeur to acknowledge funding sources (NIH grants, contracts with industry, eg). I pulled out my most recent pub, in a 2013 issue of PLoS One, and the funding /Conflicts are line-items right beneath the abstract:
Funding: This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grants R01 XXXXX and T90 XXXXX. The sponsors had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
However, from a publication of Chem PhD's in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry from 2012, mention of the funding sources is in the Acknowledgements section at the end of the article.
From my experience in journal submissions, I'd say the closer the scope of the journal is to clinical trials & analyses, the more particular that journal is going to be about requiring COI disclosures up front and displaying them prominently.
The NIH does require that the full text of papers describing work funded by them be made publicly available to anyone (without a journal subscription) after one year. But not everything in PUBMED is published in a US journal, done in the US, or funded by the NIH.
See above -- that sort of a mandate would be difficult to enforce, at best. Even US journals that are indexed in the PubMed database vary widely in their scope. The journals vary from highly clinically-oriented volumes (New England Journal of Medicine, eg) to seriously basic-science tomes where the chemical entities described might, possibly, maybe, someday find their way to a clinical trial (Synthesis, Tetrahedron, eg). The foreign pubs (with requirements from their respective sponsoring societies) add a whole degree of difficulty.
Agreed. I'd like to see funding sources, both government and industrial (grants & contracts included) displayed up-front as well.