Information laundering for big pharma
My friend Lisa sent me an excellent article by Richard Smith, former editor of the British Medical Journal:
Medical Journals Are an Extension of the Marketing Arm of Pharmaceutical Companies
“Journals have devolved into information laundering operations for the pharmaceutical industry”, wrote Richard Horton, editor of the Lancet, in March 2004 . In the same year, Marcia Angell, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, lambasted the industry for becoming “primarily a marketing machine” and co-opting “every institution that might stand in its way” . Medical journals were conspicuously absent from her list of co-opted institutions, but she and Horton are not the only editors who have become increasingly queasy about the power and influence of the industry. Jerry Kassirer, another former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, argues that the industry has deflected the moral compasses of many physicians , and the editors of PLoS Medicine have declared that they will not become “part of the cycle of dependency…between journals and the pharmaceutical industry” . Something is clearly up.
Citation: Smith R (2005) Medical Journals Are an Extension of the Marketing Arm of Pharmaceutical Companies. PLoS Med 2(5): e138.
Read the whole thing.