Further Information

Is Academic Medicine for Sale? | Marcia Angell, MD
Article Published: 2000/05/18

Type: Articles and Dissertations
Published By: New England Journal of Medicine v.342, n.20, p.1516-1518

Further Information

"In 1984 the [New England Journal of Medicine] became the first of the major medical journals to require authors of original research articles to disclose any financial ties with companies that make products discussed in papers submitted to us. (1) We were aware that such ties were becoming fairly common, and we thought it reasonable to disclose them to readers. Although we came to this issue early, no one could have foreseen at the time just how ubiquitous and manifold such financial associations would become. The article by Keller et al. (2) in this issue of the Journal provides a striking example. The authors' ties with companies that make antidepressant drugs were so extensive that it would have used too much space to disclose them fully in the Journal. We decided merely to summarize them and to provide the details on our Web site.

Finding an editorialist to write about the article presented another problem. Our conflict-of-interest policy for editorialists, established in 1990, (3) is stricter than that for authors of original research papers. Since editorialists do not provide data, but instead selectively review the literature and offer their judgments, we require that they have no important financial ties to companies that make products related to the issues they discuss."

Compare the above with these two bits of information:
  • Scientific journals conventionally reject studies financed by Big Tobacco, but obviously Big Pharma is just fine. The implicit statement is that Big Tobacco carries a bias, but Big Pharma does not.
  • It is well known that smoking has a strong antidepressant effect. When a smoker quits due to piloted information and social intimidation instigated by the “public health” pharmaceutical marionettes, what do you think he is going to buy to fight his depression?
Related article: Medical Journals Are an Extension of the Marketing Arm of Pharmaceutical Companies

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