The linked New York Times article discloses that Merck paid for a medical journal to publish articles favorable about its drug Vioxx. Apparently that’s now news. Payola and information control, as FORCES readers know, have long been standard Big Pharma practice. Just for instance (from FORCES archives, February 2005):

“The journal Tobacco Control is the direct recipient of a $200,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation titled ‘Support for tobacco control journal,’ as well as a $104,447 grant from that foundation titled ‘Supplement to the journal Tobacco Control.’ By clicking on the ‘List All RWJF Grants To this Grantee’ icon for the $200,000 grant to Tobacco Control journal readers will determine that total grants to Health Research, Inc. total more than $8.8 million.”

Why didn’t the New York Times cover that story, for which information was readily available?



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