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Gosh, Really, You Don’t Say By Dr. Malcolm Kendrick (Medical journals and drug companies)
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 9:14 am Email this article
Sometimes you read something of such blinding obviousness (if that is actually a word), that you wonder why anyone even bothered writing it at all. You know the sort of thing - ‘constant criticism of children does not lead to a sense of self-worth.’ ‘A centralized command economy does not create wealth for citizens.’
(This article was written by Malcolm Kendrick, MD, author of the wonderful, eye-opening, paradigm-shifting book The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It .)
But the blindingly obvious can be critically important depending on who says it. I can bang on and on about the fact that medical journals have basically turned themselves into advertorials for the pharmaceutical industry, and be readily dismissed as a fringe lunatic.Medical journals are an extension of the marketing arm of drug companies
Medical journals are no more than ‘an extension of the marketing arm of pharmaceutical companies’ says Former Editor of British Medical Journal
However when Richard Smith, editor of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) for many years who resigned last year, says it, then it would seem that even the cosy ‘establishment’ may be starting to feel the first cold fingers of doubt creeping in. Perhaps things really have started to go too far. So read and enjoy an article from the BMJ, 21st May 2005.
“Medical journals are no more than ‘an extension of the marketing arm of pharmaceutical companies’ because a large proportion of their revenue comes from drug advertisements and reprints of company funded trials, claims former BMJ editor, Richard Smith.
Advertisements Are the Least of Their Corrupting Dependence
BMJ’s Editor’s strongest criticism is publishing drug studies funded by drug companies which rarely produce unfavourable results
“Dr. Smith argues that although medical journals make a sizeable income from drug advertisements this is the least of their ‘corrupting form of dependence’ on the industry, since the advertisements are ‘there for all to see and criticize’.
“Dr Smith’s strongest criticism is levelled at the fact that journals publish clinical trials that are funded by the industry. Unlike advertisements, trials are seen by readers as the highest form of evidence, he says. Trials funded by drug companies rarely produce unfavourable results and make up between two thirds and three quarters of the trials published in key journals.
Profits from Reprints of a Drug Study Can Be As High As $1 Million
Profits from reprints of a drug study can total $1 million says Dr. Smith
“The potential profits from reprints of such a trial can run to $1m (£0.5m; €0.8m), says Dr Smith. And it is this potential income that can have the biggest corrupting influence on a journal because many editors are charged with ensuring their journal makes a profit.
Profits Over Scientific Integrity
Medical journal may choose profits over scientific integrity
“Editors may be confronted by ‘a frighteningly stark conflict of interest’, writes Dr Smith They may be forced to choose between publishing a trial that will bring $100,000 of profit or meet their end of year budget by making a member of staff redundant.”
Dr. Smith’s editoral, which appeared in the journal, “Public Library of Science”, can be found here.
A PDF version of Dr. Smith’s article “Medical Journals Are an Extension of the Marketing Arm of Pharmaceutical Companies”, can be downloaded report“target=“_blank”>here.
Will this change anything?….. You have GOT to be joking.
Article Previous Published on THINCS.org
This article was previously published on THINCS.org
This article was previously published on THINCS.org (The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics).
I republished the article here with Dr. Kendrick’s permission.
Malcolm Kendrick’s Contact Info
Malcolm Kendrick, MD is the author of the wonderful, eye-opening, paradigm-shifting book book The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It .)
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