Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Proto Magazine Letter

My recently-published short invited response in Proto Magazine, a Massachusetts General Hospital publication, to an article on the state of current medical journals:  "Probing Deeper"

They did, however, unexpectedly edit out a portion of my response – an entire paragraph originally between the current 2nd and 3rd paragraphs:
In 2005-2006, The Lancet derived 41% of its revenue through sales of over 11 million reprints.[1]  The NEJM, which published more industry-funded studies thanThe Lancet – 78% vs. 58% – undoubtedly derives even more.[2]  Ironically, Jeffery Drazen, editor-in-chief of NEJM, is quoted as saying "Our most important job is vetting information.”  Dr. Drazen infamously failed to do so when privy to information regarding increased mortality in rofecoxib's (Vioxx) VIGOR trial – a publication for which NEJM sold Merck 900,000 reprints.[3][4]
And, here are my references:

1.  Dorsey ER, George BP, Dayoub, EJ, Ravina BM.  Finances of the publishers of the most highly cited US medical journals.  J Med Libr Assoc. 2011 Jul;99(3):255-8.

2. Lundh A, Barbateskovic M, Hróbjartsson A, Gøtzsche PC.  Conflicts of interest at medical journals: the influence of industry-supported randomised trials on journal impact factors and revenue – cohort study.  PLoS Med. 2010 Oct;7(10):e1000354.

3.  Armstrong D.   Bitter pill: how the New England Journal missed warning signs on Vioxx.  Wall Street Journal 2006 May 15:A1.

4.  Smith R.  Lapses at the New England Journal of Medicine.  J R Soc Med. 2006 Aug;99(8):380-2. 

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