Major medical publications fooled again

Physicians and others involved in healthcare depend on the major medical publications to vet the information that appear in the articles published. Over and over again lapses in editorial and publishing judgement are exposed as less than exemplary. Here are two of the latest examples of how pharmaceutical companies have managed to get manipulated data and marketing oriented articles to appear in major publications.

excerpt below is by Larry Husten on Cardiobriefs

Prior to publication of key papers on rosiglitazone (Avandia) and ezetimibe (Vytorin) in the New England Journal of Medicine, the editors of the journal were not aware that trial sponsors had “manipulated” the Data and Safety Monitoring Boards (DSMBs) of the trials, according to information contained in an editorial in NEJM by its editor, Jeffrey Drazen, and Alastair JJ Wood.

In response to the incidents , Drazen and Wood ”propose fundamental changes in the way DSMBs are constituted, are funded, and report,” and say that DSMBs “should be chosen and convened under the aegis of an independent public body.”

The editorialists write that the problem represented by these two episodes “puts the integrity of the whole clinical-trial enterprise at risk.”….

more via NEJM editors were “not fully aware…”

Here is a link to the editorial published in NEJM in response to the discovery that they were “had”:

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/NEJMe1007445

The next lapse in publishing “good sense” involves a story in a study by Abbott Labs that appears in the American Journal of Cardiology.

This excerpt below is also via Larry Husten in the Cardiobriefs blog

The authors call it “an in-office linguistic study” and write that it “was conducted to assess physician–patient discussions of mixed dyslipidemia.” But it’s really an Abbott marketing study for Niaspan, the company’s long-acting niacin product, and the question is: why is it published in the American Journal of Cardiology?…

…So how does a study like this get done? It’s certainly not surprising that the study was approved by a commercial IRB firm, Independent IRB, Inc., whose services include delivering the “ability to assist clients in developing alternative processes for achieving research goals.”….

more via Why was an Abbott marketing study published in AJC?

Here is link to a post done by Ed Silverman at Pharmalot that includes a response by the editor of AJC

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