Leading medical journals seem to be having a difficult time disentangling themselves from the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. If they cannot stop printing articles by scientists with close ties to these businesses, they should at least force the authors to disclose their conflicts of interest publicly so that doctors and patients are forewarned that the interpretations may be biased. Two disturbing cases were described in detail by The Wall Street Journal in recent weeks. One involved The Journal of the American Medical Association, or JAMA; the other an obscure journal known as Neuropsychopharmacology, which is published by a leading professional society in the field. The article in JAMA must surely have pleased all makers of antidepressant drugs. It warned pregnant women that if they stopped taking antidepressant medication they would increase their risk of falling back into depression. Hidden from view was the fact that most of the 13 authors had been paid as consultants or lecturers by the makers of antidepressants. Their financial ties were not disclosed to JAMA on the preposterous grounds that the authors did not deem them relevant. An even more egregious set of events occurred at Neuropsychopharmacology, which recently published a […]

Read the Full Article