According to Bob Grant, a blogger for The Scientist, Merck paid an undisclosed sum to Elsevier to produce several volumes of a publication that had the look of a peer-reviewed medical journal, but contained only reprinted or summarized articles–most of which presented data favorable to Merck products–that appeared to act solely as marketing tools with no disclosure. Read the full blog post. (Requires free registration.) More from The Scientist
The journal in question was the Australasian Journal of Bone & Joint Medicine, an allegedly peer-reviewed journal created primarily to sell Vioxx and Fosamax to physicians. Summer Johnson, PhD, Executive Managing Editor of the American Journal of Bioethics, has written about these “advertorials in her blog:
Merck Makes Phony Peer-Review Journal (May 1)
Elsevier and Its Many “Advertorials” (May 11)
Another blogger writes: Elsevier has an entire division dedicated to publishing fake advertorial “peer-reviewed” journals
This whole issue was well documented during the May 22 CBC radio show, The Current. See Part 2: Fake Medical Journals and scroll down to listen to the podcast.
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