Elsevier published a fake peer-reviewed journal for Merck

journals   According to Bob Grant, a blogger for The ScientistMerck 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

You can read the offending issues online:  volume 2(1) 2003 volume 2(2) 2003

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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Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice (IOM)

COI_IOM  The Institute of Medicine’s report on conflict of interest is now available for purchase or viewing on the IOM’s Web site.  In 2007, the IOM appointed the Committee on Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice to examine conflicts of interest in medicine and to recommend steps to identify, limit, and manage conflicts of interest without negatively affecting constructive collaborations.

This article was published online in the New England Journal of Medicine on May 1; free full text is available.

Steinbrook R. Controlling Conflict of Interest — Proposals from the Institute of Medicine. N Engl J Med 2009 May 1.