Thursday, April 30, 2009
The Scientist reports that the drug company Merck paid the publisher Elsevier to put out the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine, a product that it says turned out not to be a real scientific journal but that seems to have been an advertisement for Merck's own drugs. Says 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 of company sponsorship." The Scientist also says that the publication did not have a website. The Scientist provides links to two of the publication's issues. Information about the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine came out during the course of a civil trial last week.