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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 16146

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.

 

Publication type: Journal Article

Jureidini J, Clothier R.
Elsevier should divest itself of either its medical publishing or pharmaceutical services division
Lancet 2009 Aug 1; 374:(9687): 375
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(09)61404-5/fulltext


Abstract:

Elsevier, publisher of The Lancet , is reviewing its publishing practice after court disclosure that it colluded with Merck to produce a fake journal, the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine (AJBJM) to promote rofecoxib and other Merck products. Elsevier has called the incident an “isolated practice led by former employees in a local pharmaceutical services division”. 1 This statement refers to the publication in Australia of nine fake journals, and the registration of another 13. Although …

 

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Far too large a section of the treatment of disease is to-day controlled by the big manufacturing pharmacists, who have enslaved us in a plausible pseudo-science...
The blind faith which some men have in medicines illustrates too often the greatest of all human capacities - the capacity for self deception...
Some one will say, Is this all your science has to tell us? Is this the outcome of decades of good clinical work, of patient study of the disease, of anxious trial in such good faith of so many drugs? Give us back the childlike trust of the fathers in antimony and in the lancet rather than this cold nihilism. Not at all! Let us accept the truth, however unpleasant it may be, and with the death rate staring us in the face, let us not be deceived with vain fancies...
we need a stern, iconoclastic spirit which leads, not to nihilism, but to an active skepticism - not the passive skepticism, born of despair, but the active skepticism born of a knowledge that recognizes its limitations and knows full well that only in this attitude of mind can true progress be made.
- William Osler 1909