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XMFHelical (< 20)

A Rave on a Pharma Practice



April 18, 2008 – Comments (2)

Copy paste from one PO'd Derek Lowe (again - both the cut and paste and the PO'd part).

And another criticism on Merck, who hasn't lacked for this sort of thing the past few years (Vioxx, Vytorin test results, etc.)

It centers around peer reviewed literature reporting and the source of those articles.

Guest Authorship and Ghostwriting in Publications Related to Rofecoxib 


From Derek:

"If we’re going to win back the trust of the general public – which we’ve lost, in case anyone hasn’t noticed – we’re going to have to cut out the shortcuts, stop the doubletalk, and act as if what we’re doing (drug discovery) is something to be proud of."

I'm in this business as well, and also 'proud' of what I do.  It isn't always glamorous (OK, ever glamorous), but the intent is noble.  Sure is hard to find outside appreciation of late.


2 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On April 18, 2008 at 2:11 PM, madcowmonkey (< 20) wrote:

What do they imply by saying "act as if"

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#2) On April 18, 2008 at 8:13 PM, PDTBiotech (88.44) wrote:

The publication system is broken, and this is just one of many of the consequences.  As long as submissions aren't anonymous, and due to the nature of the writing they can't be ("we showed previously that"), this sort of trickeration will always happen.  Give a recently hired junior faculty and Bob Weinberg the same data and have them shop it around; Weinberg will get it published in Cell, Science, or Nature, while the new guy will have trouble getting it into a 2nd-tier journal.  At this point Weinberg could fax Nature a picture of his bare ass and they'd probably put it on the cover.  While the reviewers are also supposed to be anonymous, it's easy to tell who most of them are because one of the most common complaints you hear back from reviewers is that you didn't cite (enough of) their papers.  Since citations are the main way of measuring a paper's impact, they're basically trying to artificially inflate the significance of their findings.  Which is really the same thing Merck did, except that academics are supposed to be above this sort of thing.  It's amazing that scientists go to such great lengths with double-blind studies to avoid bias in their results, but when it comes to publishing those results everyone is aware that there is major bias but no one does anything about it.  Frankly, I have so little regard for the average scientific paper these days that the Merck thing doesn't really bother me.

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