Medical journal ethics questioned again

July 19, 2006

Another U.S. medical journal ethics case arose this week, this time involving Dr. Charles Nemeroff, the editor of the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

Nemeroff, a well known psychiatrist, favorably reviewed a controversial new treatment for depression, only to later announce a correction will be published.

The Nashville, Tenn.-based, journal failed to cite the ties of the article's eight academic authors to the company that makes the treatment -- including the article's lead author -- Nemeroff, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

It was just the latest incident in which several medical journals neglected to identify relationships between researchers and companies that might benefit from positive research reports. As a result, journals are being urged to ban offending authors from publication and medical schools urged to more closely watch relationships between their researchers and the pharmaceutical industry.

Last week, the Chicago-published Journal of the American Medical Association announced seven authors of a February paper on pregnancy depression neglected to reveal they were paid by the makers of antidepressants -- the third such incident at JAMA this year, The Wall Street Journal said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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