May 30, 2005

Essay on bias in medical journals

Medical Journals Are an Extension of the Marketing Arm of Pharmaceutical Companies

Smith, R
PLoS Med 2(5): e138

An essay written by Richard Smith, an ex-editor of the British Medical Journal and current member of the board of the Public Library of Science discusses his views on how he thinks medical journals can be biased by the pharmaceutical industry. He writes about his perspective on how pharmaceutical advertisements in journals can be misleading, how clinical trials sponsored by pharmaceutical companies may be biased towards the companies that sponsor them, why pharmaceutical companies get the results they want, how journal editors are becoming increasingly aware of how they are being manipulated and are fighting back. He also gives some advice on how journals can stop themselves from being an extension of the marketing arm of pharmaceutical companies and provides examples of ways that pharmaceutical companies get the results they want from clinical trials.

It is important to note that this is one person’s perspective on medical journals but this type of essay highlights the importance of taking a critical view of articles (& summaries) that you read or hear about.

Click here for the free full text version of this article.


In our society we are bombarded 24/7 with marketing information.

The marketing is so extensive.... from what we eat, wear, the news we read and see, the drugs we take, the homes we buy, the politicians we vote in office, our house of worship and how we should be buried.

I read almost everything with a a critical eye and unfortunately suspect everything I hear and read.

I also know that there is a greater than 50/50 chance that in the process I've been fooled and bought into the sophisticated marketing industry, ....hook, line and sinker.


Posted by: Moeder at May 31, 2005 12:39 AM

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