Doctors Without Borders

A Special Weekend Article!

Why you can’t trust medical journals anymore.


Brian’s Note: This article was published nearly 7 years ago, in 2004, in the Washington Journal. While transparency and disclosure rules have arguably improved since then, the larger problems associated with financial conflict still pervade all medicine and health care. A spate of recent stories has detailed device manufacturers paying off surgeons. Community oncologists and adolescent psychiatrists are still permitted to profit on the drugs they prescribe. And on and on.

So Ms. Brownlee’s article remains relevant, shocking and very engaging. Enjoy.

With financial ties to nearly two dozen drug and biotech companies, Dr. Charles B. Nemeroff may hold some sort of record among academic clinicians for the most conflicts of interest. A psychiatrist, a prominent researcher, and chairman of the department of psychiatry and behavioral science at Emory University in Atlanta, Nemeroff receives funding for his academic research from Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Wyeth-Ayerst–indeed from virtually every pharmaceutical house that manufactures a drug to treat mental illness. He also serves as a consultant to drug and biotech companies, owns their stocks, and is a member of several speakers’ bureaus, delivering talks–for a fee–to other physicians on behalf of the companies’ products.

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