Friday, January 27, 2006
Academic Misconduct in its Deadliest Form, Update
A U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon in New Orlean released an EMail from the executive editor of New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) Dr. Gregory D. Curfman to the leading author of a critical journal paper Dr. Claire Bombardier, in which Dr. Curfman wrote, 'Your explanation lacked scientific objectivity'. He also laid out five points which the journal expected the authors to make corrections:
1) The deletion of the critical data;
2) The deleted data 'would have invalidated your claim' that only people already at risk of a heart attack were at a greater risk from Vioxx;
3) The article doesn't mention a cut-off data for information gathering; however even if it does, a scientific journal expects updates;
4) When comparing the safety between two drugs, the authors use misleading writings by saying naproxen protects heart, but failed to point out that Vioxx may actually do harm to heart.
In the past two days, editors and former editors of the NEJM were grilled by attorney representing the Merck & Co. on their November 2004 editorial accusing Merck of concealing critical data from a published study on its now withdrawn painkiller Vioxx.
Merck received made progress on the other front last week when FDA announced a new policy that could prevent any FDA-approved drug being sued in a state court.