Should Journals Stop Publishing Pharma-Funded Research?

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The British Medical Journal hosts a point-counterpoint debate, with Peter Gøtzsche and Richard Smith arguing that the reasons for the boycott of tobacco-industry research – corruption and commercial motivations – are even stronger for pharmaceutical-funded research.  Trish Groves, head of research for the BMJ, argues that the industry is increasing its integrity.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]

2 COMMENTS

  1. I feel some sympathy for Trish Groves. She chose (or was chosen) to defend an untenable position. Still…

    Summary of Debate

    Peter Gøtzsche and Richard Smith: the reasons for the boycott of tobacco-industry research – corruption and commercial motivations – are even stronger for pharmaceutical-funded research, and here’s why…

    Trish Groves: No they’re not. Maybe you are. Maybe they are, but they’re getting better and we can help them lie less by publishing their lies. Here’s some other info that does not address any of the points you two made…

    Oh, and

    The drug and tobacco industries, notwithstanding the inescapable fact that both are out to make money, have very different aims. The drug industry makes and sells products aimed at improving health. Medical journals aim to publish research that will improve health. It’s a good fit… “A cigarette is the only consumer product which when used as directed kills its consumer.” Whatever your concerns about the drug industry and the safety of drugs, you’d be hard pushed to make the same allegation.

    Really?

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