To what extent should papers submitted from drug companies be published in medical journals?
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavia 1999 99:157-159.
Do the pharmaceutical companies promote or repress unbiased knowledge? This highly controversial topic is discussed in a recent paper by Nemeroff . His paper has the provocative title ‘The Escalating Pharmaceutical Company Wars: Where is an Academic to Hide?’ He states, ‘The prescription drug market in the United States is very big business, and nowhere is the competition more fierce than in the sale of drugs to treat psychiatric disorders. The competition is especially fierce when three or four drugs are available in the same class, with only minor differences among them. This is the case with both the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and the atypical antipsychotics.’ Nemeroff states that as a consequence of the increasingly competitive marketing, he has faced a new attitude from drug company representatives, who have invited him to give a speech about treatment of mental disorders. He states that ‘it is becoming almost the rule, rather than the exception’ that the pharmaceutical representative encourages him to say something positive about the drug of the company in question, and often also to say something negative about the closest competitive drugs. It is no surprise that he tells us that American academic lecturers feel that their integrity is being threatened… NEMEROFF CB. The escalating pharmaceutical company wars: where is an academic to hide? CNS Spectrums 1998;3:17,92.