Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Questionable Marketing to Doctors (2)

In response to my post on Questionable Marketing to Doctors, especially to Merck publishing a 'fake journal', I received this email in response.

Dear Dr. Tang:

Thank you for your recent e-mail letter to Merck. Merck has always been committed to the highest standards of scientific integrity, patient safety and ethics. Our voluntary withdrawal of VIOXX in September 2004 is a good example of that commitment.

Since the voluntary withdrawal there have been significant misstatements of fact in the press and elsewhere about VIOXX and it appears some of these misperceptions have found their way into your letter. The facts concerning the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine Journal are disclosed in our company statement which is attached and posted on (

The pdf file is a Merck Company statement dated 30 April 2009 which started with

Merck Responds to Questions about the
Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine Journal

Questions about a 2001 Circulation Article also Addressed

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., April 30, 2009 – Merck & Co., Inc. today provided the following statement regarding questions stemming from the courtroom testimony of professor George Jelinek in Australia.

The Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine to which professor Jelinek referred was published by the medical publishing company Elsevier. Merck Sharp & Dohme Australia understood that Elsevier envisaged the complimentary publication would draw on the vast resources of Elsevier, publishers of many leading peer-reviewed journals including Lancet, Bone, Joint Bone Spine and others, to deliver novel and timely full-text articles and abstracts to physicians.

read the rest of the statement ( decide for yourself.

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Anonymous Tang-let said...

Wow. Talk about saying lots but saying nothing. Wonder if they even read the Scientist article?

9:06 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Hi Tang-let,

Welcome. You are correct to point out there are a lot of words but actually saying nothing.

Rather presumptuous of them that they think they can get away by issuing a so call statement.

1:48 PM  

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