Monday, February 23, 2009

And now a word from our sponsors

So, do you think that medical research is unbiased and pure science free from the undue influence of money? Think again.

Publication Of Flu Vaccines Studies In Prestigious Journals Are Determined By The Sponsor

The authors looked at 274 studies on the flu vaccine and analyzed "their methodological quality, prestige of the host journals (impact factor) and citation rates in the scientific literature." The quality of the study had no relation to where the study was published or how often it was cited by other studies. They also found that the poorer quality studies were those whose that were in favor of the vaccination. The most important factor that determined where the study was published was whether the study was funded in part or wholly by industry.

So what about the organizations that are supposed to safeguard the process?

Drug Industry Controls Many Scientific Societies And Journals: How Can Intellectual Freedom In Medicine Be Preserved?

According to a article by the editor of the Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics the process of publishing medical research is controlled, at least in part, by the drug industry. Industry "has full control of many scientific societies, journals and clinical practice guidelines." They also act as the editors and reviewers of medical articles and potentially exercise a fair amount of control over what type of research is published and may block research which is not in their interest.

I think the best advice here is to follow the money tail. If there is an industry that stands to make or lose a good deal of money from research then chances are they are going to try to influence it in the favor.

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