This new initiative follows my earlier post on the widening gap between the debate about science that is taking place in medical journals and the scientific/ethical discussion outside of those journals. Each week I will collate the advertising in the current issue of the British Medical Journal. I'll comment as we go along, and at the end of some period I'll collate the data, related scandals involving the advertised drugs and discussion taking place within the content pages of the BMJ. I'll also comment on any appearance of any discussion in the BMJ about questionable Ezetimibe research.
Rules: This is for the BMJ as delivered to subscribers in the UK (not to libraries). If anyone wants to help collate data for JAMA, Lancet and NEJM let me know. The classified advertisement section is excluded, as are pages advertising the BMA or products of the BMJ/BMA. Below is the analysis for this week
Comment: 100% of the advertising was for pharmaceuticals. There was no advertising space devoted to other products doctors might be inclined to purchase (stethoscopes, expensive cars, medical devices, services, holidays, books, cosmetics or alcohol). The ratio of advertising space to content was 1:2.55.
The advertisement for Novartis about CML chemotherapy was particularly interesting. This was in essence a one page content-free scientific "review" raising the concept of targeted chemotherapy for CML based on Bcr-Abl.
Discussion about Ezetimibe research: None