Sunday, February 10, 2008

BMJ Advertising Watch : 09 February 2008 (a difficult balance)

Balancing the truth is a difficult task for a scientific journal. This is the British Medical Journal Advertising analysis for this week. The BMJ advertises itself to advertisers thusly:
"We protect our reputation by careful balance of editorial and advertising, which means your messages will always stand out".

Rules: As usual this is for the UK version of the BMJ. The classified advertisement section is excluded, as are advertisements for the BMA, products of the BMJ/BMA/BNF or the government.
[BMJ Ad Watch]
  • The BMJ broke all records this week with a stunning balance of 29 pages of advertising (1.7 pages of content to balance each 1.0 pages of pharmaceutical advertising). The proportion of advertising devoted to pharmaceuticals was 98.3%. The other 1.7% was a half page advertisement for Ramsay Healthcare - a private hospital network with links to the Labour Government.
  • Discussion about the Ezetimibe scandal: Still -- nothing of any substance. At least the "Better Together" advertisement for Ezetimibe did not appear this week.
  • The double page testosterone advertisement (see last week) appears again. Still no mention in the advertisement of the actual science - which shows that testosterone supplementation does nothing much to anything. I wonder whether the BMJ expects that readers will believe the "messages" in their "scientific" pages or the "messages" in their "scientific" advertisements? Wonderful word that -- "messages".
Click here for collated BMJ Advertising analyses.

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Anonymous said...

Perhaps it's not "substantial" but mention of ezetimibe can be found in the editorial by Donner-Banzhoff and Sönnichsen, who discuss statin dose strategies.

They argue for a fixed dose statin strategy, suggesting that the common target-chasing strategy can pressure doctors into prescribing "drugs like ezetimibe, which modify cholesterol concentrations but according to a recent announcement by the manufacturer have failed to show an effect even on the surrogate of intima thickness, let alone clinical outcomes."

OK, it doesn't talk about misconduct, but it does help get the message out there that ezetimibe is useless.

Anonymous said...

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Thank you so much for your blog.