Lancet challenged to take a stand against drug advertising

DOCTORS in Australia have called on medical journal The Lancet to ban drug advertising in its pages.

In a letter, Adelaide GP Dr Peter Mansfield, director of Healthy Skepticism, asked whether The Lancet was prepared to take a stand against drug company advertising as the Emergency Medicine Australasia journal had done. 

Dr Mansfield and his co-authors cited their systematic review showing journal advertisements were more strongly associated with prescribing than the scientific articles in the same journals. A Lancet editorial said drug company-sponsored research and review articles were “the real scourge” of medical journals.

Lancet 2011; 378:2,30