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January 18, 2005

British Medical Journal embarrassed

Someone with an interest in attacking Lilly, the drugmaker, approached the BMJ proffering documents that had supposedly mysteriously vanished since a famous lawsuit a decade ago and which were said to implicate Lilly in knowing that its antidepressant Prozac was more dangerous than it let on. Hundreds of news stories followed, uniformly harmful to the company's reputation. But as the New York Times's Barry Meier reports, there are many problems with the documents: some have been in circulation for years, while Lilly has plausible rebuttals of others which the BMJ did not invite it to provide before running its damaging article. (Incidentally, the plaintiff's lawyers who handled the decade-old case against Lilly say they weren't consulted regarding the documents, and another leading anti-Prozac lawyer says he wasn't involved either.) I've had occasion to criticize the BMJ before, on Overlawyered, regarding the case of anti-tobacco academic Richard Daynard (updates).

Posted by Walter Olson at 12:49 AM | TrackBack (0)

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