Wednesday, September 13, 2017

“Nothing I have heard about this situation so far makes me uncomfortable. I think we’ve handled ourselves impressively.”

That's how an editor at Stat responded to the news that it has been publishing pharma advertorials stage-managed or ghosted by public relations companies.

It's hard to know what the Stat editors are thinking. The messages of these pieces are pretty transparently pro-industry, and it doesn't take much work to find out that the authors are getting paid by pharma. All you need to do is go to Open Payments or Dollars for Docs.  True, the kind of digging that Kevin Lomangino has done for Health News Review to expose these deceptive editorials is harder, but the authors of the editorials did not even try to hide the fact that they were working with public relations agencies. Why didn't Stat editors call the authors and ask those questions themselves?

Most baffling of all is just how nonchalant the Stat editors seem to be about the issue. Dismissing the seriousness of the problem just makes it worse.  

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