Dr. Weeks’ Comment: Real scientists know that published peer-reviewed scientific articles are typically only marketing. If you don’t appreciate that unacceptable conflict of interest, you have not been listening to a host of former editors of top medical journals have been confessing over the past 2 decades. For example read what Marcia Angell M.D., former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, confesses here.
In contrast, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. , an American hero who champions health care freedom, is the most important voice in America protecting your health. He transitioned from influential environmental lawyer (he led the legal team which succeeded against Monsanto!) to protector of children (and you!) when he founded the Children’s Health Defense. Here he introduces the formation of the Children’s Health Defense. Join now and help the good guys. While you are at it, get this free ebook to clarify what is happening around you.
The Medical Journals’ Sell-Out—Getting Paid to Play
By the Children’s Health Defense Team
[Note: This is Part IX in a series of articles adapted from the second Children’s Health Defense eBook: Conflicts of Interest Undermine Children’s Health. The first eBook, The Sickest Generation: The Facts Behind the Children’s Health Crisis and Why It Needs to End, described how children’s health began to worsen dramatically in the late 1980s following fateful changes in the childhood vaccine schedule.]
The vaccine industry and its government and scientific partners routinely block meaningful science and fabricate misleading studies about vaccines. They could not do so, however, without having enticed medical journals into a mutually beneficial bargain. Pharmaceutical companies supply journals with needed income, and in return, journals play a key role in suppressing studies that raise critical questions about vaccine risks—which would endanger profits.Journals are willing to accept even the most highly misleading advertisements. The FDA has flagged numerous instances of advertising violations, including ads that overstated a drug’s effectiveness or minimized its risks.
An exclusive and dependent relationship
Advertising is one of the most obviously beneficial ways that medical journals’ “exclusive and dependent relationship” with the pharmaceutical industry plays out. According to a 2006 analysis in PLOS Medicine, drugs and medical devices are the only products for which medical journals accept advertisements. Studies show that journal advertising generates “the highest return on investmentof all promotional strategies employed by pharmaceutical companies.” The pharmaceutical industry puts a particularly “high value on advertising its products in print journals” because journals reach doctors—the “gatekeeper between drug companies and patients.” Almost nine in ten drug advertising dollars are directed at physicians.
In the U.S. in 2012, drug companies spent $24 billionmarketing to physicians, with only $3 billion spent on direct-to-consumer advertising. By 2015, however, consumer-targeted advertising had jumped to $5.2 billion, a 60% increase that has reaped bountiful rewards. In 2015, Pfizer’s Prevnar-13 vaccine was the nation’s eighth most heavily advertised drug; after the launch of the intensive advertising campaign, Prevnar “awareness” increased by over 1,500% in eight months, and “44% of targeted consumers were talking to their physicians about getting vaccinated specifically with Prevnar.” Slick ad campaigns have also helped boost uptake of “unpopular” vaccines like Gardasil.
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