Australasian Journal of Bone & Joint Medicine
Excerpta Medica Communications (Australia)
The Australasian Journal of Bone & Joint Medicine (originally titled the Australasian Journal of Musculoskeletal Medicine) was a periodical presented in the style of a scientific journal, published by Elsevier but established and funded by pharmaceutical company Merck. Publication began in 2002, and the last known issue appeared in 2005. According to The Scientist:
Merck paid an undisclosed sum to Elsevier to produce several volumes of [Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine], a publication that had the look of a peer-reviewed medical journal, but contained only reprinted or summarized articles—most of which presented data favorable to Merck products—that appeared to act solely as marketing tools with no disclosure of company sponsorship.
In May 2009, Elsevier admitted that a series of similar industry sponsored publications had been produced, and that "high standards for disclosure were not followed in this instance". In a formal statement, the CEO of Elsevier's Health Sciences Division, Michael Hansen, admitted that the practice was "unacceptable", and expressed regret for the publications. Merck has denied claims that articles within it were ghost written by Merck and has stated that the articles were all reprinted from peer-reviewed medical journals.
There were six such "industry-sponsored" publications brought out by Elsevier without proper disclosure of their nature, and which had the superficial appearance of a legitimate independent journal. The six publications involved were
- Australasian Journal of General Practice
- Australasian Journal of Neurology
- Australasian Journal of Cardiology
- Australasian Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
- Australasian Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine
- Australasian Journal of Bone & Joint Medicine
- "Australasian journal of musculoskeletal medicine.". Catalogue. State Library of New South Wales. Retrieved May 9, 2009.
- "Australasian journal of bone & joint medicine.". Catalogue. State Library of New South Wales. Retrieved May 9, 2009.
- Salamander Davoudi; Andrew Jack (May 6, 2009). "Elsevier admits journal error". Financial Times (London). ISSN 0307-1766. Retrieved Nov 20, 2009.
- Lamb, Tom (Apr 30, 2009). "The Tale Of Merck's Fake Medical Journal As Told At A Vioxx Trial In Australia". Retrieved Nov 20, 2009.
- Grant, Bob (Apr 30, 2009). "Merck published fake journal". The Scientist. Archived from the original on 31 October 2009. Retrieved Nov 20, 2009.
- Johnson, Summer (May 1, 2009). "Merck Makes Phony Peer-Review Journal". Retrieved Nov 20, 2009.
- "Statement From Michael Hansen, CEO Of Elsevier's Health Sciences Division, Regarding Australia Based Sponsored Journal Practices Between 2000 And 2005" (Press release). Elsevier. May 7, 2009. Retrieved Nov 20, 2009.
It has recently come to my attention that from 2000 to 2005, our Australia office published a series of sponsored article compilation publications, on behalf of pharmaceutical clients, that were made to look like journals and lacked the proper disclosures. This was an unacceptable practice, and we regret that it took place.
- "Merck Responds to Questions about the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine Journal" (PDF) (Press release). Merck & Co. Apr 30, 2009. Archived (PDF) from the original on 31 December 2009. Retrieved Nov 20, 2009.
- Aussie Civil Suit Uncovers Fake Medical Journals. ABCNews, May 14, 2009. Accessed January 5, 2010
- Doctor not told about Vioxx 'role'. The Australian, May 9, 2009. Accessed January 5, 2010
- Goldacre, Ben (May 9, 2009). "The danger of drugs … and data". The Guardian (London). ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 17 November 2009. Retrieved Nov 20, 2009.
- Grant, Bob (May 7, 2009). "Elsevier published 6 fake journals". The Scientist. Retrieved Nov 20, 2009.