Editorial Foxes and Chicken Coops of the Sick

Majid Ali, M.D.

If you ask five ten doctor-readers of The New England Journal of Medicine to name what they think might have been (or is) the most powerful editor-in-chief of the Journal, most, if not all, are likely to name Arnold S. Relman. So powerful (autocratic behind the scenes) was the man. Below I quote him from one of his letters published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) published on August 6, 2014.

Before you read Relman’s quote, I point out that the back cover ad of the Journal costs about $250,000.00. So, this is about serious money for the Journal.

Now to the quote: “No matter what the good intentions of the leaders might have been in accepting an affiliation with a pharmaceutical company, such ties are a real (never a “potential”) conflict of interest and should be totally eliminated.”

How noble of Dr. Relman! How ethical!

So then why the words in the title of this article? Simply because the Journal raked in hundreds of millions of dollars from pharmaceutical companies from their ads under Dr. Relman’s watch. He more than anyone else knew about the doctor-writers on the payroll of doctors. He knew about ghost writers of drug companies which wrote articles published under the names of professors and how much those professors earned from such such blatant frauds. He went along with all that because he knew it was that money which gave the absolute power.

Now after retirement, raising your voice against conflict of interest. How noble of you, Dr. Relman! How ethical of you Dr, Relman!

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