By Katie Thomas
The New York Times
Originally published March 1, 2016
It is a startling accusation, buried in a footnote in a legal briefing filed recently in federal court: Did two major pharmaceutical companies, in an effort to protect their blockbuster drug, mislead editors at one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals?
Lawyers for patients suing Johnson & Johnson and Bayer over the safety of the anticlotting drug Xarelto say the answer is yes, claiming that a letter published in The New England Journal of Medicine and written primarily by researchers at Duke University left out critical laboratory data. They claim the companies were complicit by staying silent, helping deceive the editors while the companies were in the midst of providing the very same data to regulators in the United States and Europe.
Duke and Johnson & Johnson contend that they worked independently of each other. Bayer declined to comment. And top editors at The New England Journal of Medicine said they did not know that separate laboratory data existed until a reporter contacted them last week, but they dismissed its relevance and said they stood by the article’s analysis.
The article is here.