April 23 2008

Preserving Confidentiality in the Peer Review Process

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Dr DeAngelis (cathy.deangelis@jama-archives.org) is Editor in Chief and Mr Thornton is Editorial Counsel, JAMA.

JAMA. 2008;299(16):1956. doi:10.1001/jama.299.16.jed80000

For the past year or so, JAMA and the Archives of Internal Medicine have been involved in litigation that significantly threatened the integrity of our peer review process. We now inform our reviewers, authors, and readers about the results of this litigation that preserve the confidentiality of our peer review process.

Pfizer Inc is a defendant in more than 3000 lawsuits across the country alleging that Pfizer advertised and marketed the cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitors celecoxib and valdecoxib as likely to provide pain relief without the adverse effects that had accompanied earlier anti-inflammatory medications. The plaintiffs contend that false representations were made to drive demand for these higher-priced prescription drugs, when lower-cost nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs would have been as safe or safer for most patients. The plaintiffs include consumers, health plan providers such as unions, and third-party payers that manage formularies and reimburse claims.

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