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June 16, 1956


JAMA. 1956;161(7):643. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970070075023

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To the Editor:—  From time to time, members of the medical profession voice complaints regarding "premature publicity" about developments in the field of medicine. These complaints generally are directed at newspapermen and others employed by lay communications mediums. A full examination of the facts would reveal that such criticism is usually groundless. However, it is unfortunately true that some instances of premature publicity do occur now and then, although the National Association of Science Writers (NASW) feels it is achieving considerable success in its persistent efforts to reduce their incidence. In line with this, the NASW wishes to deplore publicly the indefensible methods employed by a certain pharmaceutical firm in connection with the announcement of a new ataraxic drug on Feb. 20, 1956. Early in February, telegrams were sent, on behalf of this firm, to a number of science writers in the United States, which said in part: "By special

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