Hugh Pickens writes: "Don't believe everything you read on the internet is a good rule to follow, but it turns out that you can't even believe a "peer reviewed scientific journal" as details emerge that drug manufacturer Merck created a phony, but real sounding, peer-review journal titled the "Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine" to publish data favorable to its products. "What's sad is that I'm sure many a primary care physician was given literature from Merck that said, 'As published in Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine, Fosamax outperforms all other medications....'" writes Summer Johnson in a post on the website of the American Journal of Bioethics. One Australian rheumatologist named Peter Brooks who served as an "honorary advisory board" to the journal didn't receive a single paper for peer-review in his entire time on the board, but it didn't bother him because he apparently knew the journal did not receive original submissions of research. All this is probably not too surprising in light of Merck's difficulties with Vioxx, the once $2.5 billion a year drug that was pulled from the market in September 2004, after a study showed it doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke in long-term users resulting in payments by Merck of $4.85 billion to settle personal injury claims from former users, but it bears repeating that "if physicians would not lend their names or pens to these efforts, and publishers would not offer their presses, these publications could not exist.""
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