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NEJM “failed its readers” by delay in publishing its concerns about VIGOR trial

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.333.7559.116-f (Published 13 July 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:116
  1. Roger Dobson
  1. Abergavenny

    The New England Journal of Medicine has been accused of failing its readers and damaging its reputation over a study involving the drug rofecoxib (Vioxx).

    The journal waited five years to publish its concerns about the study's findings, says an editorial published online ahead of print publication in August in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (www.jrsm.org). Had it done so earlier, says the editorial, the dangers of the drug, which was later withdrawn, might have been highlighted sooner.

    “The way that the journal has behaved in the dispute around the VIGOR [Vioxx gastrointestinal outcomes research] trial, which was the making of Merck's drug rofecoxib (Vioxx), has raised doubts about its integrity and dovetailed with a growing anxiety about the ethics of medical journals,” the editorial says. …

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