Intended for healthcare professionals

Politics And Health

Transatlantic divide in publication of content relevant to developing countries

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 16 December 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:1429
  1. Asad J Raja, Mohammed Bhai professor (,
  2. Peter A Singer, Sun Life financial chair and director2
  1. 1 Department of Surgery, Aga Khan University, Nairobi, Kenya
  2. 2 Joint Centre for Bioethics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 1L4
  1. Correspondence to: A J Raja

    Although 112 countries now receive 2200 medical journals free or at reduced prices, improving access to information on obesity is of little value to physicians treating patients dying of malnutrition. Ninety per cent of the US$70bn (£38bn; €54bn) spent annually on health research is focused on the diseases of 10% of the world's population.1 Researchers in eight industrialised countries produce almost 85% of the world's leading science; 163 countries, including most of the developing world, account for less than 2.5%.2 Less than 8% of articles published in the six leading tropical medicine journals in 2000-2 were generated exclusively by scientists from developing countries.3 Medical journals cannot single handedly right these inequities, but they have an important role to play. The BMJ's ethics committee identified publication of content relating to developing countries as an important ethical issue to examine. Our objectives were to review the relevance …

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