Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Correction And Apology

Eli Lilly: Correction and apology

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 27 January 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:211

Rapid Response:

Apologies Acceptable?

I find myself in the unfamiliar position of sympathizing with a major
pharmaceutical company. The "correction and apology" to Eli Lilly (BMJ
2005;330:211 (29 January) represents at least a gesture toward recognizing
the importance of impartiality which readers rightly expect from the BMJ.

Yet I wonder about the sincerity of the proffered apology. If, indeed,
"the BMJ did not intend to suggest that Eli Lilly caused these documents
to go missing," then what exactly was the intent? I must also question
whether the original claims were, as stated in your apology, "published in
good faith." Was there actually a "good faith effort" to check the
accuracy of your reportage before it appeared in print? If not, an apology
is only part of what is required to put things aright.

Robert Koepp

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

01 February 2005
robert koepp
research coordinator
Children's Hospitals and Clinics, Minneapolis, MN USA 55106