Merck Has Demonstrated A Corporate Culture Of Deception

Merck published fake journal

The following is an excerpted article that was originally published in To read the full article, with citations, click on the hyper link below. The Inconvenient Woman thought it was very important to illustrate the prevasive corporate culture of deception that has taken over the once respected Pharma Giant, Merck.  Two generations ago Merck was renowned for  innovative research  and being science-driven organization.  That was long ago. Today Merck is being run by lawyers, accountants and one of the best marketing brain trusts in the world. Apparently ethical behavior is no longer part broke with the news that Merck & Co., the maker of controversial drugs such as the Gardasil vaccine and recalled Vioxx, paid for publication of a bogus medical journal. It seems Merck paid Elsevier to develop what described as “several volumes of a publication that had the look of a peer-reviewed medical journal, but contained only reprinted or summarized articles.”Most of the articles in the publication presented Merck products favorably, which…
Most of the articles in the publication presented Merck products favorably, which makes it seem as if the phony journal was developed for marketing purposes without actually indicating itself as project sponsor, said “I’ve seen no shortage of creativity emanating from the marketing departments of drug companies,” said deputy director of the public health research group at the consumer advocacy nonprofit Public Citizen, Peter Lurie. Lurie reviewed two issues of the fake journal, which was obtained by and added that, “But even for someone as jaded as me, this is a new wrinkle.” TheScientist noted that, other than ads for Merck’s Fosamax and Vioxx, there were minimal other advertisements.

News of the questionable, Merck-created journal started surfacing with a report by The Australian and emerged from information from a civil suit filed against Merck by a patient who suffered a heart attack while on Vioxx, said George Jelinek, an Australian physician and established member of the World Association of Medical Editors, reviewed four issues and testified at the trial, said TheScientist. Jelinek explained that the “average reader,” which in this case, would be a physician, could believe the journal to be “genuine” and peer-reviewed, noting that, “Only close inspection of the journals, along with knowledge of medical journals and publishing conventions, enabled me to determine that the Journal was not, in fact, a peer reviewed medical journal, but instead a marketing publication,” reported TheScientist.

Jelinek noted a good portion of the journal’s articles focused on Merck drugs with favorable verbiage. Adding to the lack of credibility, the so-called review articles contained surprisingly sparse referencing—most review articles are rife with citations and references….


Author: H. Sandra Chevalier-Batik

I started the Inconvenient Woman Blog in 2007, and am the product of a long line of inconvenient women. The matriarchal line is French-Canadian, Roman Catholic, with a very feisty Irish great-grandmother thrown in for sheer bloody mindedness. I am a research analyst and author who has made her living studying technical data, and developing articles, training materials, books and web content. Tracking through statistical data, and oblique cross-references to find the relevant connections that identifies a problem, or explains a path of action, is my passion. I love clearly delineating the magic questions of knowledge: Who, What, Why, When, Where and for How Much, Paid to Whom. My life lessons: listen carefully, question with boldness, and personally verify the answers. I look at America through the appreciative eyes of an immigrant, and an amateur historian; the popular and political culture is a ceaseless fascination. I have no impressive initials after my name. I’m merely an observer and a chronicler, an inconvenient woman who asks questions, and sometimes encourages others to look at things differently.