EDITORIAL: Drug firms face fresh challenge

The reputation of the pharmaceuticals sector took another knock

this week as editors of a dozen medical journals accused drug firms of

distorting scientific research for profit.

For pharma firms, without whose work drugs would come on the market less

regularly and less effectively, this is a terrible slur. Communicating

the value of their work has become all the more important as they strive

to prevent journal editors from undermining consumer confidence.

It is increasingly difficult to keep consumers aware of real

developments in ethical drugs. But the actions of the medical editors

have created an atmosphere of mistrust which is not only unnecessary -

since despite obeying the profit motive, drug companies do much that is

good - but is also less likely to promote clear communication between

the spokesmen for drug suppliers and the media outlets on which they

depend for coverage of innovations.

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