Drug Article Examined For Bias

The New England Journal of Medicine is looking into whether the authors of a favorable editorial on a new obesity drug did not properly reveal their links to makers and marketers of the drug, The Wall Street Journal said today.

Marcia Angell, editor of the prestigious Boston-based medical journal, told the newspaper she was surprised to learn that the researchers were paid consultants to firms making and marketing the new drug, Redux.

One researcher said he made a mistake, the other said she disclosed her relationship.

The editorial, which appears in today’s edition of the medical journal, accompanies an article linking the use of appetite suppressants, such as Interneuron Pharmaceutical Inc.’s new Redux drug, to a fatal lung disorder. The editorial argues the new drugs could save 280 lives for every 14 people who die from the lung disorder.

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