Listen to all the medical journals breathing a collective "Whew!" A federal judge in Illinois said "nay" to Pfizer's request for peer-review documents from the New England Journal of Medicine. The drugmaker wanted those confidential documents because it thought they might help defend it against Celebrex and Bextra lawsuits.
The request put journals on the defensive. NEJM argued that releasing the data would compromise its peer-review process, under which experts vet studies before they're published. The journal Science filed an affidavit supporting that contention; it stated that setting this precedent would open all peer reviews up to subpoena and undermine the entire process.
The court decided that the value of letting Pfizer have the data was outweighed by the damage it would cause to the journals. A similar suit is pending in Massachusetts.
- see the item at Pharmalot
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