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Pfizer document requests rejected

25th March 2008

Pfizer’s requests for access to documentation relating to the review processes of a medical journal have been rejected by a US court, it has emerged.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the pharmaceutical company had attempted to subpoena JAMA – the Archives of Internal Medicine and the New England Journal of Medicine – for two of its products.

It is reported that the requests, which related to Pfizer’s Bextra and Celebrex painkilling products, were ruled against by the court which supported JAMA’s claim that the disclosure of such information would be damaging to the independency of the review process.

In an online editorial, due to be published in April’s print publication, JAMA’s editor Catherine DeAngelis and counsel Joseph Thornton welcomed the decision.

“Producing any of these documents, with or without names, would seriously compromise the process and the trusting relationship among the editors, authors and reviewers,” the article noted.

The ruling was originally issued on March 14th and stated that the process associated with such pharmaceutical reviews should remain “confidential from Pfizer, the general public and the medical community at large”, according to a statement from JAMA.

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