Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

Politico breaks American Journal of Public Health embargo on conflict of interest study

with 2 comments

The American Journal of Public Health has lifted a study’s embargo several hours early after Politico ran a teaser item on the paper. According to an email sent out today at 11:33 a.m. Eastern:

American Journal of Public Health Embargo Lifted Immediately for study on “Health Advocacy Organizations and the Pharmaceutical Industry: An Analysis of Disclosure Practices” by Sheila Rothman, Victoria Raveis, Anne Friedman and David Rothman, appearing this week in the American Journal of Public Health.

We regret to inform you that we have just learned that the embargo for this AJPH study, which was set for today, Thursday, January 13, at 4 p.m. EST, has been broken with a story published this morning. Due to this regrettable occurrence, we are immediately lifting the embargo on this report, so that other media outlets can also release the story now and do not have to wait until the scheduled time of lifting the embargo. Note that the rest of the March 2011 AJPH issue will still remain under embargo until 4 p.m. EST today.

The American Journal of Public Health editors thank all of the journalists who abide by the AJPH embargoes each month. AJPH takes breaches of the embargo seriously and is investigating the circumstances.

The Politico Pulse item:

OUT TODAY: QUESTIONING TIES BETWEEN PHARMA AND ADVOCACY – The American Journal of Public Health will release a study today contending that health advocacy organizations do not always disclose financial ties to pharmaceutical companies. PULSE got a preview of what to expect from the study’s lead author, Columbia University public health professor Shelia Rothman. “Health advocacy organizations are very effective stakeholders in health policy; they advocate effectively for members, sit on advisory boards, and testify frequently,” she tells us. “I didn’t understand they also took money from the pharmaceutical industry.” While the study does not draw a causal relationship between health advocacy organizations’ work and the funds they receive from pharmaceuticals, Rothman says it does make the case for greater financial disclosure and transparency. Look out for the full study results later today.

This isn’t the first time Politico has shown up on Embargo Watch. In August, a Politico teaser also broke an embargo, that time on a Pew Charitable Trust poll of broadband use.

Written by Ivan Oransky

January 13, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Here’s a question: should other journals take this under advisement, and consider proactive action against outlets like Politico that have broken embargoes? Or should one wait until one is the subject of a break? Just throwing it out there. Like a grenade.

    David Sampson

    January 13, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    • Love the grenade, David. It does seem as though some outlets are repeat offenders, so why not unlist them until they learn better manners?

      sally

      January 13, 2011 at 5:19 pm


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