Monday, October 20, 2008

Harvard Health Policy Review - The case of the missing article

In late September, the Harvard Health Policy Review published an article in its “Spring” issue that detailed the ways in which three senior professors at Harvard violated international ethical standards for fair editing as editors of the prestigious Journal of Health Economics.

They censored critics of one of the most widely cited articles by journalists and policy makers on the high costs of research and development, based on unverified, self-reported data from pharmaceutical companies.

These high cost estimates are used to justify high prices for patented drugs in Medicare Part D, Medicaid, and other prescription plans. The case almost resulted in the editors, the Journal, and Elsevier being tried in federal court. The editors appeared to be under great pressure to suppress passages about industry influence, as the new article describes. For example, after going forward with the critique minus deleted sections into copyediting and page proofs for publication, they suddenly withdrew it as it was going to press without explanation. Until this week, the article about the editors’ actions could be found at the HHPR website,; but suddenly all access to the article and to the journal has been shut down.

“Ethical Standards for Healthcare Journal Editors” by Rebecca Warburton and Donald W. Light (vol 9, no. 1:58-67) cannot be found on websites that linked it either.

Can anyone out there help shed some light on this missing article?


Duncan said...

health policy
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
Ethical Standards for Healthcare Journal Editors: A Case Report and Recommendations. Donald W. Light, PhD and Rebecca N. Warburton, PhD ...

The article is still available here.

alan_b said...

The article is still available here

Not any more! The Google cache HTML version still works, but, for how long?

Chris MacDonald said...

Does anyone have any info / rumour / claims about why HHPR was shut down? Has there been an official explanation?

I mean, the implication is clear; I just wonder if anyone at HHPR or Harvard or anyone else official has said anything.

Chris MacDonald said...

The version on Penn's site is still there. I just downloaded it 30 seconds ago:

Ethical Standards for Healthcare Journal Editors: A Case Report and Recommendations

Anonymous said...

Seems to be back now. Try:

Anonymous said...

The Scientist just posted this

And it appears the Harvard Health Policy Review is back up.

early 60s professional living in Jersey exurbia said...

It appears to be back with some apologies made, since one of the editors in question is an old college buddy, I can't wait to read about, I just love a good scandal...