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Until very recently, we were clueless about this little spat:
“A few months back, Shannon Brownlee and Jeanne Lenzer wrote on Slate about potential conflicts of interest, addressing doctors who had received funds from pharma talking about SSRIs on public radio. They stated that they’d created a list of pharma-free experts for journalists. . . . ” (We’ve now reached the limits of our technological capacity. We can’t figure out how to link that quote to Torts Prof and yet keep the internal link to Slate. In any event, the preceding quote comes from Torts Prof — here.)
Ted Frank, of the AEI and Point of Law, asked Brownlee and Lenzer for their list of “untainted” experts, but Brownlee and Lenzer refused to share it. Here’s Ted’s rant on that subject from a couple of months ago.
Brownlee and Lenzer have now shared their list with the world.
And here’s the public service part of this announcement: We figure that readers of this blog, perhaps more than any other group on the face of the planet, can tell us which of Brownlee and Lenzer’s pharma-free experts have accepted money to testify as experts for plaintiffs. (If you can provide accurate, verifiable information, feel free to name names — specifying who received money from whom — in the comments beneath this post.)
We, of course, don’t think that it’s necessarily “corrupting” for a scientist to perform work for a company and to be paid for his or her efforts. But we do think that sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander: Surely if it’s worth noting the money that certain people have received from the drug industry, it’s equally worth noting the money that other people have received from “Trial Lawyers, Inc.”