In a situation that could have ramifications for ad-supported health media in the digital age, the American Medical Association has asked an oversight committee to investigate charges against the top editors of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.
JAMA editors have been charged with threatening a researcher who publicly faulted a study in the publication.
Researcher Jonathan Leo, a professor of neuroanatomy at Lincoln Memorial University, says the editors threatened him and his dean for an online letter he wrote in the British journal BMJ.
The letter said JAMA didn't disclose that the author of a JAMA study had a financial relationship with the subject of the study, the drug Lexapro. Lexapro's maker, Forest Laboratories, acknowledged
that it had paid the author for speeches, but said his Lexapro research was independent.
The editors deny the charges of threats and charge Leo with a "serious breach of confidentiality." The AMA action comes a day after a nonprofit group that covers medical research called for the suspension of the JAMA editors, and an investigation into their treatment of Leo.