The Lancet and the Drug Industry

Dr Vernon Coleman

The following article is taken from my book `The Dementia Myth’:

`My experience is that issues which are unpopular with the drug companies (the usefulness of vivisection or the questioning of the value and safety of vaccination for example) are ignored by all medical journals.

Medical journalists writing for popular papers often quote articles which have appeared in The Lancet but it is, I think, worth pointing out that The Lancet is a commercial journal which charges a good deal of money for advertising. The latest circulation figures for the weekly magazine show that back in 2007 it sold 29,103 copies and yet despite this relatively modest circulation, a full page advert in The Lancet can cost up to £10,800 (though it will be considerably more than that if you want to buy the back cover). I can only offer the circulation rate for 2007 because, even in 2019, that was the only figure I could find on The Lancet’s website.

Now compare that advertising rate with a magazine that, it is fair to assume, does not take a good deal of drug company advertising. At random I picked a magazine called Model Rail Magazine. It has a circulation of 28,337. And the most expensive page rate for a full page is £900.

So, an advert in The Lancet costs more than ten times as much as an advert in Model Rail Magazine.

And who buys the advertising in The Lancet?

Well, if you guessed that most of it was paid for by drug companies then you probably would not be far off the mark.

And who makes vaccines?

Well, drug companies of course.

Am I being unfair in fearing that there could be a conflict of interest here?

I don’t think so.

I would have more respect for The Lancet (and its point of view) if the magazine refused all drug company advertising and relied entirely on subscription fees. It is worth noting that a subscription to The Lancet costs £163 whereas a subscription to Model Rail Magazine costs £51. Moreover, I doubt if The Lancet pays much if anything to its contributors whereas Model Rail Magazine doubtless has quite a substantial editorial cost.

This astonishing discrepancy in advertising rates is commonplace within the world of medical publishing. There are thousands of medical journals and magazines in existence around the world and many of them are hugely profitable. Drug companies use their journal advertising to promote drugs directly to the doctors with the prescription pads.

The drug companies use charities to indoctrinate patients and they use medical journals to indoctrinate doctors.’

`The Dementia Myth: Most Patients with Dementia are Curable’ – is available as an eBook and a paperback on Amazon.

Copyright Vernon Coleman July 2023