On January 15, 2009, the NY Review of Books published a devastating quote from a woman who, for 20 years, was an editor at one of the most prestigious medical journal in the world:
“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.” —Marcia Angell, MD, “Drug Companies and Doctors: A story of Corruption.” NY Review of Books, Jan. 15, 2009.
For any ambitious medical reporter, the quote could have been the jumping-off point for an investigation aimed at taking down medical journals and the whole peer-review system that underpins medical publishing.
But nothing happened. No dots were connected. The quote was left hanging in mid-air like a Hindenburg whose explosion had been indefinitely postponed.