Somebody—possibly a representative of a drug company or a PR acting for the company—rang an editor on behalf of study authors to say that she would guarantee to buy 1000 reprints if the journal would continue to consider for publication a study that conflicted with a policy that the journal had just introduced. “And”, she said, “I will buy you a dinner at any restaurant you choose.” The paper was rejected, but should further action be taken?
_ Generally drug companies have policies against PR companies approaching journals and if the drug company was identifiable then the editor could contact the company concerned to complain. _ The lead author of the study should be informed about the actions of individuals representing the product being discussed in the paper. _ The drug company might also want to know what the PR is doing on its behalf. One of the members relayed how in a similar circumstance he had complained to the drug company which had withdrawn its contract with the offending PR company.
The editor admitted that he could not remember the name of the person involved and was unable to trace the article, but he promised to mention the incident in the journal. He fulfilled his promise.