Writing on her blog "Honest Medicine," Julia Schopick points out that the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) used video news releases (VNRs) to promote two studies that later proved controversial, because the authors had neglected to disclose their financial ties to pharmaceutical companies. One study concluded that pregnant women risked relapsing into depression if they stopped taking antidepressants. The January 2006 VNR on the study featured lead author Dr. Lee Cohen, who is a "longtime consultant to three antidepressant makers, a paid speaker for seven of them and has his research work funded by four drug makers," reported the Wall Street Journal. The other study found a link between severe migraines in women and cardiovascular disease. The July 2006 VNR on that study featured lead author Dr. Tobias Kurth, who "has received research funding from the makers of Bayer aspirin, Tylenol and Advil, pain relievers sometimes used to treat migraines," reported the Associated Press. "If JAMA continues to produce and disseminate VNRs ... its staff must check the financial ties of their authors prior to publication," concludes Schopick.
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