But now the regulations in the area are starting to change. It's now permissible for companies to pass out reprints of research articles that studied off-label uses of drugs.
From the FDA document: "A scientific or medical journal article that is distributed should:
- be published by an organization that has an editorial board that uses experts who have demonstrated expertise in the subject of the article under review by the organization and who are independent of the organization to review and objectively select, reject, or provide comments about proposed articles; and that has a publicly stated policy, to which the organization adheres, of full disclosure of any conflict of interest or biases for all authors, contributors, or editors associated with the journal or organization;
- be peer-reviewed and published in accordance with the peer-review procedures of the organization; and
- not be in the form of a special supplement or publication that has been funded in whole or in part by one or more of the manufacturers of the product that is the subject of the article"
So now the FDA is making the assumption that if it is peer-reviewed, it's correct. As if peer-reviewers are short on time (I'm always pressed for time when asked to complete a review, they never seem to come during slow times), ever wrong (I don't think I am, but fortunately I'm not making life-and-death decisions to approve a polymer chemistry paper), or politically connected (I'm too much of a loner for that game). Sure, the papers are already out there, but to use them for promotion is not the original intent of the article (or maybe it is depending on who funded it) but there is no obligation to not cherry pick the articles and only pass out the good results.