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NEJM punishes reviewer for breaking embargo

Was his treatment justified? Tell us what you think

The Scientist Staff
The New England Journal of Medicine has banned Martin Leon, a cardiologist at the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, from reviewing studies and contributing editorials or reviews for five years, as a punishment for telling colleagues at an American College of Cardiology symposium that a trial comparing medication to stents for the treatment of clogged coronaries "was rigged to fail-and it did." The data was to be presented two days later, and published in NEJM soon after. The journal lifted its embargo early once the Wall Street Journal's health blog reported Leon's comments on March 25. (theheart.org first reported the ban story here, and the WSJ picked up on the story here.) So, were the journal's actions justifiable? Critics of medical and scientific journals have previously called for ending the so-called "Ingelfinger Rule" that puts restrictions on what authors can say about their studies before publication. For...

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