A marketing partnership between the Arthritis Foundation and McNeil Products stirs controversy among rheumatologists
Last fall, the Arthritis Foundation, Atlanta, and Fort Washington, Pa.-based McNeil Consumer Products Co.--a Johnson and Johnson Inc.-affiliated pharmaceutical firm best known for producing Tylenol--teamed up to market a line of nonprescription analgesics called Arthritis Foundation Pain Relievers. According to foundation officials, a minimum of $1 million from sales of the products will be channeled, in the form of grants and postdoctoral fellowships, to arthritis research each year, with this amount growing as sales increase.

Backers of the partnership argue that it is a savvy way to generate research funds and attention for fighting the disease in an increasingly competitive climate for nonprofit organizations and research foundations. David Pisetsky, a professor of medicine and codirector of the arthritis center at Duke University Medical Center who also chairs the foundation's national research committee, characterizes the joint venture...

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