A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

Journal Editor Steps Down After Conflicts Revealed

September 23, 2006

When we wrote (September 21) that conflicts of interest among journal editors are not being addressed, we were neglecting the case of Charles Nemeroff, the editor-in-chief of Neuropsychopharmacology. Nemeroff is the chairman of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University medical school in Atlanta.

As the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this summer, a favorable review by Nemeroff of a device to treat depression, published in Neuropsychopharmacology, failed to disclose his ties to Cyberonics, the manufacturer of the device. The fact that his six academic coauthors had ties to Cyberonics, as the medical journal later revealed, was also left unmentioned; the eighth coauthor works at the company.

These links to industry were made known to the journal, but were not included in the published paper. In late August, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP), the publisher of the journal, announced that Nemeroff will step down as editor at the end of the year, Science reported in its September 1 issue. "I cannot recall another time where there has been so much concern among the membership," the president of ACNP wrote to his members, according to Science.

The Alliance for Human Research Protection has many of the documents and articles on the Nemeroff case posted on its Web site.