Hypertension society splits with journal in CME dispute

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The American Society of Hypertension (ASH) has ended its 16-year relationship with the American Journal of Hypertension (AJH) in a dispute over the control and credibility of the society's continuing medical education symposia.
AJH's editor John Laragh made the announcement in an editorial appearing in the journal's July issue.
Laragh, a researcher at Cornell University's Weill Medical College, has accused the society's leaders of being improperly influenced by financial ties to the pharmaceutical an article in Friday's Wall Street Journal said.
In an email to sent ASH members in May, Laragh said the society's CME agenda had become "unacceptably dominated" by members "heavily involved in pharma marketing for personal gain."
Laragh alleged the changes at ASH occurred after Thomas Giles, a hypertension researcher, became president of the society in 2004, the newspaper article said.
Giles denied the charge telling the Journal, "We have the same sort of fire wall that most organizations build." Giles added that during his tenure at least one physician had been sanctioned and reprimanded by letter for giving a "commercially biased presentation."
Meanwhile, the society will seek new "official publications" to communicate scientific developments to ASH members, Giles said. The new "publications" will have "complete editorial independence," Giles said, and ASH will provide "appropriate editorial oversight to make sure they serve the society's mission."


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