Letters to the Editor

Advertising and scientific publishing

The January 1, 2010, issue of JAVMA contained two interesting and informative articles1,2 on the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on osteoarthritis in dogs. It is helpful to me as a practitioner to be able to reference articles from professional journals such as the JAVMA when making treatment recommendations to my clients. When presented in this way, any concerns that a client may have about bias on my part for marketing purposes can be minimized. This is not always the case when presenting sales literature produced by the manufacturer or articles found in the myriad of trade magazines that we are inundated with almost daily.

It is with this in mind that I was dismayed to see a full-page advertisement for Hill's Prescription Diet j/d in the same issue. I appreciate the need for advertising revenue to keep a quality journal viable. I also consider Hill's to be a quality company, and I use and recommend their diets often in my practice. However, when advertisements start appearing simultaneously with favorable articles whose research was at least partially funded by the advertiser, I worry that journalistic integrity will be affected.

William M. Henderson, DVM

Pensacola, Fla

  • 1.

    Roush JK, Dodd CE, Fritsch DA, et al. Multicenter veterinary practice assessment of the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on osteoarthritis in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2010;236:5966.

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  • 2.

    Roush JK, Cross AR, Renberg WC, et al. Evaluation of the effects of dietary supplementation with fish oil omega-3 fatty acids on weight bearing in dogs with osteoarthritis. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2010;236:6773.

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The editor-in-chief responds:

Dr. Henderson is correct that as is the case for other scientific journals, display advertising is an important source of income for the JAVMA. To maintain the integrity of the JAVMA, all decisions regarding advertising are made independently of decisions regarding the editorial content, including which scientific articles are accepted for publication and which articles are included in each issue. The principles governing advertising in the JAVMA have been developed to ensure the highest ethical standards both of scientific publishing and of advertising. They are too long to reproduce in their entirety here. However, placement of an advertisement next to or within a scientific article on the same topic is prohibited.

Finally, I would point out that advertisements in the JAVMA are specifically targeted at veterinarians and not at clients or animal owners. In addition, the same advertisement appeared in the December 15, 2009, issue.

Kurt J. Matushek, DVM, MS, DACVS

Editor-in-Chief

Practicing veterinary medicine in a recession

Most veterinarians practicing today have never experienced hard economic times. The current meltdown has illuminated two painful and immutable truths. One, veterinarians are purveyors of a luxury commodity, and two, routine veterinary care is a low-priority expenditure that can be deferred or eliminated entirely.

Owing to the uncertainty of the present times, even those pet owners who are fortunate enough to enjoy some discretionary income are reluctant to spend money at their veterinarian's office. Although general practitioners have caught a cold in terms of diminished revenue, specialty and referral practices have contracted pneumonia. In my view, those practices not located in upscale neighborhoods have been forced into a survival mode.

As a result of the deepest recession in 80 years, every practice owner has been hurt financially. The greatest losers in all this, however, have been the recent graduates. If you thought paying off one's student loans on an entry-level salary was difficult, try doing so with no salary at all.

Richard H. McCormick, DVM

Miami, Fla

  • 1.

    Roush JK, Dodd CE, Fritsch DA, et al. Multicenter veterinary practice assessment of the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on osteoarthritis in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2010;236:5966.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Roush JK, Cross AR, Renberg WC, et al. Evaluation of the effects of dietary supplementation with fish oil omega-3 fatty acids on weight bearing in dogs with osteoarthritis. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2010;236:6773.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

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