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Medical journal editors in the Asia Pacific uphold ethical journal publishing

Medical journal editors in the Asia Pacific unite to advocate ethical and quality journal publishing through the Tokyo Declaration on Research Integrity and Ethical Publication in Science and Medicine in the Asia Pacific Region.

The declaration was a response of the Asia Pacific Association of Medical Journal Editors (APAME) during its Annual Conference in Tokyo, Japan last 2-4 August 2013 to address the allegations of frauds in published journal articles on Novartis-manufactured drug, valsartan, which recently headlined in Japan.

Although valsartan was first marketed as an anti-hypertensive drug, studies published in different journals supporting claims of its therapeutic benefits for heart and stroke patients made it a well-known heart and stroke medication, eventually raising its sales in countries where it was being sold. However, allegations of fraudulent data manipulation cast doubts to the studies’ truthfulness leading to separate probes of five Japanese universities and the Japan’s Health Ministry.

Early this year, the European Heart Journal retracted its published article after the investigations unanimously concluded that the data on the study were fabricated. This lead to APAME’s drafting of the Tokyo Declaration, pushing for quality journal publishing  and truthful a scientific research among its members. The Tokyo Declaration commits APAME members to abide by ethical standards to maintain integrity of published articles in the Asia Pacific.

In this regards, publishers and editors in the region are encouraged to concurrently publish the declaration in their respective journals.