The Strange Case of the Doctored Reprint

JAMA. 1972;221(6):598-599. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200190042012.
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The Archives of Ophthalmology (86:138-141, 1971) published "Fluorometholone: Anti-inflammatory and Intraocular Pressure Effects" by Fairbairn and Thorson. The authors demonstrated to their own satisfaction and that of the Archives' editor, that topical application of a 1% suspension of the drug was effective treatment for mild to severe noninfectious inflammatory disorders of the eye. However, what seems to have been the main thrust of the report was the finding that, unlike certain other steroid preparations, fluorometholone showed a substantially reduced tendency to increase intraocular pressure even in patients with glaucoma.

In May 1971, three months before the communication was published, the manufacturers of fluorometholone, Allergan Pharmaceuticals, requested and were granted permission to reprint. The reprint took a strange form. First there was a disclaimer:

Comments relating to product claims not yet approved by the FDA have been deleted from this reprint. Federal regulations require these deletions from reprints distributed by the


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