The Annals of Family Medicine, a new journal scheduled to begin publication at the end of the month, will be completely free from the drug ads that still underwrite virtually all medical journals, its editor says.
Kurt Stange, M.D., the publication's editor as well as professor of family medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, says most of the funding for the new journal will come instead from the American Academy of Family Physicians and five other sponsoring family medicine organizations.
Stange says the groups have asked him not to divulge the level of funding, which he says covers an editorial staff of six, an initial run of 83,000 copies published through the AAFP, and a Web site for free access to Annals articles.
Stange insists that not having any commercial advertising was mainly "a business decision." He notes that the Annals aims for a "diverse readership," including many nonphysicians who cannot prescribe drugs.
While members of sponsoring organizations will not pay for the Annals, nonphysician readers will be charged a subscription that would bring in some extra revenue, he says.
But Stange also notes that editors of many journals are increasingly bothered about having to depend on ads pushing products that may conflict with views in their editorial pages.
"I think all journals have been looking for ways they can free themselves from drug advertising," he says.
Not having any ads except classifieds "relieves us of the financial problems inherent in the ups and downs of external funding," he adds.
Stange says the new journal fills a hole left by The Archives of Family Medicine, which he says the AMA closed down one and half years ago.
Besides the AAFP, other sponsoring organizations of the Annals are the American Board of Family Practice, Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, Association of Departments of Family Medicine, Association of Family Practice Residency Directors and the North American Primary Care Research Group.