In the years since Vioxx prescriptions stopped, Merck has defended thousands of civil cases charging that the drug company was responsible for heart attacks -- losing some key billion-dollar claims but winning others, according to reporting by the New York Times.
Seeman said he's just happy that the phony journals have been exposed. But he also notes that such a marketing strategy threatened an intangible yet crucial commodity in his field: reputation of scientific integrity.
"Having my name there [on the board] makes me indirectly responsible for the validity of the content. It's a gross abuse," he said.
"Among scientists, the most important thing that we have is the credibility with our peers," said Seeman. What Merck did is "careless... it's showing no care or respect for the scientists' need for independence and credibility."
The Australian trial, which began in Melbourne on March 30, continues.