The Medical Letter was founded in 1959 by Arthur Kallet, a layman, and Harold Aaron, an internist. Arthur was a co-founder of Consumer Research, which became Consumers Union, and he started the publication of Consumer Reports. Harold was on the advisory board of Consumers Union, and The Medical Letter was his idea. The early years were difficult. The pharmaceutical industry was unaccustomed to the kind of scrutiny they received from the new publication, and some companies threatened to sue, and worse, when their drugs received less than favorable reviews. By the time I became a part-time employee in 1969, the seas had calmed, some of the most famous names in medicine were on our editorial and advisory boards, and The Medical Letter was a going concern.
For many years now, we have surveyed our readers on their satisfaction with the publication, particularly with regard to our continuing medical education program, and on the occasion of this milestone I thought it might be permissible to share just one of their recent comments with the readers of this blog:
“I’ve been reading it for 35 years – God you guys are great! … Sticking to a principle the way you have makes you the most valuable resource in medicine – ‘The Medical Letter says…’ always has and still does end all arguments about drugs….”
That should keep us going for many years to come.