The Lown List of Independent Health Experts

The Lown List of Independent Health Experts is a resource for journalists to find sources without financial conflicts for stories, facilitating more balanced health care journalism.

Financial conflicts of interest are pervasive in health care, with more than 80% of doctors and researchers reporting financial relationships with industry. Journalists strive to provide balanced reporting on medical research and new treatments, but finding unbiased expert sources without conflicts can be a challenge. Imagine if there were a database of vetted sources with no conflicts of interest that health reporters could easily tap into. The Lown List of Independent Health Experts is an online resource for journalists to find independent sources for stories, facilitating more balanced health care journalism.

In 2007, journalists Jeanne Lenzer and Shannon Brownlee responded to this harmful pattern of hype by digging into their own Rolodexes and creating a list of independent expert sources who do not have financial ties to the drug or device industries. These were sources the two had cultivated over years of reporting, yet they made that list available to fellow journalists. Journalist Gary Schwitzer and public health researcher Adriane Fugh-Berman soon came on board the coordinating panel.

In the years since Lenzer and Brownlee created it, the Lown List of Independent Health Experts has grown to about 150 members across 17 countries, covering more than 20 areas of expertise ranging from family medicine and public health to more specialized areas such as epidemiology, orthopedics, and gynecology. The list has been sent to dozens of reporters around the world.

Request access to the Full List

Journalists may request access to the List with member contact information, through this form. Only journalists currently employed at a news outlet or freelancing will be allowed access. You may be asked to provide links to authored articles.

List membership

The List of Independent Health Experts is an invite-only group. New members are generally nominated by experts already on the List. To be considered, potential members must have not received any industry funding for the past five years and have no plans to work for industry. Members must have recognized expertise in some area of medicine or health policy.

If you are a current member and you would like to nominate a new member to the list, please email Jgarber@lowninstitute.org with your nomination.

The List Coordinating Panel

Jeanne Lenzer, medical investigative journalist, contributor, The BMJ, and author, The Danger Within Us: America’s Untested, Unregulated Medical Device Industry and One Man’s Battle to Survive It.

Shannon Brownlee, M.S., former journalist and current Senior Vice President of the Lown Institute, and author of Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer.

Gary Schwitzer, Publisher, HealthNewsReview.org, Adjunct Associate Professor in the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and former tenured professor of journalism at the University of Minnesota

Adriane Fugh-Berman, M.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology and in the Department of Family Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center and Director of PharmedOut.

Learn more about the List

See the documents below for more information about the List: