Wyeth: Scientific Ghostwriting
For years, pharmaceutical companies have paid doctors to put their names on ghostwritten research papers designed to increase drug sales and downplay negative side effects.
What what what??? Wait, save your mock surprise for the next reveal: the most recent batch of these documents were discovered by lawyers suing hormone-hawking Wyeth "after researchers found that menopausal women who took certain hormones had an increased risk of invasive breast cancer, heart disease and stroke."
NATASHA SINGERThe articles did not disclose Wyeth’s role in initiating and paying for the work. Elsevier, the publisher of some of the journals, said it was disturbed by the allegations of ghostwriting and would investigate. The documents on ghostwriting were uncovered by lawyers suing Wyeth and were made public after a request in court from PLoS Medicine, a medical journal from the Public Library of Science, and The New York Times.
The NIH could potentially curb these ads-masquerading-as-legitimate-research by withholding grant funding from researchers who sell their names. But it's power squandered. Says a spokesman for the NIH:
"in the case of ghostwriting allegations, universities and other institutions that employ researchers are responsible for setting and enforcing their own ethics policies."
Way to pass the buck, NIH.
The silver lining? Republican Senator Charles E. Grassley says f-k that shit! I wholeheartedly agree.
NATASHA SINGER“To blow this off is not acceptable,” said Dr. Ross McKinney, the director of the Trent Center for Bioethics at Duke University Medical Center. Duke has a policy that prohibits ghostwriting and advises faculty to keep records of their participation in preparing scientific articles.
p.s. this story contains links to two different NYTimes articles. check 'em both.
-VictoryGrey of dysamoria.com