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Ghostwriting

Did You Know?

  • Medical writers are hired by pharmaceutical and communication companies to draft articles that promote their drugs in a favorable light
  • Physicians are then paid to sign-on as “authors” of the ghostwritten articles
  • Ross et. al. found review manuscripts were often prepared by ghostwriters and published by academically affiliated investigators who often did not disclose their financial ties to the  industry (Ross et. al. 2008)
  • Ghostwritten papers paid by Wyeth (promoting the benefits hormone drugs) between 1998 and 2005 appeared in 18 medical journals, including The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Singer 2009)

More Reading:

  1. Guest Authorship and Ghostwriting in Publications Related to Rofecoxib: A Case Study of Industry Documents From Rofecoxib Litigation (JAMA)
  2. Medical Papers by Ghostwriters Pushed Therapy (New York Times)
  3. Ghostwriting at Elite Academic Medical Centers in the United States (PLoS Med)
  4. The Haunting of Medical Journals: How Ghostwriting Sold “HRT” (PLoS Med)

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