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Health care decisions, insurance authorization of diagnostic tests and medical malpractice cases can all be impacted by medical literature that reports and publishes findings and studies on patient care, standards, the effectiveness of treatment, etc. But what if the articles aren't written by doctors or scientists, but are ghost written for drug and medical device companies?

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Medical literature should be just that - written by physicians.  And it should improve patient safety and care.  But a study commissioned by Sen. Grassley revealed some startling facts about the practice of ghost writing.  Ghost writing is basically drug companies and medical device makers trying to game the system by planting favorable articles and studies in the medical literature.  This is done by hiring writers who "ghost write" the article about a product or device the company is pushing and then have a physician or scientist sign off on it - as if they were the one who wrote it.

One notable instance of manipulating scientific data cited in the report was in the marketing of Vioxx - which was removed from the market in 2004 because of cardiovascular risks.   

In medical malpractice cases advocating for patient safety, patients are sometimes faced with healthcare "experts" trying to pick and choose medical literature to defend a hospital, HMO or healthcare corporation's preventable medical errors..  Wonder how many of those articles are ghost written? 

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