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Medical Literature Ghostwriting

Posted on Jun 28, 2010

Medical malpractice lawyers use medical literature on behalf of patients against hospitals, HMOs and doctors in many cases.  And hospitals, HMOs, doctors, drug companies and medical device manufacturers sometimes rely on medical literature to defend their positions or get their products used, sold or prescribed.

A Congressional study has exposed ghostwriting on behalf of some drug companies and medical device makers.  Ghostwriting is a practice where these corporations hire writers to write articles favorable to their product and present these to physicians or scientists to sign on as an author of the article - naturally there is no disclosure of the financial incentives and compensation paid to the physician. 

The report, commissioned for Sen. Grassley, found the role of these companies in medical literature remained "veiled or undisclosed."  

Medical ghostwriting was exposed through the Vioxx litigation and investigations and led to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that examined Merck's manipulation of scientific literature through ghost writers to market Vioxx.  Vioxx was ultimately taken off the market because it caused dangerous heart problems for some patients.

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