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Challenging Medical Ghostwriting in US Courts

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1001163

 

Although this article doesn't directly pertain to vaccinations exclusively, the reason I post is that in another thread, a discussion was generated after someone posted something from a source that was not deemed credible or trustworthy by another. This is a very important issue to all of us parents seeking accurate information regarding these choices we make for our children. Many people that seem to support vaccination point to "scientific" studies and dismiss or downplay anecdotal stories or sources that are considered "alternative". On the flip side many people that do not support vaccination have a distrust of the system itself where much of the "scientific" studies come from. This is of course a generalization on both sides. I happen to be a non-vaxing parent who is frustrated by the lack of evidence/studies that I deem accurate and trustworthy. This article highlights nicely why I have a distrust of "the system" that we basically are told to rely on for accurate information.

 

 

Quote:

 Corruption of the scientific literature through ghostwriting persists in medicine due to the enormous profits for all stakeholders [15], including the pharmaceutical industry that creates the publication strategy, academic researchers acting as key opinion leaders (KOLs) for industry, universities employing KOLs, medical journals and their proprietors, including medical societies and publishers, and medical communication companies employing ghostwriters.

 

 

Quote:

 A drug manufacturer conducts a study whose primary endpoints show the study drug poses serious risks and is not effective. The drug manufacturer manipulates the data and creates post hoc secondary and tertiary endpoints to create favorable outcomes. Once a favorable outcome is created, the manufacturer hires a ghostwriting firm to draft an article falsely touting the purported benefits of the drug and failing to disclose the side effects. The manufacturer then retains various KOLs and reputable university professors to lend their names and credentials to the drafted article. The article is published in a widely read medical journal and physicians begin to prescribe the drug in reliance on the article's claims and the “authors'” reputations.

 

With this going on (and we all know it is) I don't see how any person can trust a medical study that has been published in a peer reviewed journal without having serious concerns that what they are reading is perhaps less than the truth.

post #2 of 4

You are right; the system is broken.

 

My question is, where does the blame lay?  With the pharmaceutical industry? Or with the FDA, who is supposed to police the pharm industry? Or with politicians?

post #3 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taximom5 View Post

You are right; the system is broken.

 

My question is, where does the blame lay?  With the pharmaceutical industry? Or with the FDA, who is supposed to police the pharm industry? Or with politicians?



If I had to pick a place to lay blame, I'd lay it at the feet of the pharmaceutical industry.  However, blaming doesn't really help- what is needed is a solution.  I think also a lot of the problem is with the medical journals themselves.  They need to do a better job with peer review, but they are also very emeshed with the pharmaceutical industry, as that is their main souce of advertising revenue.

post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildKingdom View Post



If I had to pick a place to lay blame, I'd lay it at the feet of the pharmaceutical industry.  However, blaming doesn't really help- what is needed is a solution.  I think also a lot of the problem is with the medical journals themselves.  They need to do a better job with peer review, but they are also very emeshed with the pharmaceutical industry, as that is their main souce of advertising revenue.



Quite right.


So what is the solution?

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