Wyeth

Busted: Wyeth Used Ghostwriters To Place Over 40 "Scientific" Articles In Medical Journals

Thursday, July 08, 2010 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: medical journals, ghostwriters, health news

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
CDC issues flu vaccine apology: this year's vaccine doesn't work!
Tetanus vaccines found spiked with sterilization chemical to carry out race-based genocide against Africans
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
NJ cops bust teenagers shoveling snow without a permit
Russia throws down the gauntlet: energy supply to Europe cut off; petrodollar abandoned as currency war escalates
McDonald's in global profit free fall as people everywhere increasingly reject chemically-altered toxic fast food
Chemotherapy kills cancer patients faster than no treatment at all
U2's Bono partners with Monsanto to destroy African agriculture with GMOs
FDA targets Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps for sharing health benefits of coconut oil
Why flu shots are the greatest medical fraud in history
Flu vaccine kills 13 in Italy; death toll rises
600 strains of an aerosolized thought control vaccine already tested on humans; deployed via air, food and water
The 21 curious questions we're never allowed to ask about vaccines
Italian court rules mercury and aluminum in vaccines cause autism: US media continues total blackout of medical truth
CDC admits it has been lying all along about Ebola transmission; "indirect" spread now acknowledged
Whooping cough outbreak at Massachusetts high school affected only vaccinated students
Orthorexia Nervosa - New mental disorder aimed at people who insist on eating a clean diet

Delicious
(NaturalNews) Documents unsealed as part of a lawsuit against drug giant Wyeth Pharmaceuticals reveal that the company used ghostwriters to prepare at least 40 medical journal articles promoting the use of its hormone-replacement drug Prempro.

Hormone replacement therapy drugs such as Premarin and Prempro were widely popular in the 1990s among women seeking to avoid the symptoms of menopause. The drugs became some of Wyeth's best sellers, raking in more than $2 billion for the company until a 2002 study showed that they significantly increased women's risk of invasive breast cancer, heart disease and stroke. Later research also implicated the drugs in an increase dementia risk among the elderly.

Use of hormone replacement therapy plummeted, with a corresponding drop in breast cancer rates. Since then, approximately 8,400 lawsuits have been filed against drugmakers Wyeth and Pfizer by more than 10,000 women affected by side effects. More than 8,000 of these lawsuits have been consolidated into a single case, before U.S. District Judge William Wilson in Arkansas.

Wilson ordered Wyeth's ghostwriting documents unsealed in response to a request by the defendants, the journal PLoS Medicine and the New York Times. The documents reveal that between 1997 and 2005, Wyeth paid medical communications firms to ghostwrite at least 40 articles that promoted hormone replacement for treatment of not just menopause symptoms, but also other conditions such as Parkinson's disease. These articles, many of them reviews of prior studies, played up the benefits of the hormone drugs while downplaying their risks. The communications firms also secured doctors to put their names on the studies as authors.

The articles were published in 18 different medical journals. Neither Wyeth nor the studies' purported authors informed the journals that the company had funded the studies and employed their writers.

The case of DesignWrite Inc. is indicative of Wyeth's larger ghostwriting practices. Wyeth hired the firm in 1997, at which time DesignWrite proposed a two-year plan to promote the company's hormone drugs by securing the publication of 30 different articles.

In 2003, the company drafted a 14-page outline of one article, with the author listed as "to be determined." This outline was sent to Dr. Gloria Bachman of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in July, and she agreed to put her name on the study. She was sent a draft of the completed article in September and replied, "I had only one correction which I highlighted in red."

The article, which was published in The Journal of Reproductive Medicine in 2005, disparaged non-hormonal treatment for hot flashes, referring to hormone replacement therapy as the "gold standard."

Wyeth paid DesignWrite $25,000 for the production of the article.

The Prempro case is not Wyeth's first ghostwriting scandal; the company was previously forced to pay $21 billion in lawsuits over the diet drug fen-phen, which was also marketed using ghostwriters. Indeed, the new documents suggest that ghostwriting journal articles is a standard practice for many pharmaceutical companies, raising concerns that doctors might have their prescribing habits influenced by articles that were actually produced as part of corporate marketing campaigns.

"The filter is missing when the reader does not know that the germ of an article came from the manufacturer," said attorney James Szaller, representing many of the plaintiffs.

Medical journal publisher Elsevier has announced an investigation into ghostwriting practices, and some journals have started requiring full disclosure of each author's role in producing a paper, as well as any conflicts of interest. Many journals, however, do not require this disclosure, and the extent of ghostwriting practices remains unknown.

"It's almost like steroids and baseball," said Joseph S. Ross, of Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "You don't know who was using and who wasn't; you don't know which articles are tainted and which aren't."

Sources for this story include: www.philly.com; www.nytimes.com.

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.