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Wyeth Paid Ghost Writers to Author Favorable Medical Journal Articles on its HRT Drugs

By Mike Adams, December 14, 2008 | Key concepts: Wyeth, Medical journals and Ghostwriting

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The financial collusion between Big Pharma and medical journals is even deeper and more intertwined than we suspected. Documents revealed by Sen. Charles Grassley's office show that the drug company Wyeth paid ghost writers to author medical journal articles hyping up the benefits of its HRT drug Prempro.

Sen. Grassley's office produced "dozens of pages" of internal documents showing the collusion between Wyeth and a firm called DesignWrite that earns money by producing what it calls "educational" content.

The New York Times is reporting (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/13/b...) that one such article was published as an "Editor's Choice" feature in the May, 2003 edition of The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. That article claimed there was no link between Wyeth's drug and breast cancer, even though a federal study called the Women's Health Initiative had just concluded that, in fact, Prempro was linked to breast cancer.

Here's how the ghostwriting scam worked:

1) Drug companies would invent the titles of the articles to write and choose the medical journals in which they wanted them to appear.

2) They would draft outlines of the articles and hire a writer to create the manuscript.

3) They would then recruit a well-known academic author to put their name on the final article. This would intentionally mislead the medical journal into thinking the article was authored by an academic, not Big Pharma.

4) Finally, they would get the study pushed to a medical journal, which would publish the study.

5) During all of this, the drug company would never reveal its role in this process, keeping it secret from both the medical journal and the public.

6) Once the article is published, doctors and other members of the medical community would read it and think they were reading a, independent, scientifically-validated article that just happened to reach favorable conclusions about Big Pharma's drugs. They would never know the whole thing was schemed up by Big Pharma in the first place.

Evidence-based medicine? I'm laughing so hard it hurts...

This is now the standard of "evidence-based medicine" in our modern medical system: Ghostwritten articles, funded by the drug companies, placed into medical journals where those same companies run full-page ads touting the over-hyped benefits of the same drugs covered in the articles. Do you smell a scam?

Truth is, this practice has been going on for so long that thousands of "scientific" articles published in the medical journals have likely been authored by the drug companies themselves. If the true facts about the depth of this scientific fraud were to really come out, the medical journals would likely be revealed as gullible publishers of junk science. This is a huge scandal waiting to be uncovered...

As things stand now, nobody knows which studies were actually written by the drug companies, and the drug companies aren't talking. Neither are the medical journals. They don't want people to look into this too much, for fear of being exposed as the frauds they really are.

As it turns out, for many medical journals, the articles are the ads! They might as well just publish press releases and call them scientific fact, huh?

So much for the credibility of the medical journals (as if they had much remaining anyway). They've been duped... suckered into printing articles that were actually dreamed up and promoted by Big Pharma.

And the medical community has been suckered into believing medical journals are "scientific." As it turns out, many are no more scientific than the over-hyped claims of a television commercial! They're just framed in scientific-sounding language, which is really convincing to gullible medical professionals who believe everything they read in the medical journals, even though they're just propaganda pieces for Big Pharma.

I think the medical journals should be re-categorized in med school libraries. They should be placed under the "fiction" heading where they belong.

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