It seems that there are enough physicians out there who aren’t even a tiny bit embarrassed about referring to themselves out loud as “Thought Leaders” or “Key Opinion Leaders” to keep Canada’s Dr. Sergio Sismondo busy writing about them.
I first wrote about his work in A Philosopher’s Take on Big Pharma Marketing. Focusing on what he calls the pharmaceutical industry’s “corruption of medical knowledge”, the Queen’s University professor now has a new paper in The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics.
In it, he warns us about physicians and academic researchers who willingly become financially enmeshed in Big Pharma’s marketing efforts:(1) Continue reading →
Just when we thought things couldn’t get any more slimy in the wonderful world of Big Pharma-funded medical journal articles, along comes last week’s editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Their September 9th editorial claims that somewhere between 50% and 100% of articles on drugs that appear in journals are ghostwritten, according to Dr. David Healy, a psychiatrist at the University of Cardiff in Wales and a critic of the drug industry’s influence on physicians’ drug prescribing habits. Dr. Healy further claims:
“Ghostwriting ‘crept up on’ the medical profession and became so common by the mid-90s that even senior researchers came to accept it as an ethical practice. Other critics of the practice agree, claiming that many researchers will put their name on a document as primary author even if they just edited it — or only read it and made no changes.
“If you have people like me who say they won’t do this, the pharmaceutical industry can easily go elsewhere and find a person who will.”Continue reading →