50-100% of medical journal articles paid for by Big Pharma?

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

How a British university sold out to a drug company

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A few years ago, Sheffield University in the U.K. offered over $250,000 to one of its senior medical professors if he would agree to stop criticizing the drug company that was giving research money to the university’s medical school.

For several years, bone metabolism specialist Dr. Aubrey Blumsohn had been complaining to his university about scientific misconduct around a contract between Sheffield and the U.S.-based drug company, Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals. Blumsohn claimed that the company had denied him access to his own key research data on the P&G drug Actonel, and then tried to ghostwrite his analysis of it for publication.   Continue reading