Dear Members,

    For the last 5 years we have distributed numerous reports and documents revealing the many instances of
    corruption within the pharmaceutical industry and the governing bodies whose purpose is to oversee them. These
    reports included exposures of falsified “expert” testimonies, erroneous peer review studies and clinical trials,
    fabricated peer review journal articles, paid expert practitioner / marketers and the corruptive influence of
    pharmaceutical companies within the FDA and other government agencies.

    Today's New York Times reveals that court documents provide a paper trail showing that pharmaceutical giant,
    Wyeth had contracted with a medical communications company to outline “scientific” articles, to initially draft them
    and then solicit top physicians to sign their names to them, even though many of the doctors had actually
    contributed little or no writing at all.

    Unfortunately this type of corruption in medicine is hardly unique. In this particular case, 26 ghost written articles that
    were actually signed off by prominent academic physicians were published in no less than 18 “peer review”
    journals, promoting Wyeth's hormone replacement therapy, Premarin – a drug that has been linked to increased
    breast cancer, stroke, and dementia.  

The issue of ghost written promotional articles, signed by prominent academic scientists at prestigious medical centres, is not a newly
discovered form of corruption, [1].

In fact, just last year an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) revealed that another pharmaceutical giant,
Merck commissioned ghost writers to produce dozens of articles pushing Vioxx, a drug that caused thousands of cardiac deaths.

Banking on name credibility alone to carry its falsified information, this year documents uncovered in an Australian court revealed that
pharma giant Merck even commissioned a totally fake journal and published it through Elsevier, one of the world’s largest providers of
science and health information publishing about 250,000 articles per year in 2000 journals. The drug company also produced an entire
journal called “The Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine” and passed it off as an independent peer review publication."

Not to be outdone on the disinformation front, Eli Lilly paid ghost writers to push Zyprexa; and Pfizer-funded ghost writers generated 85
articles about Zoloft in the late 1990s, according to the British Journal of Psychiatry, [2].

The intentional fraud is obvious, millions if not billions of dollars ride on these fictitious articles, clinical studies and peer review journals that
all work to influence both consumers and the practitioners they seek help and guidance from. Yet, no meaningful disciplinary or even
criminal action has been taken against anyone!

No, in fact academics continue to put their name to ghost written articles for cash; journals taken no steps to cleanse the medical-scientific
literature of ghost written, hence, fraudulent articles; nor have steps even been taken to bring transparency to "peer review."

Our view that this is an endemic problem linked to industry's influence on medicine is corroborated by a spokesman for Wyeth who
acknowledged that "pharmaceutical companies routinely hired medical writing companies to assist authors in drafting manuscripts."  When
a High School student pens his name to an article written by someone else, it's called cheating, earning the student an F grade and
precluding entry into a reputable college. When a professor or other scholastic does so – they not only lose their academic position, they
are often ostracised and barred from their chosen careers.

Shouldn't we expect medical professionals at major academic institutions to, at the very least, adhere to academic standards required of
High School students?

If you also feel this way, let the FDA and your Government Reps know it!



Listed References:

1.     New York Times Article (in full) August 5, 2009; Medical Papers by Ghostwriters Pushed Therapy

2.     Flanagin A, Carey LA, Fontanarosa PB, Phillips SG, Pace BP, et al.
(1998) Prevalence of articles with honorary authors and ghost authors in
peer-reviewed medical journals. JAMA 280: 222-224.

3.     Healy D, Cattell D (2003) Interface between authorship, industry and
science in the domain of therapeutics. Br J Psychiatry 183: 22-27.

All the best,


Rudi C. Loehwing
Managing Director
World Institute of Natural Health Sciences

Pharma Continues to Falsify Clinical Trials and Peer Review
Articles - Using Paid "Expert" Ghostwriters and more...
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