By Sheldon Rampton on August 05, 2009

"Newly unveiled court documents show that ghostwriters paid by a pharmaceutical company played a major role in producing 26 scientific papers backing the use of hormone replacement therapy in women," reports Natasha Singer. "The articles, published in medical journals between 1998 and 2005, emphasized the benefits and de-emphasized the risks" of Premarin and Prempro, two homone drugs produced by the Wyeth pharmaceutical company. The articles, which were ghostwritten for Wyeth by the DesignWrite medical communications firm, created an illusion of consensus in favor of hormone replacement therapy until a large federal study discovered that the drugs created "increased risk of invasive breast cancer, heart disease and stroke." Court documents suggest that the practice of ghostwriting articles for medical journals without disclosing their corporate sponsors "went well beyond the case of Wyeth and hormone therapy, involving numerous drugs from other pharmaceutical companies."

Comments

ghost writers promoting breast cancer ? It was definitely high time to call ghostbusters.

The obligation of disclosing corporate sponsors is one thing, but it would be also interesting to have all authors sign a statement confirming the fact that they have no link nor interest.

They would be legally binded, and could be prosecuted as accomplices in a lawsuit against the drug companies.

On the other hand, I'm not sure publications are ready for this kind of transparency.

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Stephane MOT -
blogules and other Weapons of Mass Disinformation

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I grind my teeth every time I hear Wyeth's name come up , and I am thrilled they have been outed on this Premarin issue. I take bioidentical hormones (I wouldn't put that synthetic garbage in my body on a bet) and Wyeth has spent literally millions of dollars trying to get BHRT and compounding pharmacies shut down. I hope this story puts a handful of nail's in Wyeth's coffin, and that the medical community wakes up to the efficacy and safety of BHRT. I have a blog dedicated to bioidentical hormone replacement therapy at holyhormones.blogspot.com. Besst wishes to all for (bioidentical) hormonal health!

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