Ghost marketing: pharmaceutical companies and ghostwritten journal articles
Moffatt B, Elliott C.
Center for Bioethics,
N538 Boynton Health Service,
Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.
Perspect Biol Med. 2007 Winter;50(1):18-31.


The use of ghostwriters by industry is subject to increasing public attention and scrutiny. This article addresses the practice and ethics of scientific ghostwriting. We focus on the type of ghostwriting that involves a pharmaceutical company hiring a medical education and communications company to write a paper favorable of their product, who then hires a well-known academic to publish it under his or her name without disclosing the paper's true origins. We argue that this practice is harmful both to the public and to the institutions of science and that it is not justified by an analogy to accepted scientific authorship practices. Finally, we consider ways to discourage the practice.
Big Pharma
'Publication bias'
Ghost authorship
Medical ghostwriting
The David Healy Affair
He who pays the piper...?
Ghostwriting in medical publications
Is antidepressant efficacy overrated?
Industry sponsorship and trial outcomes
Ghostwriting in peer-reviewed medical journals
Drug companies, doctors and medical corruption
The role of pharmaceutical company gifts to doctors
Medical writers in the pay of pharmaceutical companies
Ghost authorship, gift authorship, non-disclosure and conflicts of interest
Are commonly prescribed "new generation" antidepressants little better than placebos?
Selective publication of clinical trials leads to unrealistic estimates of antidepressant efficacy

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