Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ghostwriting remains a fundamental problem in the medical literature

Date:
August 30, 2011
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
A new editorial concludes that in the two years since extensive ghostwriting by pharmaceutical giant Wyeth to promote its hormone drug Prempro was exposed through litigation intervention, medical ghostwriting remains a prevalent problem with few concrete solutions in sight.

A recent editorial in PLoS Medicine concludes that in the two years since extensive ghostwriting by pharmaceutical giant Wyeth to promote its hormone drug Prempro was exposed through litigation intervention by PLoS Medicine and The New York Times, medical ghostwriting remains a prevalent problem with few concrete solutions in sight.

Related Articles


The week of August 29 also sees the launch of the PLoS Ghostwriting Collection, which documents everything published across the PLoS journals on the topic.

Among these are three new articles published earlier this month in PLoS Medicine that provide new perspectives on medical ghostwriting. In a Policy Forum article, Simon Stern and Trudo Lemmens make the case for imposing legal liability on the ''guest authors'' who lend their names to ghostwritten articles. In a personal perspective, Alastair Matheson argues that the current International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship guidelines allow for industry to exaggerate the contribution of named academic authors and downplay those of commercial writers, contending that the ICMJE guidelines should be fundamentally revised and the concept of origination given comparable importance to authorship and contributorship. In another personal perspective, former medical writer Linda Logdberg says why she acted as a ghostwriter.

The editorial quotes recent anecdotal evidence that ghostwriting remains prevalent (and has even affected PLoS Medicine), in contrast to the protestations of some in the pharmaceutical industry that ghostwriting is an outdated practice. The editorial argues that the novel and interesting suggestions from Stern, Lemmens and Matheson will have little effect until there is a fundamental change in the attitude of all involved in the publication of medical articles. The editorial concludes that "Everyone involved in the medical publishing industry, including journals, institutions, and the bodies that oversee research, need to take specific action to eradicate the seemingly endemic corrupt authorship practices that remain within the medical literature -- starting by accepting the extent of the problem."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. The PLoS Medicine Editors. Ghostwriting Revisited: New Perspectives but Few Solutions in Sight. PLoS Med, 8(8): e1001084 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001084

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Ghostwriting remains a fundamental problem in the medical literature." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110830193836.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2011, August 30). Ghostwriting remains a fundamental problem in the medical literature. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 5, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110830193836.htm
Public Library of Science. "Ghostwriting remains a fundamental problem in the medical literature." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110830193836.htm (accessed March 5, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gas Production Cut on Earthquake Fears

Gas Production Cut on Earthquake Fears

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) The Dutch government has cut production at Europe&apos;s largest gas field in Groningen amid concerns over earthquakes which are damaging local churches. As Amy Pollock reports the decision - largely politically-motivated - could have big economic conseqeunces. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obamacare's Strange New Supreme Court Case

Obamacare's Strange New Supreme Court Case

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) President Obama&apos;s healthcare law is facing its second Supreme Court challenge, and it hinges on a single sentence. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prince William Calls for Unified Effort Against Illegal Wildlife Trade

Prince William Calls for Unified Effort Against Illegal Wildlife Trade

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Mar. 4, 2015) Britain&apos;s Prince William pledges to unite against illegal wildlife trade on the final day of his visit to China. Rough cut - no reporter narration Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Analysis: Supreme Court Hears ACA Challenge

Analysis: Supreme Court Hears ACA Challenge

AP (Mar. 4, 2015) Associated Press legal reporter Mark Sherman breaks down the details of the latest Affordable Care Act challenge to make it to the Supreme Court. (March 4) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins