Ghostwriting of research studies draws into question validity of industry’s published research

More on Merck’s ghostwriting of research reports. Makes me wonder who else is doing it and to what extent.

“It almost calls into question all legitimate research that’s been conducted by the pharmaceutical industry with the academic physician,” Dr. Ross said, whose article, written with colleagues, was published Wednesday in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Assocation.

Merck on Tuesday acknowledged that it sometimes hires outside medical writers to draft research reports before handing them over to the doctors whose names eventually appear on the publication. But the company disputed the article’s conclusion that the authors do little of the actual research or analysis.

And at least one of the doctors whose published research was questioned in Wednesday’s article, Dr. Steven H. Ferris, a New York University psychiatry professor, said the notion that the article bearing his name was ghostwritten was “simply false.” He said it was “egregious” that Dr. Ross and his colleagues had done no research besides mining the Merck documents and reading the published medical journal articles.

[via nytimes]

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