The%20Haunting%20of%20Medical%20Journals -...

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The Haunting of Medical Journals: How Ghostwriting Sold “HRT” Adriane J. Fugh-Berman * Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, D.C., United States of America Citation:  Fugh-Berman AJ (2010) The Haunting of Medical Journals: How Ghostwriting Sold “HRT”. PLoS Med 7(9): e1000335.  doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000335 Published:  September 7, 2010 Copyright:  © 2010 Adriane J. Fugh-Berman. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License,  which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Funding:  The author received no specific funding for this article. Competing interests:  Dr. Fugh-Berman was a paid expert witness on behalf of plaintiffs in the litigation referred to in this paper. She was not paid for  any part of researching or writing this paper. Dr. Fugh-Berman directs PharmedOut, a Georgetown University-based project founded with public money  from the Attorney General Consumer and Prescriber Grant program and currently supported by individual donations. Abbreviations:  CEE, conjugated equine estrogens; CVD, cardiovascular disease; ERT, estrogen replacement therapy; FDA, U.S. Food and Drug  Administration; HERS, Heart and Estrogen/progestin Replacement Study; HT, menopausal hormone therapy;  HRT, hormone replacement therapy MECC, medical education and communication company; MPA, medroxyprogesterone acetate; RCT, randomized controlled trial; SERM, selective  estrogen receptor modulator; WHI, Women's Health Initiative * E-mail:  [email protected] Provenance:  Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed. S UMMARY  P OINTS Some 1500 documents revealed in litigation provide unprecedented insights into how pharmaceutical companies promote  drugs, including the use of vendors to produce ghostwritten manuscripts and place them into medical journals. Dozens of ghostwritten reviews and commentaries published in medical journals and supplements were used to promote  unproven benefits and downplay harms of menopausal hormone therapy (HT), and to cast raloxifene and other competing therapies  in a negative light. Specifically, the pharmaceutical company Wyeth used ghostwritten articles to mitigate the perceived risks of breast cancer  associated with HT, to defend the unsupported cardiovascular “benefits” of HT, and to promote off-label, unproven uses of HT such  as the prevention of dementia, Parkinson's disease, vision problems, and wrinkles. Given the growing evidence that ghostwriting has been used to promote HT and other highly promoted drugs, the medical 
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This note was uploaded on 09/29/2010 for the course SCIENCE 183 taught by Professor Harpp during the Spring '10 term at McGill.

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The%20Haunting%20of%20Medical%20Journals -...

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