Wednesday, December 01, 2010

BLOGSCAN - This Book is Haunted

We have posted quite a bit about ghost-written articles, that is, ostensibly scholarly articles appearing in medical and health care journals with apparently prominent authors that were really written mainly by medical writers hired by companies to market particular products, usually drugs.  Now we hear of a case of a ghost-written book.  Our fellow bloggers have covered this well.  See posts here and here by Professor Margaret Soltan in University Diaries, and here on Inside Higher Ed; here by Dr Daniel Carlat on the Carlat Psychiatry Blog; here by Dr Howard Brody on the Hooked: Ethics, Medicine and Pharma blog; and here by Alison Bass on the Alison Bass blog.  Ghost writing is often an important component of stealth marketing schemes, and serves not only to deceptively market products, but to deceptively increase the influence and prestige of the "key opinion leaders" who enable the practice.  Be skeptical about the medical literature, and particularly skeptical by any academic who seems to have written more articles than would be humanly possible.

ADDENDUM (2 December, 2010) - As suggested by the comment below, see also posts here and  here on the 1BoringOld Man blog.  Also see an additional post by Dr Howard Brody on the Hooked: Ethics, Medicine and Pharma blog.


Anonymous said...

1 Boring Old Man has weighed in also:

Anonymous said...

News on similar cozy relationships:

The Associated Press December 6, 2010, 1:34PM ET
Report: Stent maker gave doctor BBQ, crab feast

A U.S. Senate investigation has found a stent maker hosted a crab feast and barbecue at the home of a Maryland doctor accused of implanting the devices unnecessarily in hundreds of patients.

The report released Monday by the Senate Finance Committee says stent maker Abbott Laboratories also placed Dr. Mark Midei on its list of top stent volume cardiologists. It says after a Towson hospital barred him from practicing, the company hired the doctor to promote and prepare safety reports for its stents in Japan and China.

The report says Midei's questionable implantations cost the Medicare program $3.8 million between 2007 and 2009. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, a Senator from Montana, says the case could be a sign of a larger national trend of wasteful medical device use.