informationliberation
The news you're not supposed to know...




Austrian Economics: Understand Economics, Understand the World
The Century of the Self: The Untold History of Controlling the Masses Through the Manipulation of Unconscious Desires
The Disappearing Male: From Virility to Sterility

The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off
Operation Gladio: The Hidden History of U.S. Sponsored False Flag Terrorism in EuropeThe New American Century: The Untold History of The Project for the New American Century
(more)
Article posted Apr 21 2008, 11:12 PM Category: Health Source: International Herald Tribune Print

Merck wrote drug studies for doctors

By Stephanie Saul

The drug maker Merck drafted dozens of research studies for a best-selling drug, then lined up prestigious doctors to put their names on the reports before publication, according to an article to be published Wednesday in a leading medical journal.

The article, based on documents unearthed in lawsuits over the pain drug Vioxx, provides a rare, detailed look in the industry practice of ghostwriting medical research studies that are then published in academic journals.

The article cited one draft of a Vioxx research study that was still in want of a big-name researcher, identifying the lead writer only as "External author?"

Vioxx was a best-selling drug before Merck took it off the market in 2004 over evidence linking it to heart attacks. Last fall, the company agreed to a $4.85 billion settlement to resolve tens of thousands of lawsuits filed by former Vioxx patients or their families.

The lead author of Wednesday's article, Dr. Joseph Ross of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, said a close look at the Merck documents raised broad questions about the validity of much of the drug industry's published research, because the ghostwriting practice appears to be widespread.

"It almost calls into question all legitimate research that's been conducted by the pharmaceutical industry with the academic physician," said Ross, whose article, written with colleagues, was published Wednesday in JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association, and posted Tuesday on the journal's Web site.

Merck acknowledged Tuesday that it sometimes hired 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.

The final work is the product of the doctor and "accurately reflects his or her opinion," said a Merck lawyer, James Fitzpatrick.

And at least one of the doctors whose published research was questioned in Wednesday's article, Dr. Steven 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 Ross and his colleagues had done no research besides mining the Merck documents and reading the published journal articles.

In an editorial, JAMA said the analysis showed that Merck had apparently manipulated dozens of publications to promote Vioxx.

"It is clear that at least some of the authors played little direct roles in the study or review, yet still allowed themselves to be named as authors," the editorial said.

The editorial called upon medical journal editors to require each author to report his or her specific contributions to articles. "Journal editors also bear some of the responsibility for enabling companies to manipulate publications," the editorial said.

JAMA itself published one of the Vioxx studies that was cited in Ross's article.

In that case, in 2002, a Merck scientist was listed as the lead author. But Dr. Catherine DeAngelis, JAMA's editor, said in a telephone interview Tuesday that, even so, it was dishonest because the authors did not fully disclose the role of a ghostwriter.

"I consider that being scammed," DeAngelis said. "But is that as serious as allowing someone to have a review article written by a for-profit company and solicited and paid for by a for-profit company and asking you to put your name on it after it was all done?"

Although the role of pharmaceutical companies in influencing medical journal articles has been questioned before, the Merck documents provided the most comprehensive look at the practice yet, according to one of the study's four authors, Dr. David Egilman, a clinical associate medical professor at Brown University.

In the Vioxx lawsuits, millions of Merck documents were supplied to plaintiffs. Those documents were available to Egilman and Ross because they had served as consultants to plaintiffs' lawyers in some of those suits.

Combing through the documents, Ross and his colleagues unearthed internal Merck e-mail messages and documents about 96 journal publications, which included review articles and reports of clinical studies. While the Ross team said it was not necessarily raising questions about all 96 articles, it said that in many cases there was scant evidence that the recruited authors made substantive contributions.

One paper involved a study of Vioxx as a possible deterrent to Alzheimer's progression.

The draft of the paper, dated August 2003, identified the lead writer as "External author?" But when it was published in 2005 in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, the lead author was listed as Dr. Leon Thal, a well-known Alzheimer's researcher at the University of California, San Diego. Thal was killed in an airplane crash last year.

The second author listed on the published Alzheimer's paper, whose name had not been on the draft, was Ferris, the New York University professor. Ferris, reached by telephone Tuesday, said he had played an active role in the research and he was substantially involved in helping shape the final draft.

"It's simply false that we didn't contribute to the final publication," Ferris said.

A third author, also not named on the initial draft, was Dr. Louis Kirby, currently the medical director for the company Provista Life Sciences. In an e-mail message on Tuesday, Kirby said that as a clinical investigator for the study he had enrolled more patients, 109, than any of the other researchers. He also said he made revisions to the final document.

"The fact that the draft was written by a Merck employee for later discussion by all the authors does not in and of itself constitute ghostwriting," Kirby's e-mail message said.

The current editor of the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, Dr. James Meador-Woodruff, the chairman of psychiatry at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, said he was not the editor in 2005 but planned to investigate the accusations. "Currently, we have in place prohibitions against this," Meador-Woodruff said.





Latest Health
- Game Developers Face Final Boss: The FDA
- Whooping Cough Vaccination Fail
- Study: Obese Americans Now Outnumber Those Who Are Merely Overweight
- Public School "Child Nutrition Supervisor" Served Students Reeking, Six-Year-Old Pork
- SSRI Drugs Linked to Germanwings Kamikaze Crash?
- Shocker: Eat Fat, Avoid Food Pyramid, Lose Weight
- Parents ARE Being Arrested For Getting Medicine (Cannabis Oil) That Works For Their Sick Children!
- More LIVING PROOF The NEW Miracle Drug "Marijuana" Helps Heal The Sick









Comments Add Comment Page 1 of 1
Anonymous

Posted: May 09 2008, 5:59 PM

Link
7565 In other words, Big Pharma lies to us in order to make us perpetual customers, they bribe doctors to abet the scam, and the FDA (also bribed by Big Pharma) abets by approving injurious and lethal pharmaceutical drugs.

This is called corporatist-fascism: the corporations decide our policies and laws, including our public safety policies. These greedy corporatists are murderers.

Inform yourself at healthfreedomusa.org (Natural Solutions Foundation).


Add Comment
Name
Comment

* No HTML


Verification *
Please Enter the Verification Code Seen Below
 


PLEASE NOTE
Please see our About Page, our Disclaimer, and our Comments Policy.


FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which in some cases has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for the purposes of news reporting, education, research, comment, and criticism, which constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the DMCA and other applicable intellectual property laws. It is our policy to remove material from public view that we believe in good faith to be copyrighted material that has been illegally copied and distributed by any of our members or users.

About Us - Disclaimer - Privacy Policy



Advanced Search
Username:

Password:

Remember Me
Forgot Password?
Register

Instead Of Shooting Dog That Bit Him, Cop Soothed It - 09/01Here's How Law Enforcement Agencies Impersonate Your Friends - 09/01American Teen Gets 11 Year Sentence For Pro-ISIS Tweets That Taught People How To Use Bitcoin - 09/01Florida Fair DUI Attorney Arrested Then Un-Arrested - 09/01New York's Taxi Cartel Is Collapsing. Now They Want a Bailout. - 09/01Cop Shot After Responding to Wrong House and Shooting Man's Dog - 09/01Homeowner Shoots Cop After Police Respond To Wrong House On Burglar Call - 09/01Illinois Pays Lottery Winners In IOUs After Budget Crisis - 09/01

Man Follows Speeding Cop, Finds Out He Was Speeding To Buy PeanutsMission Creeps: Homeland Security Agents Confiscate Women's Panties For 'Copyright Infringement'Cop Shoots Couple's Dog, Threatens Jail For Trying To Save Dog's LifeSWAT Team Shoots Teen Girl & Her Dog During Pot Raid On Wrong HomeDurham, NC Cop Testifies Faking 911 Calls To Enter Homes Is "Official Policy"Indiana Sheriff Says US A "War Zone" To Justify New MRAP Military VehicleTampa Cops Surveil Pot Dealer, Catch Him Selling Pot, Raid His Home & Kill Him"You Just Shot An Unarmed Man!": Witness Says Police Shot His Friend With His Hands Up
(more)

 
Top