Publisher to probe Wyeth ghostwriting (FiercePharma)

December 22, 2008 — 9:58am ET | By Tracy Staton

A journal publisher says it’s looking
into allegations that an article on hormone replacement therapy was
written under the influence of pharma. Elsevier, which produces the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is responding to questions from Sen. Charles Grassley–he
of the integrity-in-pharma letter-writing campaign–about an article in
support of Wyeth drugs that had been linked to breast cancer by a major
federal study.

Grassley claims that Wyeth hired a medical writing firm to draft
that article and others supporting hormone replacement therapy. After
the ghostwriting was well under way, Grassley says, the drugmaker found
doctors to put their bylines on them. “The charges … are a
significant concern to The Journal and Elsevier,” an Elsevier SVP said
in a statement. “As with any charge of misconduct or inappropriate
publishing acts, The Journal has launched its own investigation into
the claims of ghostwriting and undisclosed financial support.”

Dr. Charles Eden, whose byline appeared on the article published
more than a year after the Women’s Health Initiative study, told the New York Times
that he stands by the article. “I cannot comment as these matters are
before the Senate,” he wrote in an email to the newspaper. “I am also
aware of ongoing lawsuits around these matters.”

For its part, Wyeth says the bylined authors weren’t paid by Wyeth,
and that they had “substantive editorial control” over the articles.
We’ll have to wait and see what Elsevier concludes.

– read the NYT story

Related Articles:
New concerns on Wyeth hormones
Merck swears off ghostwriting in settlement
Ghostwriting fuels foes of FDA rule change

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