My apologies for not updating this frequently. But students in my philosophy of medicine course have been commenting on a number of articles recently. You can check them out at: http://philmed2011.wordpress.com/ Read More...

Following a Wyeth article

Let’s follow an article from Wyeth’s work on its new hormone therapy Totelle, containing estradiol and trimegestone. Read More...

Who will write the speeches?

This past week, the New York Times reported that a number of speeches on healthcare reform by lawmakers were ghostwritten by lobbyists. In particular, lobbyists for the biotech company Genentech, a subsidiary of drug company Roche, wrote speeches for different lawmakers that showed up word-for-word the same, or had substantial similarities, in the Congressional Record -- though the Genentech speeches for Republicans were different from the ones for Democrats.
This should be no surprise. Ghostwriting for "key opinion leaders" is a modus operandi of drug companies. Although this has been brought to light many times by many people, Senator Charles Grassley's exposés this year have been notable.
It does, however, raise an interesting question for when, if ever, the U.S. government tries to regulate the pharmaceutical industry's manipulation of the medical literature: Who will write the speeches?

Publication planning in the NYT

Wyeth has now been added to the list of pharmaceutical companies on which there are excellent documents showing how they hire ghostwriters to produce scientific papers to sell drugs. Cudos to the New York Times and PLoS Medicine. Now here’s me as a broken record: Unfortunately, this is not just a common activity: it is the norm. Read More...

Stossel's crusade for conflict of interest

From http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/07/10/acre)

Thomas Stossel, the American Cancer Society Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, is spearheading a new nonprofit professional organization that is, according to Stossel's preliminary description, "to be a forum for what we believe is a hitherto silent majority of individuals engaged in clinical service, medical education and medical innovation ready to oppose a small but well organized and well-funded coterie responsible for an anti-industry movement.”

There’s nothing like those well-funded critics.