Sunday, April 20, 2008

Caregiving: ghost writers on the storm

Critical topics can sometimes be drowned out in the noise. Maybe it is just bad timing, maybe the issue is difficult to personally relate to, or maybe even want to believe.


“Merck … wanted to make piles of money, and like a sly schoolchild it found some friends to write its term papers and bend the system. Unfortunately there were not mere grades involved as a consequence but lives.” (Journal Times, WI)


“… the symbiotic relationships that have developed between doctors and drugmakers present conflicts that can no longer be ignored.” Medical ghosts (Baltimore Sun, MD)


"We've got to stop this," said Dr. Catherine D. DeAngelis, editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association. "People are being hurt. We've given away our profession."


DeAngelis, a pediatrician who was vice dean for academic affairs at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, said she was often approached while on the faculty to put her name on research that she hadn't conducted.


Bottom line is with the money in ghostwriting and medical research is the dog waging the tail, or the tail wagging the dog?


Are they clueless? The Food and Drug Administration, OUR tax dollars at work, incredulously appears to be opening the door for more potential abuse.


“Food and Drug Administration has been considering a proposal to let drug makers use reprints of journal articles in promoting drugs for so-called off-label uses the F.D.A. itself has not approved.

     Opposition to the F.D.A. proposal has come from a diverse group that includes Public Citizen, New York State’s health commissioner and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, a trade association of 39 major health insurance plans.

     The pharmaceutical industry is supporting the F.D.A. proposal.”  

F.D.A. Plan on Medical Articles Takes More Heat (New York Times, NY


DUH! “The pharmaceutical industry is supporting the FDA proposal”. Why is that not surprising?


On the other side of the coin, for some medical conditions, disorders, or diseases especially something like Multiple Sclerosis, what were once “off label uses” have become protocol.


While medical ghost writers may make scientific data appealing, there must always be a difference between promoting hope and preying on hope.


Caregivingly Yours, J Patrick Leer 





(also available in Blogger edition, Caregiver Blog: "Caregivingly Yours")


  1. well put, Patrick and all so true; I didn't realize this was going on, but it doesn't surprise me they would do tactics like this


  2. ..........the almighty dollar at work again or still!

  3. the almighty dollar is right


  4. I can't help but worry when there are no entries for a week.  Hope you and yours are doing ok.


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