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PLOS BLOGS Speaking of Medicine and Health

Investigating ghostwriting

You may have seen a press release from US Senator Charles Grassley, who is asking several journals about their policy on ghost writing. We’re pleased to have been asked and are preparing a full reply to Senator Grassley’s very pertinent set of questions, which will include a discussion of PLoS journals’ policies. Readers may want to note that PLoS Medicine, represented by the law firm Public Justice, is seeking to intervene in a court case of women bringing an action in relation to Prempro and other hormone therapy drugs, in order to unseal papers that allegedly show that Wyeth failed to disclose its role in preparing medical journal articles promoting Prempro and in recruiting academic authors to put their names on the articles for publication—that is they practised ghost  writing.

Senator Grassley has also recently asked 23 US medical schools, who didn’t respond to an earlier request for information from AMSA about their policy on conflicts of interest and requirements for disclosure of financial ties between staff members and drug firms.


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