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, 8 (1), 129-45

Of Sophists and Spin-Doctors: Industry-Sponsored Ghostwriting and the Crisis of Academic Medicine

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Of Sophists and Spin-Doctors: Industry-Sponsored Ghostwriting and the Crisis of Academic Medicine

Leemon McHenry. Mens Sana Monogr.

Abstract

Ghostwriting for medical journals has become a major, but largely invisible, factor contributing to the problem of credibility in academic medicine. In this paper I argue that the pharmaceutical marketing objectives and use of medical communication firms in the production of ghostwritten articles constitute a new form of sophistry. After identifying three distinct types of medical ghostwriting, I survey the known cases of ghostwriting in the literature and explain the harm done to academic medicine and to patients. Finally, I outline steps to address the problem and restore the integrity of the medical literature.

Keywords: Academic Medicine; Ghostwriting; Key Opinion Leader; Medical Education and Communication Companies; Pharmaceutical Industry; Publications Strategy; Sophists.

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Cited by 3 PubMed Central articles

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