Ghost- and guest-authored pharmaceutical industry-sponsored studies: abuse of academic integrity, the peer review system, and public trust

Ann Pharmacother. 2013 Jul-Aug;47(7-8):1081-3. doi: 10.1345/aph.1R691. Epub 2013 Jun 26.


Industry-sponsored ghost- and guest-authored clinical research publications are a continuing problem in medical journals. These communications are written by unacknowledged medical communication companies and submitted to peer-reviewed journals by academicians who may not have participated in the writing process. These publications, which are used for marketing purposes, usually underestimate the adverse effects and medical risks associated with the products evaluated. Since peer-reviewed data are used to develop health care paradigms, misleading information can have catastrophic effects. A failure to curb ghost and guest authorship will result in an erosion of trust in the peer-review system, academic research, and health care paradigms.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Authorship* / standards
  • Biomedical Research / ethics*
  • Biomedical Research / standards
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Drug Industry / ethics*
  • Drug Industry / standards
  • Humans
  • Peer Review / ethics*
  • Peer Review / standards
  • Publishing / ethics*
  • Publishing / standards