Friday, September 18, 2009

Ghostwriting the Meds

I need a corporate ghostwriter for my academic work.

That seems to be what's happening in medical journals, according to today's New York Times story, and there's a growing backlash among lawmakers and journal editors.  Why?  According to the Times lede:
The scientific integrity of medical research has been clouded in recent years by articles that were drafted by drug company-sponsored ghostwriters and then passed off as the work of independent academic authors.
That says it all.

We used to trust peer-reviewed journals, especially the big medical journals, to get it right.  But of late, the big pharmaceutical/medical companies are cooking the data.  Never trusted them, but I did trust university medical researchers.  Apparently that trust was misplaced too.

How this affects what people know is obvious.  Much of what we learn about medical breakthroughs, testing, new products, new drugs, comes through a news media filter from the academic journals.  There's something magical about the New England Journal of Medicine -- so magical, it seems, that corporations and sleazy academics team up to have corporate hacks ghostwrite academic research.

Which, apparently, I need.  Get more publications that way, or at least grant money.

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