Court Documents Show Wyeth Paid Medical Ghostwriters to Promote HRT
U.S. District Judge William Wilson, the federal judge overseeing the Hormone Replacement Multi-District Litigation (MDL) recently ordered thousands of court documents be unsealed relating to the medical ghostwriting practices of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. The documents show Wyeth played a major role in publishing 26 scientific articles over the course of seven years in 18 different medical journals. Wyeth solicited and paid surrogate non-medical authors to draft the articles, and then paid doctors to sign off as authors. Not only did the articles overemphasize the benefits of hormone replacement therapy, but they downplayed the known risks associated with the drugs. Predictably, Wyeth claims that the practice of hiring surrogate authors to serve as "ghostwriters" is common practice and insists the 26 ghostwritten articles are scientifically accurate.