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Medical literature written by ghostwriters

Wyeth, a pharmaceutical company that has a large stake in hormone replacement therapy for women going through menopause, paid ghostwriters to draft 26 scientific papers that were published in 18 major medical journals, according to recent court documents. The papers touted the benefits of hormone therapy and de-emphasized its hazards, which later studies found to include an increased risk of stroke, dementia, heart disease and invasive breast cancer. Each paper was written and sent off to a prominent doctor, who would then attach his or her name. The information on ghostwriting was uncovered by lawyers representing women who are suing the drug company because they allege that they contracted illnesses after going on hormone therapy drugs. Wyeth claims the articles are scientifically sound, and that ghostwriting is a common practice in the industry.

The New York Times