Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

Medical Ghostwriting and Bioidentical Hormones

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 7/13/10

Become a Fan
  (11 fans)

Medical Ghost Writing is Plagiarism and FraudFor the original article: Click Here.

Linda is 53, and suffering from menopausal symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia and mood disturbance. While at the hair salon, a friend told her she needed hormone therapy, so she went on the internet to read up on it. Linda learned about the Womens's Health Initiative Study that showed synthetic hormones are unsafe, causing breast cancer and heart disease. Next, she cheerfully made an appointment to see her OB Gyne doctor thinking he would gladly prescribe bioidentical hormones. To her dismay, Linda's doctor was not at all pleased when she raised the topic. Her doctor scowled and said,"those aren't any good", and besides, "there is no evidence that bioidentical hormones are any safer than synthetics". Linda ran out the door crying all the way home. A few days later, Linda was sitting in my office asking, "Why is my doctor opposed to bioidentical hormones?"

Above left image, Ghost stories May 1927 courtesy of wikimedia commons.

The Doctor Reads Ghost Written Articles

I explained to Linda that her doctor reads medical journals containing ghost written articles from the synthetic hormone industry, Wyeth and Pfizer. Ghost written means the real author is hidden, without a disclosure that the real author is a ghost writer hired by the pharmaceutical company. DesignWrite and PharmaWrite provide the medical writers for hire, instructed to downplay the adverse effects of synthetic hormones, and raise doubts about bioidenticals. Medical ghostwriting is marketing, rather than science. As such, it is a form of plagiarism, scientific misconduct and fraud. The invited "author" is usually an academic professor in a university medical center serving as opinion leader who lends his name to the article.

Medical Ghostwriters Should be Banned Shocking Revelations from Drug Litigation, Medical Ghostwriting

8,000 women have filed court claims against Wyeth-Pfizer, claiming that their synthetic hormone pill, Prempro, caused breast cancer. During the discovery process, internal company documents were made public revealing the extent of the medical ghost writing. About 44 articles in the women's health medical literature are ghost written by Wyeth in a marketing program to convince doctors to prescribe their synthetic hormones, and not to prescribe bioidenticals. These documents are publicly available in a document database.



Left Image:Ghost courtesy of wikimedia commons.

An Example of Medical Ghost Writing in the Women's Hormone Literature

Here is an example of biased pro-industry medical ghostwriting. The article is entitled, Bioidentical Hormone Therapy: A Review of the Evidence. by Michael Cirigliano, an Internist at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, published in the Journal of Womens Health. (2007 Jun;16(5):600-31.) Michael Cirigliano is Associate Professor of Medicine at the U Penn Medical center.

At the very end of the article (page 625), you will find this notice:
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS - I received editorial assistance from Eugene R.Tombler, Ph.D., Florencia Schapiro, Ph.D., and Monica Ramchandani, Ph.D., of PharmaWrite,LLC..

Pharmawrite/Designwrite is the medical ghostwriting company paid by Wyeth to write the 44 articles on women's hormones. They are currently under investigation by Grassley's Senate Committee. Dr Cirigliano acknowledges three PHD medical ghost writers from Pharmawrite paid by an (unnamed) drug company to write a pro-synthetic hormone article biased against bioidentical hormones. The article is a review of the literature to determine if sufficient scientific evidence supports claims of greater efficacy and safety for bioidentical hormones compared to synthetic hormones. And the conclusion, you guessed it, "No scientific evidence to support this".

In case you were thinking this is OK, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (Penn Medicine) has policies against plagiarism and it considers ghostwriting to be the equivalent of plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious academic infraction, and a deviation from academic norms.

Lefrt Image :Ghost Stories 1931 courtesy of wikimedia commons.

Comparison with Non-Biased Review

For comparison, let's look at different review of Medical Ghost Writing is Scientific Misconduct the medical literature, this time not ghost written by the synthetic hormone industry. This review article is entitled,

The Bioidentical Hormone Debate: Are Bioidentical Hormones Safer or More Efficacious than Synthetic Hormone Replacement Therapy? by Kent Holtorf, MD. Postgraduate Medicine: Volume 121: No.1 January 2009.

The doctor's conclusion after reviewing the medical literature is: YES, they are. "Bioidentical hormones have lower risk of breast cancer and heart disease, and are more efficacious than synthetic counterparts. Until evidence is found to the contrary, bioidentical hormones remain the preferred method of HRT." Dr Holtorf cites 196 medical studies to support his conclusion.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
Ban Medical Ghostwriting, Senator Grassley

Click here to see the most recent messages sent to congressional reps and local newspapers

http://jeffreydachmd.com

Jeffrey Dach MD is a physician and author of two books, Natural Medicine 101, and Bioidentical Hormones 101, both available on Amazon, or as a free e-book on his web sites. Dr. Dach is founder and chief medical officer of TrueMedMD, a clinic in (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Failed Hatchet Job on Larry King, Suzanne Somers, Knockout

Bioidentical Hormones on Oprah, Are They Safe?

Why Natural Thyroid is Better than Synthetic

Wheatgrass, Natural Medicine in the Kitchen

Fish Oil Increases Risk for Prostate Cancer, New Study?

Spontaneous Remission Cancer Breakthrough

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
1 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

We have been raised to believe that war and indust... by John Bessa on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 9:17:10 AM
My writing has been totally chopped by who knows w... by John Bessa on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 9:21:30 AM