From the Associated Press:
Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline used a sophisticated ghostwriting program to promote its antidepressant Paxil, allowing doctors to take credit for medical journal articles mainly written by company consultants, according to court documents obtained by The Associated Press.
… Known as the CASPPER program, the paper explains how the company can help physicians with everything from “developing a topic,” to “submitting the manuscript for publication.”
The document was uncovered by the Baum Hedlund PC law firm of Los Angeles, which is representing hundreds of former Paxil users in personal injury and wrongful death suits against GlaxoSmithKline. The firm alleges the company downplayed several risks connected with its drug, including increased suicidal behavior and birth defects.
… According to ghostwriting expert Dr. Leemon McHenry, Glaxo’s program was unusually intertwined with its internal sales and marketing department.
“We know that GSK has engaged in ghostwriting for many years,” said McHenry, who works as a research consultant for Baum Hedlund. “But to create an internal ghostwriting program and have the gall to name it after a cartoon ghost demonstrates their juvenile attitude and careless disregard for patients.”…
What an irritable, judgmental remark on the part of McHenry. The man has no sense of humor.