White Coat, Black Hat Adventures on the Dark Side of Medicine

4Aug/110

Heroes at Globe and Mail Boldly Praise Ghostwriting

GhostwriterCheck out yesterday's copy of the Toronto Globe and Mail, where the heroes in the editorial section take a bold stance in favor of pharmaceutical companies hiring ghostwriters to publish in peer-reviewed academic publications.  I say good for them.

Now, I know what you are all thinking:  As a victim of ghostwriting myself, shouldn't I be against the idea?  Well, not exactly. If you pay your ghostwriters (unlike someone else I know),  I'm all for it.

Let's face it:  Scientists have the credentials and the name recognition, but can they make their product sound awesome?  Not a chance.  Bad self-presentation is an occupational hazard; just look at the way they dress.  Plus they're busy.

And yes, as the Globe admits, there is a danger that these Big Bad Pharma Companies will turn the articles into an advertising opportunities, but hey, that's the reviewers' job to sort out.  Which is why the Globe calls for  "particularly vigilant reading of the draft by the researchers, so that no advertising spin creeps in".  Caveat emptor, baby -- we've got bigger fish to fry.  Kudos, G&M.

The Ethicator

Got a moral quandary you just can't solve?  Send your questions to the Ethicator: info@whitecoatblackhat.com

 

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