Sen Chuck Grassley (R, Iowa) is asking medical schools about their policies on ghostwriting, specifically, the practice in which faculty agree to be named as authors of articles written primarily by health care companies.
In letters sent to 10 prominent universities on November 18, Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, asked questions about their policies for faculty who lend their names as authors of review articles, editorials, and research articles prepared by marketing and/or medical education companies on behalf of drug and device manufacturers.
"When the article is then published, the participation of the ‘ghostwriter’ may not be revealed," Grassley wrote. "Essentially, the companies are using the reputation of prestigious academic researchers and their institutions to promote the sale of drugs and devices."
Refer to previous IPBiz post:
Grassley continues inquiry into medical ghost-writing
Separately, on meta-studies
Grassley Questions Vendors, Hospitals about HITECH:
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has sent letters to 31 hospitals nationwide asking about their experiences in implementing the $19 billion federal health information technology program launched last year.
***From Grassley's letter to med schools:
Articles published in medical journals are widely read by practitioners and are relied upon as being objective and scientific in nature. Concerns have been raised, however, that some medical literature may be little more than subtle advertisements rather than independent research. The information in these articles can have a significant impact on doctors' prescribing behavior and, in turn, on the American taxpayer, as the Medicare and Medicaid programs pay billions of dollars for prescription drugs and medical devices. Any attempt to manipulate the scientific literature, which can in turn mislead doctors to prescribe treatments that may be ineffective and/or cause harm to their patients, is very troubling.
***See also, L. B. Ebert, Commercialization of Information: Science Journals as Infomercials?, IPT, p. 5 (Dec. 1999). Also, Wall St. Jour. (Feb. 2, 1999): although [academic] researchers are increasingly supported by for profit companies, this critical fact is seldom revealed in publications on the resultant research. Also, Annals of Plastic Surgery, Vol 45 No. 3, pp. 332-334 (Sept. 2000)