Today, PLoS Medicine (http://www.
The documents include internal correspondence, reports, and tracking documents relating to interactions between the pharmaceutical company Wyeth and a medical communications firm, to promote Wyeth's hormone drugs. These documents show in considerable detail a coordinated and carefully monitored campaign of "ghostwriting" by Wyeth and medical writing companies for a number of products marketed by the company.
Ghostwriting, which involves using medical writers to produce articles that are then nominally authored by an academic not substantially involved in the writing process, has been condemned as an unacceptable practice by medical journals and editors. Nonetheless, the practice appears to persist and by placing all the documents for scrutiny in the public domain, the editors of PLoS Medicine hope that they will help guide the way to identifying reforms that will eventually stamp ghostwriting out.
In order to make these documents available, PLoS Medicine, represented by public interest law firm, Public Justice (http://www.
In an editorial that has been posted on the PLoS Medicine blog, Speaking of Medicine (http://speakingofmedicine.
LINK TO THE FULL SET OF GHOSTWRITING DOCUMENTS: http://www.
LINK TO THE PLoS Medicine EDITORIAL: http://speakingofmedicine.
Please use these links and mention the "open access journal, PLoS Medicine" in your reports for the benefit of your readers.
Dr Virginia Barbour
Chief Editor, PLoS Medicine
Public Library of Science
UK office: +44 1223 463330
US office: +1 415 624-1235
About PLoS Medicine:
Everything published by PLoS Medicine is Open Access: freely available for anyone to read, download, redistribute and otherwise use, as long as the authorship is properly attributed.
For information about PLoS Medicine relevant to journalists, bloggers and press officers, including an outline of our approach to the media, our embargo policy, and how you can re-use of PLoS Medicine material, see the Speaking of Medicine blog: http://speakingofmedicine.