Ghostwriting and Medical Journals

Pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers have been hiring ghostwriters to hawk their wares for some time now. That’s been a known fact for quite some time. What hadn’t been known until recently is the prevalence of the practice. A NY Times story estimates that a “study also reported a ghostwriting rate of 7.9 percent in JAMA, 7.6 percent in The Lancet, 7.6 percent in PLoS Medicine, 4.9 percent in The Annals of Internal Medicine, and 2 percent in Nature Medicine.”
This is troublesome considering these ghostwritten articles are published in what are considered by industry professionals as scholarly journals. Doctors and researchers rely on these articles and base their treatments on the supposed science underlying these articles. However, it seems that the medical device companies and pharmaceutical companies view the journals as just another marketing tool to push their products.