Congress Cracks Down on Pharmaceutical Ghostwriting

Wyeth, the pharmaceutical company that makes hormone replacement drugs Prempro and Premarin, is accused of using ghostwriters to write medical journal articles favoring its hormone replacement therapy (HRT) Prempro. Wyeth hired the medical coding company, DesignWrite Inc., to write articles related to Wyeth products and breast cancer risks, according to Congressional letters released from Sen. Charles Grassley.

In the letters, Senator Grassley wrote to Wyeth, “Any attempt at manipulating scientific literature, that can in turn mislead doctors to prescribe drugs that may not work and/or cause harm to their patients is troubling.”

The inquiries were prompted by Senate Finance Committee’s ongoing efforts to crack down on “medical ghostwriting,” as a means for drug companies to influence the health care industry.


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