Pharma reaches out for ghostwriter

Earlier this week, The Scientist linkurl:reported;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/home/53869/ on a trial comparing the efficacy of a hypertension drug, nebivolol, in African American and white American patients. It seems that Forest Laboratories, the drug's manufacturer, is making all kinds of comparisons for marketing purposes, and resorting to some questionable practices to do so. The Wall Street Journal Health Blog linkurl:reports;http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2007/11/21/odd-ghostwriting-off

By | November 21, 2007

Earlier this week, The Scientist linkurl:reported;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/home/53869/ on a trial comparing the efficacy of a hypertension drug, nebivolol, in African American and white American patients. It seems that Forest Laboratories, the drug's manufacturer, is making all kinds of comparisons for marketing purposes, and resorting to some questionable practices to do so. The Wall Street Journal Health Blog linkurl:reports;http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2007/11/21/odd-ghostwriting-offer-raises-researchers-blood-pressure/ today that earlier this month, the company asked Jean E. Sealey of Weill Cornell Medical College, a well-known expert in hypertension, to author an abstract for an upcoming meeting comparing the drug's effects in men and women. The abstract would be due the following week, but the company said it would provide "editorial support" to smooth the process. When Sealey, who was not involved in conducting the study, asked in a follow-up phone call whether she'd have access to the raw data, the call was cut off. (Forest's science writer for nebivolol, who placed the call to Sealey, told the Health Blog that the cut-off was unintentional.) A Forest spokesperson told the Health Blog that since the abstract would analyze data from already published studies, the company's offer met international medical journal guidelines. However, the company seems to have called off the plan.

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