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Senator Grassley Questions Wyeth Over Ghostwriting ontract

Latest news release from the American Association for Justice:

On the front of its Business section, the New York Times (12/13, B1, Wilson) reported that Senate Finance Committee member Charles Grassley (R), in letters to Wyeth and medical writing company DesignWrite, asked for additional information regarding ghostwriting contracts that produced medical journal articles “favorable to its hormone therapy Prempro.” At least one article was published “even after a federal study found the drug raised the risk of breast cancer.” The letters ask Wyeth and DesignWrite “to disclose payments related to the preparation of journal articles and the activities of doctors who were recruited to put their names on them for publication.”

Grassley “raised alarm that those listed as [journal] authors weren’t deeply involved in drafting manuscripts,” Bloomberg News (12/12, Blum, Randall) added. Grassley’s inquiry “appears to reflect arguments that have been used in court cases against Wyeth and were ‘rejected by judges and juries alike,’ said Michael Lampe, a Wyeth spokesman.” Lampe added: “The authors of the articles in question, none of whom were paid, exercised substantive editorial control over the content of the articles and had the final say, in all respects, over the content.”

According to the Wall Street Journal (12/13, Wang), Grassley “also asks Wyeth to provide the same information about all other third-party-written manuscripts involving human drugs since 2000. Further, the Iowa Republican asks about how Wyeth’s marketing employees are involved in the manuscript-drafting process.”

The New York Times (12/12, Wilson) described the process by which Wyeth and DesignWrite “began planning an academic article in 1997 about hormone therapy. The article, eventually published in 1999 in the journal Primary Care Update for OB/GYNs, concluded that supplemental estrogen — an ingredient in Prempro and Wyeth’s other main hormone therapies — actually reduced a woman’s chance of breast cancer.”

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

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