Pharmaceutical companies regularly carry out every aspect of a study on their products, then solicit academics to put their names on the final papers in order to disguise their involvement, according to an essay published in the journal PLoS Medicine. Author Sergio Sismondo calls this practice "ghost management," to distinguish it from mere ghost writing.
"In extreme cases, drug companies pay for trials by contract research organizations (CROs), analyze the data in-house, have professionals write manuscripts, ask academics to serve as authors of those manuscripts, and pay communication companies to shepherd them through publication in the best journals," Sismondo writes. "The resulting articles affect the conclusions found in the medical literature, and are used in promoting drugs to doctors."
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