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Picture of William Heisel

Freelance journalist recently made an interesting comparison between embattled drug giant Wyeth and former insurance giant AIG. The latter famously handed out massive bonuses and planned lavish company retreats at a time when the company was receiving billions in federal bailout funds.

Picture of William Heisel

It’s not as seductive as a candlelit bedroom.

But a dinner with medical colleagues after a board meeting can exert a powerful a pull on talented scientists flirting with the drug industry. Rarely one-on-ones, these dinners are usually threesomes:

1. The seducer: a representative for a medical communications company that has been hired by a drug company to help market a particular product or disease in need of new cures being cooked up by the company.

2. The object of seduction: a researcher with known expertise in the company’s target area.

Picture of William Heisel

Have you ever worked on a story where you knew that you were just one source away from a blockbuster? But you could never find that one great document that spelled out the connections or that one repentant insider willing to walk you through the corporate crime, government malfeasance or law enforcement deceit.

Picture of William Heisel

When historians write the history of ghostwriting in U.S. medicine, they will mark Sept. 17, 2009 as pivotal.

Picture of William Heisel

In December, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, sent to Mitchell A. Leon, the president of DesignWrite Inc., the company that has now become Exhibit A in the unfolding ghostwriting scandal that has medical journal editors everywhere combing through their submissions looking for fakes.

Picture of William Heisel

 

In a in the New York Times, Natasha Singer detailed how leapt at the chance to sign her name to an article she had not written.

Picture of William Heisel

The New York Times and the medical journal won an incredible victory for patients and for health writers last week. They persuaded a judge in a lawsuit against drug makers to release 1,500 previously sealed documents that tell the story of how drug companies like Wyeth have been acting as ghost writers in medical journals.

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Join our webinar at 1 p.m. Wednesday, December 5 to find out more about the 2019 California Fellowship, which provides $1,000 reporting grants and six months of expert mentoring to 20 journalists, community engagement grants of up to $2,000, specialized mentoring, to five.  Click  to register.

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