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Picture of Cathryn  Jakobson Ramin

Creating custom hormone therapy is big business for compounding pharmacies. Regulated by state pharmacy boards and not the FDA, compounders have been known to get a pass in the face of substantial trespasses. So just how safe are these drugs?

Picture of Martha Rosenberg

Researching, writing and submitting papers to medical journals--and reworking and finessing them if accepted--is a demanding, time consuming job which drug companies have made into pay dirt.

Picture of Martha Rosenberg

The profit party is over for Big Pharma except for one category--drugs for autoimmune diseases. Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and plaque psoriasis are rare in the adult population but a spate of new ads and self-diagnosing "quizzes" suggest they ar

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

A moving examination of how doctors choose to die, a big-money Prempro lawsuit, and FDA scrutiny of the HCG diet, more from our Daily Briefing.

Picture of William Heisel

Adriane Fugh-Berman has been leading the charge against the use of drug company-sponsored ghostwriters to craft scientific articles for publication in seemingly legitimate journals. She has been a paid expert witness on behalf of plaintiffs in the litigation over hormone replacement therapy drugs, and she directs , a project at Georgetown University that aims to scrub industry influence from medical training.

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

What drives someone with a strong scientific reputation to cut a secret deal with a drug company for ghostwriting help just to have one more paper published?

Let's ask.

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.

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