Doctor: Drugmaker Hired Ghostwriters to Downplay Prempro Health Risks

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Washington, DCA researcher from Georgetown University Medical Center recently said that the drugmaker Wyeth paid ghostwriters to de-emphasize the risks associated Prempro hormone replacement therapy.

Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman looked at a quantity of articles and commentaries that were written in medical journals and now says that Wyeth, which is now owned by Pfizer, paid medical communication company DesignWrite $25,000 to ghostwrite the pieces, according to Reuters.

The doctor said the purpose of the articles was to promote the benefits of its hormone therapies while downplaying its risks.

Specifically, the articles sought to counter the criticism regarding the increased risk of breast cancer that has been associated with Prempro, the drug manufacturer's combination estrogen-progestin therapy, according to Fugh-Berman.

"Given the growing evidence that ghostwriting has been used to promote hormone therapy and other highly promoted drugs, the medical profession must take steps to ensure that prescribers renounce participation in ghostwriting, and to ensure that unscrupulous relationships between industry and academia are avoided rather than courted," Fugh-Berman wrote in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Medicine.

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Reader Comments

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After taking PremPro I'very had several mini-strokes and now have suffered loss of a lot of my normal vision and breast cancer.

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