The court documents provide a detailed paper trail showing how Wyeth contracted with a medical communications company to outline articles, draft them and then solicit top physicians to sign their names, even though many of the doctors contributed little or no writing. The documents suggest the practice went well beyond the case of Wyeth and hormone therapy, involving numerous drugs from other pharmaceutical companies.
As a student and future researcher, I would love to believe that the information communicated in scientific studies is written ethically and accurately. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Even articles published in the most respected journals must be approached with a critical eye. Who are the authors? Who funded the study? What conflicts of interest may be at play?
This becomes even more important when research is regurgitated by the mainstream media. Many “breaking” studies get shoved into a 3-minute television segment. That’s simply not enough time to discuss any real concerns with a study.
On a good note… Health stories like this emphasize the importance of being an advocate and expert for your own health. It’s important to sit with health information and see how it resonates within you. Talk with those you respect about health issues and then honor your own wisdom. When you connect more fully to your body, you can make the best decisions for your own health.