New court documents show that ghostwriters, paid by a pharmaceutical company, played a role in producing papers supporting the use of hormone replacement therapy in women. The ghostwriting led to higher prescriptions for hormone drugs that might be causing illness and injury.
The articles published in medical journals between 1998 and 2005 pointed out the benefits while not giving enough emphasis to the risks of taking the hormone drugs Premarin and Prempro to protect against aging skin, heart disease and dementia.
Our personal injury lawyers in San Diego believe it is important for pharmaceutical companies to point out benefits as well as risks. This balance leads to informed decisions by doctors who want to give those treatments to patients and not cause pharmaceutical malpractice.
Menopausal women who took certain hormones were found to have an increased risk of invasive breast caner, heart disease and stroke. Older patients had a higher chance of dementia.
The ghostwritten papers supporting the hormone use were typically review articles. An author is given a large amount of medical research and gives a final judgment about how to treat a specific ailment. The articles were written for 18 medical journals including The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The diagram from the Wall Street Journal below shows the process of ghostwriting into medical journals for the purpose of supporting certain pharmaceutical drugs.
A spokesman for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals said the articles were scientifically accurate despite the apparent difficult process pharmaceutical companies follow when they hire medical writing companies to assist authors in drafting manuscripts.
Wyeth faces about 8,400 lawsuits from women who say the company’s drugs caused illness. Wyeth has settled with five women, but another 23 of the 31 total cases were in Wyeth’s favor.
Our personal injury attorneys in San Diego urge pharmaceutical companies to educate doctors and patients about the benefits of their products while warning them of possible side effects and dangers that can lead to further injury or even wrongful death. Potentially dangerous drugs can almost certainly lead to worse conditions if prescribed without warnings.
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