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Medical publishing and the drug industry: is medical science for sale?

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The pharmaceutical industry produces an abundance of special-purpose knowledge, flooding the markets it is most interested in. To gain the largest scientific impact and market value from research, drug company articles placed in medical journals are often written under the names of independent medical researchers. Pharmaceutical company statisticians, reviewers from a diverse array of company departments, medical writers, and publication planners are only rarely acknowledged in journal publications, and key company scientists only sometimes acknowledged. The public knowledge that results from this ghost-managed research and publication is a marketing tool, providing bases for continuing medical education, buttressing sales pitches, and contributing to medical common sense and further research. In the pharmaceutical industry, knowledge is a resource to be accumulated, shaped, and deployed to best effect. In this paper, I describe this process and discuss ways in which it might be addressed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-01-01

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  • Editor in Chief: Pippa Smart
    North American Editor: Judy Luther

    Learned Publishing is the journal of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, published in collaboration with the Society for Scholarly Publishing. The journal is published quarterly in January/April/July/October.

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    Learned Publishing will be moving to Wiley-Blackwell as of January 1, 2016. Please contact the publisher at [email protected] for information on how to continue access to this title.
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