Free Content 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.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • 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.

    Learned Publishing articles are available free online to members of ALPSP and SSP.
    ALPSP members: log in to If you do not have a password contact
    SSP members: log in to the Member Center using your membership username and password. Further information

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