Thursday, December 2, 2010

Drug maker ghostwrites an entire psychiatric textbook


Two prominent authors of a 1999 book teaching family doctors how to treat psychiatric disorders provided acknowledgment in the preface for an "unrestricted educational grant" from a major pharmaceutical company.

But the drug maker, then known as SmithKline Beecham, actually had much more involvement than the book described, newly disclosed documents show. The grant paid for a writing company to develop the outline and text for the two named authors, the documents show.

To ghostwrite an entire textbook is a new level of chutzpah,” said Dr. David A. Kessler, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, after reviewing the documents. "I've never heard of that before. It takes your breath away."

The book's listed co-authors were Dr. Charles B. Nemeroff, chairman of psychiatry at the University of Miami medical school since 2009 and Emory University before that, and Dr. Alan F. Schatzberg, who was chairman of psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine from 1991 until last year.

The letter documenting the relationship between Dr. Nemeroff, a writing company and SmithKline was ... Read more>>

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