N – PLoS archives ghostwriting documents

A US federal court has forced the release of about 1500 documents detailing how articles that include marketing messages written by ghostwriters but attributed to academics are strategically placed in the medical literature. PLoS Medicine acted in litigation against hormone manufacturers by women who developed breast cancer. The journal argued that documents identified during preparation for the case should be made public. The journal’s editor Ginny Barbour said that ghostwriting “gives corporate research a veneer of independence and credibility” and may “substantially distort the scientific record . . . threaten[ing] the validity and credibility of medical knowledge.” See www.plosmedicine.org/static/ghostwriting.action