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Who actually writes the medical studies that get published? A study shows that the answer is not always what it appears to be:

Guest Authorship and Ghostwriting in Publications Related to Rofecoxib: A Case Study of Industry Documents From Rofecoxib Litigation,” Joseph S. Ross, MD, MHS; Kevin P. Hill, MD, MHS; David S. Egilman, MD, MPH; Harlan M. Krumholz, MD, SM JAMA Vol. 299 No. 15, April 16, 2008

Authorship in biomedical publication provides recognition and establishes accountability and responsibility. Recent litigation related to rofecoxib provided a unique opportunity to examine guest
authorship and ghostwriting, practices that have been suspected in biomedical publication but for which there is little documentation….

This case-study review of industry documents demonstrates that clinical trial manuscripts related to rofecoxib were authored by sponsor employees but often attributed first authorship to
academically affiliated investigators who did not always disclose industry financial support. Review manuscripts were often prepared by unacknowledged authors and subsequently attributed authorship to academically affiliated investigators who often did not disclose industry financial support.

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