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May 15, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 10)

The Ghosts of Medical Research

Promotional Marketing Haunts Studies Done on Behalf of Big Pharma's Drug Repertoire

  • Corporate Science

    In the ghost management of research and publication by drug companies we have a novel model of science. This is corporate science, done by many unseen workers, performed for marketing purposes, and drawing its authority from traditional academic science. The high commercial stakes mean that all of the parties connected with this new corporate science can find reasons or be induced to participate, support, and steadily normalize it. It also biases the available science by pushing favorable results and downplaying negative ones—and sometimes through outright fraud.

    As long as pharmaceutical companies hold the purse strings of medical research, medical knowledge will be selectively constructed, serving to market drugs, not to promote health. And as long as universities grovel for more partnerships with these companies, the door will remain wide open to proceed with the corruption of scientific research.

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