Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Attention, trial lawyers: your EZ guide to suing a pharma thought leader

Medical school professors routinely lend their names to ghostwritten, pharma-sponsored articles which they did not actually write.  This is fraud.  Yet just as routinely, medical school administrators look the other way.  The same goes for journal editors, research oversight bodies, and virtually everyone else in a position to stop the practice.  What's left to be done?

Sue the bastards, say Trudo Lemmens and Simon Stern, two law professors at the University of Toronto.  Ghostwriting distorts the scientific literature, harms patients, and undermines academic integrity.  It's time for the lawyers to step in.  Lemmens and Stern argue that professors who sign onto ghosted articles could be successfully sued in class actions based on RICO statutes.  Even better, they explain how to do it.  Read the article in PLOS Medicine.

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