Written by Ron Loftus, General Manager
This is where a commercial company is employed by a pharmaceutical company to produce a number of academic documents that then appear in academic journals in order to build a particular brand and lend credibility to their product. The company that specialises in ghost writing then searches out academics who are willing for the right price, to put their names to these documents usually with little or no changes made to these documents by the academics.
Whilst it is important that women do their research to ascertain the best treatments for menopause, due to the deep pockets of the pharmaceutical industry it is often difficult to discern what is true and what is not when reading many of the published papers and documents. Many misleading claims are made about certain synthetic products and their supposed safety. Even when such products are found in reputable studies to be responsible for increases in the risk diseases such as breast cancer, you can find a number of these ghost written articles which wrongly and misleadingly imply that these risks are minimal or even exaggerated.
A certain large pharmaceutical company which was sued by about 10,000 women because its synthetic hormones products had caused their cancer has paid almost a Billion US dollars in compensation. It has been well worth the while of such companies to use ghost written articles to try and minimise the damage to their profits despite the fact that these products are still regarded as dangerous.
One of the briefs of such ghost written articles was to develop negative messages for alternate therapies. At AMC we are constantly bombarded with enquiries from concerned patients and prospective patients regarding unfair and misleading claims about the efficacy, safety and quality of the bio-identical hormones prescribed by our doctors. This is not only misleading but unfair to patients and medical professionals who rely on these articles and unfortunately place much confidence in them and then warn their patients against bio-identical hormones based on skewed and incorrect information.