Wyeth Slime Tactics

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It turns out that a bunch of recent articles in scientific and medical journals about the benefits of hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women were paid for and secretly promoted by Wyeth Labs.

Court records, according to the New York Times, show that a total of 26 papers were ghost written and placed in journals after payment from Wyeth. For the record, Wyeth made over $2 billion from just two hormone replacement products in 2001 alone.

And, to the New York Times’ great credit, “the documents on ghostwriting were uncovered by lawyers suing Wyeth and were made public after a request in court from PLoS Medicine, a medical journal from the Public Library of Science, and The New York Times.”

In 2002, a large, federally funded study showed that hormone replacement drugs like these increased the risk of breast cancer, heart disease and stroke for the women who took them.

Wyeth actually continues to this day to work with medical writing firms – but now says that its policies require that any publications that result state that they were paid for by Wyeth.

There are currently over 8,400 pending lawsuits against Wyeth from women who took these drugs. Let’s hope that the medical journals that got duped also sue to make Wyeth reveal what articles they paid for and where they ended up.

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