For Immediate Release
NIH Should Stop Funding Researchers Who Sign Their Names to Ghostwritten Articles
WASHINGTON - In a letter sent yesterday, the Project On Government Oversight
(POGO) detailed examples of prominent physicians currently at leading
medical centers—University of Pennsylvania, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine
at New York University, University of Miami, Stanford, Yale, and Brown
University—who signed their names to articles written by a marketing
firm that was funded by the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline
(GSK). POGO has discovered that, over the last five years, the National
Institutes of Health (NIH) has provided these same researchers with
$66.8 million in federal research grants.
In a particularly egregious example, department chairs who were then
at Stanford and Emory University signed their names to a textbook used
by primary care physicians to prescribe pharmaceuticals for patients
with psychiatrics problems. GSK paid a marketing firm to write the
physician textbook and was allowed to approve the drafts and final page
Last year on C-SPAN, Dr. Francis Collins, the NIH Director, expressed
dismay about ghostwriting and said it was a threat to the “integrity of
science.” POGO urged Dr. Collins to end the practice of ghostwriting in
academia by cutting off the funding for academics who engage in this
“It’s time for the NIH leadership to stop wringing their hands and
take action,” said POGO Investigator Paul Thacker. “Cut off the federal
funding of these researchers and everyone will straighten up. It’s the
only way to protect the integrity of science and shield patients from
corporate marketing that masquerades as science.”
POGO attached dozens of documents to the letter, allowing federal officials to see the evidence for themselves.
You can view the letter and documents here.
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The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is an independent nonprofit that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more effective, accountable, open and honest federal government.