Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 546–548

The corporate coauthor


DOI: 10.1111/j.1525-1497.2005.05857.x

Cite this article as:
Fugh-Berman, A. J GEN INTERN MED (2005) 20: 546. doi:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2005.05857.x


Drug marketing techniques include the sponsorship of articles signed by academic physicians or researchers and submitted to peer-reviewed medical journals. Some of these articles are authored or coauthored by ghostwriters who work for pharmaceutical companies or medical education companies hired by pharmaceutical companies. Conflicts of interest may be difficult to detect in the subset of articles and presentations sponsored by pharmaceutical companies that never mention the targeted drug, but focus on stimulating the perceived need for the targeted drug or highlighting problems with competing drugs. The current voluntary standards for declaring conflicts of interest to readers of medical journals and audiences at medical conferences are inadequate. A public database that contains conflicts of interest of physicians and researchers would be useful.

Key Words

Pharmaceutical industry conflict of interest ethics marketing medical education 

Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physiology and BiophysicsGeorgetown University School of MedicineWashington, DC

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