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Medical Papers By Ghostwriters Pushed Hormone Therapy 289

Posted by timothy
from the just-keep-a-positive-attitude dept.
krou writes "The New York Times reports on newly released court documents that show how pharmaceutical company Wyeth paid a medical communications firm to use ghost writers in drafting and publishing 26 papers between 1998 and 2005 backing the usage of hormone replacement therapy in women. The articles appeared in 18 journals, such as The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and The International Journal of Cardiology. The papers 'emphasized the benefits and de-emphasized the risks of taking hormones to protect against maladies like aging skin, heart disease and dementia,' and the apparent 'medical consensus benefited Wyeth ... as sales of its hormone drugs, called Premarin and Prempro, soared to nearly $2 billion in 2001.' The apparent consensus crumbled after a federal study in 2002 'found that menopausal women who took certain hormones had an increased risk of invasive breast cancer, heart disease and stroke.'"
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Medical Papers By Ghostwriters Pushed Hormone Therapy

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  • by BigGar' (411008) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @05:53PM (#28979441) Homepage
    Well at least the ones that don't stroke out over the nearly endless possibilities...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 06, 2009 @05:56PM (#28979475)

      Good! This is one of those cases where the pharmaceutical companies should be held accountable over and above the slap on the wrist the FDA will give them - if that.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MightyMartian (840721)

        Agreed. I think say, fining them two hundred times their gross worth and imprisoning their board of directors and corporate officers until every penny has been paid off ought to do the trick.

        • by Fallen Kell (165468) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @06:35PM (#28979907)
          No, no , no, no. You got it all wrong. They should be fined $80,000 for each $1 of product they sold, just like the RIAA got.
        • by Korin43 (881732) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @06:40PM (#28979951) Homepage
          Destroying the company wouldn't be helpful. I think a better solution would be to fine the board of directors (and anyone else in on this) for 100% of the money they've ever made while working there + all of their shares in the company + jail time.
          • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 06, 2009 @06:51PM (#28980063)

            I respectfully disagree; I think corporate death penalty is the appropriate route to go.

            All assets of the company are seized by the government, all patents are made public domain, liquid assets (cash and similar instruments) are distributed amongst the victims, the rest is auctioned off to pay for court costs.

            Then, the former shareholders of the company can sue the board of directors and anybody else who no longer has corporate immunity, for causing all of their investment to go away because the company committed crimes against humanity.

            This would put every single company on notice: You exist to serve the people; you are allowed to eck out a profit insofar that you do not commit crimes against us. Companies are only people on paper, and I have no compunctions about putting them to death for crimes against the people they are supposed to serve.

          • by Will.Woodhull (1038600) <wwoodhull@gmail.com> on Thursday August 06, 2009 @08:31PM (#28981053) Homepage Journal

            I disagree with the idea of fining the perpetrators.

            These are white collar RICO Act violations involving fraud by mail and conspiracies that cross state lines. The individuals involved should be identified by the FBI and charged by the US Attorney General. Each one of them has conspired to defraud healthcare providers and bona fide researchers, in a manner that has caused the deaths of some USA citizens and placed many more at high risk of cancer or other diseases.

            There is no way in hell that the USA is going to get decent health care, no matter what Congress does, until these kinds of white collar crimes in the healthcare industry are addressed for what they are: felonies that indirectly cause death and suffering to the general public.

            • by erroneus (253617) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @09:24PM (#28981483) Homepage

              I'd like to see murder or similar charges placed against the people involved. If I did anything that indirectly caused the death of any single individual, I doubt anyone would have any problems with charging me with some sort of death related crime. Why are these jackholes immune? Corporate officers gave orders and directions and approval for these acts that ultimately resulted in the deaths of people. Had they not done so, they would not be responsible.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Anonymous Coward

                They are immune because they are insanely wealthy and big time political donars/bribers.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ragefan (267937)

            ...and take their own "medicines".

      • by Lead Butthead (321013) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @06:56PM (#28980119) Journal

        Good! This is one of those cases where the pharmaceutical companies should be held accountable over and above the slap on the wrist the FDA will give them - if that.

        Except that nobody is really being held accountable, unless you're talking about SERIOUS jail time for the officers and forfeiture of profit + interest (at credit card rate no less.) Let's be honest here, the worse that can be expected is that FDA will slap some fine on the companies, and the companies will just happily pass the cost onto its paying customers (you and I.) There is NO ACCOUNTABILITY.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by budgenator (254554)

          Why fine the company? The science was very probably accurate;

          Michael Platt, the president of DesignWrite, wrote that the company âoehas not, and will not, participate in the publication of any material in which it does not have complete confidence in the scientific validity of the content, based upon the best available data.â

          of course they left out that the content glorified the reduction of trivial symptoms and the consideration of potentially fatal side effects were beyond the scope of the paper

      • by HangingChad (677530) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @07:34PM (#28980525) Homepage

        This is one of those cases where the pharmaceutical companies should be held accountable over and above the slap on the wrist the FDA will give them...

        Then there are insurance companies hauling bus loads of loud, fat people to public meetings on health care. Industry busy trying to undermine public discussion and fudge research results. Big oil has been doing the same thing only a lot longer. When I was doing research for DoE they were paying for research later used to undermine the conservation programs put in place in the wake of the '74 oil embargo. And it worked. Between the push by the oil companies and the Saudis increasing production, DoE's direction on oil policy was changing rapidly by '82. Less than 10 years after lines at the gas pump people were buying vehicles the size of a Bangladesh apartment.

        There's a fine line between engaging in freedom of speech and manipulation. Actually, it's not all that fine. At some point we're going to need to take a hard look at whether the artificial person that is a corporation has the same right to free speech as an individual. Unless you're fabulously wealthy, corporations have a major advantage in getting their free speech packaged and delivered to market. Then there are efforts, like this one, of deliberate deception. Where are the consequences? Why aren't there stunning, quarterly number tanking, breath-taking fines for this kind of behavior? If one of us got caught doing something similar, we could face fraud charges.

    • by Desler (1608317) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @05:59PM (#28979513)
      Why shouldn't they be sued? They willfully defrauded people into buying their products by lying to them about the risks. Isn't this something they should have to pay retribution to their customers for?
      • by DrLang21 (900992) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @06:08PM (#28979625)
        I'm curious to know if these journals are real respected peer reviewed publications. If so, they should be reviewing their peer review policies and/or looking at whether or not they were defrauded by the authors.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Walter White (1573805)

          I'm curious to know if these journals are real respected peer reviewed publications.

          It turns out that a lot of the studies being reported in the peer reviewed medical journals are funded by pharmaceutical companies. The studies that don't favor their products are simply not published.

        • by Bragador (1036480) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @06:37PM (#28979927)
          A peer reviewed journal doesn't tell you that the article has real unfalsified results. The job of the journal is to see if the methodology is serious. So, if you fake your results and have a very well thought out methodology, you can be published. The burden of double checking the results is given to the readers, other scientists who would like to disprove the claims. That costs money and time so most people don't do it. They prefer to publish new discoveries instead.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          I'm curious to know if these journals are real respected peer reviewed publications.

          You betcha. From the web site of one of them:

          With a 2008 impact factor of 3.453 (previously 2.917 or an 18% increase), the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology [AJOG] (The Gray Journal) is now ranked 7th of 61 journals in the Obstetrics & Gynecology category, according to the latest Journal Citation Reports(r) 2008, published by Thomson Reuters.

          from [AJOG [ajog.org]]

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by davester666 (731373)

          Yes, each article was reviewed, in that the reviewer made sure the sponsor company had purchased the proper number of pages of advertising with them to support the costs of including the article in their periodical.

        • by e9th (652576) <<e9th> <at> <tupodex.com>> on Thursday August 06, 2009 @07:53PM (#28980693)
          Some the the journals are published by Elsevier, which cropped up here last May for publishing entire bogus journals! [slashdot.org]

          Last time they pimped for Merck, now Wyeth. If anyone needs to be punished, it's Elsevier.
      • In the US you can sue just about anyone for just about anything. It's just a question of whether or not you will win.

      • by ChefInnocent (667809) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @06:39PM (#28979941)
        I think suing isn't going far enough. I think the person/team behind this and the board of directors should be criminally prosecuted. To fabricate data in pursuit of a few extra dollars while willfully allowing people to die because of the fabrication is wrong on a very fundamental level.
      • They willfully defrauded people into buying their products by lying to them about the risks.

        Defrauded. Falsified. Lied. But what does that even mean anymore?

        The reality is our society is so mired in exaggeration, misrepresentations, doublespeak, non-denial denials, irrelevant conclusions, marketing lies, cover your ass language and general bullshit that we, as a culture, have probably lost the ability or even the inclination to discriminate truth and lies.

        And by discriminate, I don't mean being able to tell one from the other. I mean we have actually lost much of our capacity to actually care whether anyone is telling the truth or lying to us. Truthfulness is no longer rewarded. Indeed it is often punished. Falsehood is conversely rarely, if at all punished and is most often rewarded. This is the culture we live in, so why should people recognize any intrinsic ethic in telling the truth or unethical in lying? Even organizations that are supposed to deal in disclosing the truth are widely recognized and accepted to be mostly peddling lies.

        Did Wyeth actually lie? Do you think you would be able to "prove" in a court of law that a single thing they paid to have printed was in fact a lie, rather than a simple massaging of data or a case of being liberal with the truth. The latter won't be enough to secure a conviction as well the Wyeth layers know. And besides, who care if people lie anyway.

        Companies don't have honor or morals or ethics. If they break their word, even on a signed contract, no one is going to come after them. There's not going to be a permanent black mark on their reputations. With the world the size it is, the same holds true for people as well. Sure, some of us might get indignant about it all, but most people will never even hear about it, and most of those that do will forget about it by the next morning.

        This is the society we, as democracies, have chosen for ourselves. The fruits of our decision should come as no surprise to anyone.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          I have mod points, but I want to answer this one because there is no +1 Unvarnished Truth option.

          I'm sad now.

    • by timeOday (582209) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @06:10PM (#28979649)
      Actually, lawyers are the ones who brought the truth to light in the first place:

      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.

      I do hope they win money from Wyeth. Heck, I don't even mind Wyeth pushing their agenda in the literature, if the science is good it should stand on its own. But being evasive and publishing with a hidden financial agenda is not cool, especially when lives are at stake.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by nedlohs (1335013)

        Surely the doctors who put their names on the papers are the ones who should both be sued and also have their reputations for research completely trashed.

    • by BigGar' (411008)
      Here I try to somewhat amusing while pointing out the obvious and I get modded a Troll; sigh.
      And yes, I agree they should be sued, the company should be sued, the people who approved this should be sued and held criminally liable in my opinion. But try and point out the lawyers feeding frenzy is somehow off-base ....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 06, 2009 @05:54PM (#28979457)

    When there's something weird
    In your study results
    Who you gonna call?
    Ghostwriters!

  • Wyeth isn't alone (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lurker2288 (995635) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @05:54PM (#28979465)
    Wyeth may have gotten caught, but don't kid yourself that every major pharma company isn't doing the exact same thing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wizardforce (1005805)

      This is precisely why in science, real science, we have the scientific method which requires that experiments/studies etc. be repeatable. All it would take is for these fraudulent claims to be tested and it is over for the fools who tried to usurp the system.

      • by Nightspirit (846159) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @06:21PM (#28979753)

        Unless the people retesting are the same ones who submitted it in the first place (either via ghost writers, sham corporations, etc). Then it becomes like artificial sweeteners, where you have a mountain of evidence stating that it is safe (from the corporations, or people funded by the industry) and some research stating that it isn't safe, and the end result is people are confused and no one knows what to really believe.

        • by geekoid (135745)

          "Unless the people retesting are the same ones who submitted it in the first place "
          then it isn't the scientific method. It needs to be tested by other groups as well.
          Obviously the same person redoing a test and saying it passed as very limited value.

          • by JohnFluxx (413620)

            duh, but how does anyone know whether it has been double checked by an outside group or not?

      • by Chris Burke (6130)

        This is precisely why in science, real science, we have the scientific method which requires that experiments/studies etc. be repeatable. All it would take is for these fraudulent claims to be tested and it is over for the fools who tried to usurp the system.

        Well on the one hand, not all science is physics. It can be very difficult and expensive to conduct a medical study, and repeatability is to some extent hampered by a thousand uncontrolled variables. Grams and electron volts don't vary, but people (an

        • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

          It might not be fair, but that doesn't change the fact that physics isn't a better, more scientific science.

          • by Chris Burke (6130)

            It might not be fair, but that doesn't change the fact that physics isn't a better, more scientific science.

            Huh?

            I wasn't saying anything like "physics is better" or "physics is more science-y".

            I was saying that by its very nature it is easier to reproduce results in physics experiments. Anyone can reproduce the Michelson-Morley or Young Double Slit experiments or measure the Gravitational Constant or the permittivity of free space or the diffraction index of air and get the exact same answer as everyone el

      • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

        This is precisely why in science, real science, we have the scientific method which requires that experiments/studies etc. be repeatable. All it would take is for these fraudulent claims to be tested and it is over for the fools who tried to usurp the system.

        The question is, who's going to do the repeat? If an experiment is prohibitively expensive to recreate it offers a natural cover for fraud. Not that scientific method isn't a Good Thing. But one can't just utter it as an incantation against the demons of deceit.

  • by Kokuyo (549451) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @06:01PM (#28979535) Journal

    Yeah right...

    This happens when you trust people who make money when you don't feel well. When will people learn that doctors do not profit from you being healthy? Neither do pharmaceutical companies. Taking medicine in the belief that whoever gave it to you wanted you to feel better is very naive.

    It's stuff like this, and many personal experiences, that make me so cynical toward doctors. It's a sad state of things, but there you have it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by geekoid (135745)

      Your an idiot.
      I know quite a few doctors, and all of them want to see their patients get healthy. It's not like they don't have enough business.

      What does a Doctor gain by prescribing you a treatment that isn't needed?

      I am of course tlkaing about science based medicine, Natural path, homeopaths, acupuncturist and others of there ilk are a different matter. They charge of treatments that do no damn good.

      • From what I've encountered, the overuse of diagnostics etc. that don't do any real good seems to be the result of a fear of being sued for not doing enough to diagnose/treat the patient. As far as I am concerned such suits should be binding against actual malpractice. That is, failures on the part of the doctor's end that would not be considered a reasonable response. operating on the wrong leg, prescribing a drug that is clearly labeled as being a dangerous allergen to the patient etc..

      • Defensive Medicine (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rcb1974 (654474)

        What does a Doctor gain by prescribing you a treatment that isn't needed?

        Defensive Medicine (CYA for doctors) [wikipedia.org]

      • by Da_Biz (267075)

        I am of course tlkaing about science based medicine, Natural path, homeopaths, acupuncturist and others of there ilk are a different matter.

        I can't speak for either naturopathy or homeopathy, but to lump all acupuncturists into failing to practice medicine with an empirical basis is just nebulous.

        My father went to the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine (which works closely with UCLA Medical School) to study acupuncture:
        http://www.cewm.med.ucla.edu/ [ucla.edu]

        He credits part of his very successful career in acupuncture

      • 1. Some Doctors make extra cash by prescribing particular treatments.

        Crackdown on Doctors Who Take Kickbacks [New York Times] [nytimes.com]

        2. Even when Doctors don't make direct cash, it is said some of them make indirect benefits such as courses which are disguised nice holidays.

        3. Even when Doctors don't benefit personally, medical industry reps do benefit from their products being chosen. Behind the Doctor is a whole industry of pressures and reality distortion fields who's agenda includes their

    • by aaandre (526056)

      Also, drug advertising on TV. Like candy for old people.

    • almost nothing that has been produced in society was for someone else's greater good but rather in exchange for something of value to the producer. The system requires selfishness on the part of essentially everyone involved [pharma to research and produce the drug] the patient to stay reasonably informed and the government to enforce laws against fraud. The real problems arise when the power balance is broken: the government doesn't do its job of going after fraud or big pharma defrauding the patient or

    • by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @07:14PM (#28980333) Homepage

      This happens when you trust people who make money when you don't feel well. When will people learn that doctors do not profit from you being healthy? Neither do pharmaceutical companies. Taking medicine in the belief that whoever gave it to you wanted you to feel better is very naive.

      Yeah, that's why my doctor has encouraged me to eat better and exercise so that I don't have to take anti-cholesterol or blood pressure medication.

  • Ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ardaen (1099611) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @06:02PM (#28979545)
    Just what we need, drug companies further muddling the waters so not even doctors can tell which treatments are useful or necessary. No wonder we see large movements away from things like vaccinations, which save lives. People are left with too many doubts and questions, fear doesn't lead to good decision making.
    • Technically pharma produces said vaccinations so I doubt they would acively try to discourage people from using them. Most of the problem with parents refusing vaccinations has been due to a combination of bad education and distrust of anything the public does not understand. Only a minority knows what vaccines are, how they work and what is in them hence, there is going to be a lot of people weary of using them.

  • The list (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aaandre (526056) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @06:09PM (#28979631)

    I wonder if there's a list pharmaceutical company CEOs distribute to their immediate families...

    Dear Mom, here's a list of medications made by pfeiser that I wouldn't take, even if my doctor recommended them.

    Your loving son, Jeff.

    That would be a great read on wikileaks.

    • They don't need a list. It's everything. And everything not.

      Or in simpler words: Think for yourself. Never ever take a pill, without knowing *exactly* how it works, and either studies from people you personally trust, or taking the risk.

      Turns out, you *need* nearly no medication at all. Eat really healthy (organic and as little processed as possible, and really tasty at the same time!), exercise, live in a healthy environment (just as much mental as physical), and you are going to be fine, and get old in a

  • This the just the market correcting itself. Capitalism at it's best.

  • In real science, no consensus is required. If you need any such thing, you only admit that you don't know. Either you have hard evidence to convince other scientists, or you are just playing dice with the Universe in hope that your insufficiently substantiated paper is correct.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      Even hard facts have consensus. There is a consensus that the speed of light in vacume is 299 792 458 m / s. With ALL science, new evidence may change things.

      You really have no idea what consensus mean in this context, do you?

  • Seriously.

    'found that menopausal women who took certain hormones had an increased risk of invasive breast cancer, heart disease and stroke.'

    They sold two billion dollars worth of a product (in 2001 alone) that they manipulated into being not only harmless (like tobacco companies), but manufactured evidence that it was healthy and beneficial (something even the tobacco companies didn't stoop to).

    Essentially they ran a multi billion dollar scam, caused serious damage to the health of how many people exactly?

  • those medicines didn't cured those writers, probably will kill you too.
  • I am a physician (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @06:33PM (#28979885)

    And I can tell you frankly that the medical profession is split in two. There are people who are in it for the human aspect - usually the doctors. Then there's the people who are in it for the money: The pharmaceutical companies.

    This is not surprising, coming off another recent study done by (and now we learn that it was paid for) and published in a magazine owned by a subsidiary of Merck.

    Just the fact that these companies are allowed to advertise on TV directly to patients is disgusting. But ask your doctor if XYZ is right for you, because you don't need it at all, or there's probably some cheaper similar drug whose patent has expired and costs 1/4 the price, but if you waste your doctor's time enough he'll write the prescription just to get you out of his office with a smile on your face. After all if he says "NO", you might not come back.

    Just the fact that an HIV patient will literally die bankrupt, at $1000+ per month for the meds. Unless you're very rich, you won't be able to keep THAT up for very long, and when you run out of money - so sorry, we can recommend a hospice for you.

    Pharmaceutical companies scream about billions of dollars in research, yet they can afford all that printed material for doctors, 5 star hotels for doctors for "seminars", pens, calculators, TV air time, etc. Yet some companies still make money with Aspirin - yes the name belongs to Bayer, but anyone can make and sell acetyl-salicylic acid - the patent expired years ago.

    No, big pharma loves the protections patent law gives them, and if they can completely distort the market and throw actual science out of the window WHO CARES so long as it increases sales.

    That's why we have Cochrane studies, where we DOCTORS look back at what we're doing and seeing if it REALLY IS effective. A new study from my country published by a close friend of mine suggests that having your blood pressure at 140/90mmHg gives NO INCREASED RISK of heart disease or stroke. But studies paid for by big pharma INSIST (and they've convinced the American Heart Association) that your blood pressure has to be UNDER 120/80. In fact, they want TEENAGERS to start taking blood pressure medication. Hey, at $100-200 per patient per month, SO WOULD I. But we know full well where the unethical branch of the medical sciences is...

    The above comment is my opinion as a 3rd world physician, since I have to watch people die because they can't afford the few medications that DO work as advertised (and are thus even MORE expensive).

    • by db32 (862117)

      I blame you and your ilk. But not in the way you might expect. GET LOUDER! I mean, it is great that you are saying this here on slashdot, but you are kinda preaching to the choir here. I have yet to meet a doctor that has a very high opinion of pharma companies or insurance companies, but they all seem to be rather silent on the matter. You have politicians and PR guys filling people full of stupid ideas about how pharma must be protected so they can get the drugs they need and so on. None of those as

    • by MMC Monster (602931) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @07:30PM (#28980485)

      I am a physician, and my mother has hypertension. Damn straight I'm going to medicate her. I'm giving her a diuretic and an ACE inhibitor. $4 per drug per month, for a total of $96 per year. Just like I prescribe to my patients. Treating hypertension prevents strokes. It's not one study. It's dozens of studies, over decades of statistics. A since study may have a P value of .95, stating that it is statistically significant. That means that there's a 1 in 20 chance that it is just plain wrong. I'm banking on the decades of data. Wake me up when the UKPDS changes their recommendations to not treat hypertension.

      The fact of the matter is, my patients are as cost conscious as I am, since they know what it's like to pay for trade name drugs when the generic equivalents are covered by the insurance companies. They love that after a first visit with me they can cut there monthly bills by $100 or more. They tell their friends, and I get more patients.

      Big Pharma has screwed the medical industry. Us doctors (as a group) are doing it, too, as are the trial lawyers.

      And the general public, who feels that docs should be sued into oblivion for the littles mistakes. You know what? Mistakes happen. Deal with it. If you would rather docs retire early rather than pay ridiculously high malpractice premiums, so be it.

      My wife required a high risk OB during her last pregnancy. Pretty hard to find in our state, since the malpractice for obstetricians is ridiculously high here.

    • I wish there was more study and awareness of the economic idiocy and need for regulation to resolve it, too.

      In the UK, the NHS (national health service) cannot afford to treat everyone with certain life-saving drugs because those drugs are too expensive, so they don't, or do so only for a few people.

      The drug companies lobby the NHS to include those drugs, and the NHS refuses because the money is better spent on cheaper treatments for more people. Some newspapers and some people side with the drug companies

  • The writers, the people that paid them and the people that made the decisions that brought this about NEED to be prosecuted, not only for the fraud perpetrated here, but for the manslaughter of any women that died as a result of this therapy. Wyeth should lose their right to do business in this country as well.

    Now I can see some writer saying "WTF? I just wrote an article!", but that does not excuse the fact they were ghost-writing in a MEDICAL journal. They would have to know that decisions that involve th

  • Suggested Remedy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eddy (18759) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @06:50PM (#28980047) Homepage Journal

    Beyond any direct fines or other remedies, just halve the patent times on all their patents across the board for each infraction. Sixteen years of protection left on Xyliklopper? Now it's eight.

  • Pharm companies are doing this kind of stuff all the time, and the FDA just lets them get away with it. Somehow, I don't see criminal charges ever getting filed here. CEOs will pass the buck, and they'll go on with business as usual.

  • Ya know, the unemployment rate is bad enough right now without ghosts taking jobs from living writers.

    But, how would they feel if the living started haunting each other? Turnabout is fair play. Oh wait, we do... it's called stalking.

  • by beadfulthings (975812) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @09:51PM (#28981649) Journal

    Who had these drugs pushed at her with a great deal of pressure to take them. She finally said, "I'm almost seventy, for chrissake. I'm SUPPOSED to be old. She also clued me in as to how these drugs are harvested or manufactured or whatever you would call it. They're extracted from the urine of pregnant mares. In order to do that, the horses are made pregnant. Then they are confined to their stalls, 24/7, so that the urine can be collected. They're never allowed outside, never allowed even to move around in the stalls--just made to stand there without a break for their rather lengthy gestation terms. When the foals are born, they are taken away from the mothers immediately and are often slaughtered. That kind of confinement would be torture for any animal--it is doubly so for a horse which needs to be able to move about and use its legs.

    A few wrinkles in the fullness of time were much preferable to her, and so they will be to me.

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