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[News] British Doctors Credibility at Risk After AstroTurfing

  • Subject: [News] British Doctors Credibility at Risk After AstroTurfing
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 25 Sep 2009 16:57:37 +0100
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
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British doctor faces action over claims of 'ghost writing' for US drug company

,----[ Quote ]
| Doctors have been agreeing to be named as authors on 
| studies written by employees of the pharmaceutical 
| industry, giving greater credibility to medical 
| research, according to new evidence.
| The Guardian has learned that one of Britain's 
| leading bone specialists is facing disciplinary 
| action over accusations that he was involved in 
| "ghost writing".
| The wider phenomenon has come to light through 
| documents disclosed in the US courts which have 
| revealed a culture in which doctors agree to 
| "author" studies written by employees of drug firms. 
| The doctors may have some input but do not have 
| access to all the evidence from the drug trial on 
| which the paper's conclusions are based, the 
| documents showed.


More AstroTurfing nuisance:


,----[ Quote ]
| The proof is in the role that Whole Foods has played 
| in opposing the two most critical domestic agenda 
| items of the Obama Administration. On the Employee 
| Free Choice Act, the most critical labor law reform 
| in over 50 years, Whole Foods has been in the 
| vanguard of the corporate charge to kill the bill 
| and keep unions on the ground. This is hardly 
| surprising, as Mackey absolutely loathes labor 
| unions:
|    The union is like having herpes. It doesn't kill 
|    you, but it's unpleasant and inconvenient, and it 
|    stops a lot of people from becoming your lover.
| Mackey dresses his feelings up a lot prettier than 
| Lee Scott, but he ultimately will do whatever he can 
| to kill unions at Whole Foods and beyond.



Merck Funds Friends, Gets Benefits

,----[ Quote ]
| After receiving six-figure grants from the pharmaceutical company Merck,
| three medical associations promoted the company's Gardasil vaccine, "using
| virtually the same strategy that Merck employed in its marketing campaign."
| That's according to an analysis published in the Journal of the American
| Medical Association, which warned that Gardasil's marketing campaign
| presents "important challenges to physician practice and medical
| professionalism."


Elsevier Does a Microsoft with Open Access

,----[ Quote ]
| I've seen these kind of stories so many times in the world of open source,
| with Microsoft as the main protagonist, that they warm the cockles of my
| heart when I see them popping up in other areas like open access. Why?
| Because if a multi-billion pound company like Elsevier is starting to stoop
| to this kind of tactic, it demonstrates just how profoundly worried it is -
| and how close open access is to widespread acceptance.


Elsevier Reveals More Details About Its Fake Journal Division

,----[ Quote ]
| Remember how Elsevier and Merck were caught putting out a fake journal that
| had articles favoring Merck drugs, implying peer reviewed articles that
| weren't? Soon afterwards, it came out that Elsevier had a whole division for
| such things. However, following an internal investigation, it looks like
| Elsevier is backtracking a bit and saying that, while the group's practices
| were problematic, most weren't as egregious as the "Australasian Journal of
| Bone and Joint Medicine (AJBJM)" that was created by Merck and Elsevier.


Elsevier Had A Whole Division Publishing Fake Medical Journals

,----[ Quote ]
| Remember a week ago when we wrote about pharma giant Merck and publishing
| giant Elsevier working together to publish a fake journal that talked up
| various Merck drugs and was used by doctors to show that the drugs were safe
| and useful?


No bottom to worse at Elsevier?

,----[ Quote ]
| The latest development, though, strikes me as something that should be
| shouted from every available rooftop: Elsevier simply must answer the
| questions raised.
| Via Dorothea: Jonathan Rochkind has done a little "forensic librarianship"
| and raised astonishing questions about the entire imprint, Excerpta Medica,
| which published the fake journal that started all of this.
| Go read Jonathan, but the bottom line is this: Excerpta Medica does not
| provide a straightforward list of its own publications or make clear which
| are, ahem, "industry-sponsored".


Another Reason We Need Open Access

,----[ Quote ]
| One of the more laughable reasons that traditional science publishers cite in
| their attempts to rubbish open access is that it's somehow not so rigorous
| as "their" kind of publishing. There's usually a hint that standards might be
| dropped, and that open access journals aren't, well, you know, quite proper.


Merck Makes Phony Peer-Review Journal

,----[ Quote ]
| It is this attitude within companies like Merck and among doctors that allows
| scandals precisely like this to happen. While the scandals with Merck and
| Vioxx are particularly egregious, we know they are not isolated incidents.
| This one is just particularly so. If physicians would not lend their names or
| pens to these efforts, and publishers would not offer their presses, these
| publications could not exist. What doctors would have as available data would
| be peer-reviewed research and what pharmaceutical companies produce from
| their marketing departments--actual advertisements.


Merck And Elsevier Exposed For Creating Fake Peer Review Journal

,----[ Quote ]
| Of course, this is exactly the sort of thing that you can do when everything
| is locked up and proprietary, rather than open. There's almost no way to
| confirm or check the data or information to make sure it's legit, so people
| tend to assume it is. In that regard, perhaps it's no surprise that the two
| companies eventually went down this road, but it does highlight one of the
| problems with the way the system works today. As Shirky later points out this
| is hardly unique for a firm like Elsevier, which has faced some serious
| ethical questions regarding its publications in the past as well.



The serials crisis has a name, and it's Reed Elsevier.

,----[ Quote ]
| Mind you, I don't mean to imply that we should launch another boycott;
| reigning in Elsevier's profit margins and/or market share would do little to
| offset the serials crisis. The only answer to that, in the long term, is Open
| Access, because it scales where Toll access doesn't. No, this entry is not
| really about OA at all, it's just a little kick in the shins for my favorite
| Greedy Bastard Publishers.


Elsevier steals, then copyrights other people's free stuff

,----[ Quote ]
| Reed Elsevier caught copying my content without my permission:
|     I was not asked for, and did not give, permission for my work to appear
|     on that page, much less in that format. Needless to say, I felt a little
|     slighted.
|     The website in question appears to be a custom version of the LexisNexis
|     search engine. This particular version appears to be Elsevier's own
|     custom version, intended for internal use. I don't have conclusive proof
|     of that, but the title bar at the top of the page reads, "Elsevier
|     Corporate", and the person who accessed my blog from that page had an IP
|     address that's registered to MD Consult, which is an Elsevier subsidiary.
|     My guess is that Elsevier's keeping track of news articles and blog posts
|     that mention them, along with the context in which they're mentioned.
| [...]
| Reed Elsevier Is Stealing My Words:
|     I received an email from ScienceBlogling Mike Dunford that Reed Elsevier
|     had excerpted one of my posts. No problem there--I like it when people
|     read my stuff....except for one thing:
|     The fuckers copyrighted my words.
| Copyright violation?:
|     Apparently, publishing companies don't always get permission for the
|     materials they use, either. Mike Dunford caught Reed Elsevier copying his
|     content without permission (from Stephen Downes).

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