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Wyeth’s Ghostwritten Articles Camouflage Dangerous Drug Side Effects


Public Justice is a group of more than 300 law firms that fights on behalf of those who have suffered injustice or serious personal injury as a result of using dangerous or defective products. According to their Web site, the group’s Access to Justice Campaign just won a significant victory against pharmaceutical giant, Wyeth, after a federal court judge granted public access to reams of evidence that the drug maker “ghostwrote” medical journal articles promoting its own dangerous and defective drugs.

Pharmaceutical Liability Issues

Public Justice represented PLos Medicine, a medical journal published by the nonprofit Public Library of Science, urging the court to unseal evidence that Wyeth had ghostwritten medical articles about its own hormone replacement therapy drugs such as Prempro, which a national study says increases a woman’s risk of stroke, heart attack, blood clots, heart disease and cancer. The evidence was until now, sealed by the courts because of an ongoing federal lawsuit filed on behalf of Prempro victims.

This is no doubt, a remarkable victory for Public Justice and for consumers. In this case, ghostwriting those articles was a disservice to consumers because doctors rely on those journals to provide accurate, trustworthy information to prescribe medications to patients. This can cause serious personal injury to consumers of such prescription drugs who may not be aware of the adverse side effects as a result of the misleading information in these journal articles. There is no question that public safety and health are put at serious risk by a drug company that chooses to mislead the public and hide its role in authoring medical journal articles to promote its own products.

A Victory for Consumer Advocates

In this case, as the judge ruled, there was no adequate reason to hold this information secret. The New York Times reported that the surreptitious documents include a “mammoth” ghostwriting campaign involving Prempro. I commend the newspaper for breaking the story and Public Justice for keeping up with the campaign and seeing it through. This is hopefully, another step toward to making sure that the Prempro victims and plaintiffs get the justice and compensation they rightfully deserve. If you have been injured as a result of these or other defective drugs, please contact an experienced pharmaceutical litigation attorney to find out more about your legal rights and options.

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