I came across this article from 2003 by accident. However, it caused me a considerable amount of discomfort and I felt that I had to share it. I would call it an investigation into unethical behaviour and it presents findings that scientists and rational thinkers should be concerned about.
Hundreds of articles in medical journals claiming to be written by academics or doctors have been penned by ghostwriters in the pay of drug companies, an Observer inquiry reveals. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2003/dec/07/health.businessofresearch
The journals, bibles of the profession, have huge influence on which drugs doctors prescribe and the treatment hospitals provide. But The Observer has uncovered evidence that many articles written by so-called independent academics may have been penned by writers working for agencies which receive huge sums from drug companies to plug their products.
Estimates suggest that almost half of all articles published in journals are by ghostwriters. While doctors who have put their names to the papers can be paid handsomely for 'lending' their reputations, the ghostwriters remain hidden. They, and the involvement of the pharmaceutical firms, are rarely revealed.
These papers endorsing certain drugs are paraded in front of GPs as independent research to persuade them to prescribe the drugs.
In February the New England Journal of Medicine was forced to retract an article published last year by doctors from Imperial College in London and the National Heart Institute on treating a type of heart problem. It emerged that several of the listed authors had little or nothing to do with the research. The deception was revealed only when German cardiologist Dr Hubert Seggewiss, one of the eight listed authors, called the editor of the journal to say he had never seen any version of the paper.