This is a follow up to the post last week with the judge ordering the unsealing of the documents involved in the case. Wyeth also has a new APRELA, to be marketed as a hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and osteoporosis drug, which will be derived from Conjugated Equine Estrogen, or in other words pregnant mare’s urine. See the video below from 2004 that tells the tale of the Premarin Horses. Would marketing the new drug start the entire process all over again if demand were to rise. Right now Premarin is almost at an all time low, down from 60 million to 10 million and falling, but the price is going up.
Hopefully there are no ghostwriters in the trial reports here and today such items are under a lot more scrutiny with transparency.
APRELA has the same key ingredient as Premarin, so what is the FDA going to do this time. Also, I am curious if the FDA has ever inspected the stables, etc. where the urine in collected, like perhaps should have been done with other facilities to ensure everything is done properly. It makes you begin to wonder how much tainted material exists in medical journals today. BD
Newly unveiled court documents show that ghostwriters paid by a pharmaceutical company played a major role in producing 26 scientific papers backing the use of hormone replacement therapy in women, suggesting that the level of hidden industry influence on medical literature is broader than previously known.
That supposed medical consensus benefited Wyeth, the pharmaceutical company that paid a medical communications firm to draft the papers, as sales of its hormone drugs, called Premarin and Prempro, soared to nearly $2 billion in 2001.
The ghostwritten papers were typically review articles, in which an author weighs a large body of medical research and offers a bottom-line judgment about how to treat a particular ailment. The articles appeared in 18 medical journals, including The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and The International Journal of Cardiology.
The documents suggest the practice went well beyond the case of Wyeth and hormone therapy, involving numerous drugs from other pharmaceutical companies.
At one time, the Premarin family of drugs, which dominated the market for hormone therapy, was among Wyeth’s best-selling brands. And the company worked with several ghostwriting companies to maintain that dominance.
In 1997, for example, DesignWrite, a medical communications company in Princeton, N.J., proposed to Wyeth a two-year plan that would include the preparation of about 30 articles for publication in medical journals.