Questionable acts of pharmaceutical firms.
According to Journal of the American Medical Association pharmaceutical companies (like Merck see below), often pay academic scientists to take credit for articles the company has written, and then have the articles get published in peer reviewed journals. This practice can result in editors publishing biased stories about the drugs in question. This is not a uncommon practice(1 ).
The Journal of the American Medical Association accused Merck the makers of Vioxx of committed fraud to promote their product. JAMA said Merck used "guest authorship and ghostwriting" to make it look like its work had been done at medical schools and universities (2 ).
Dr. David Graham is the associate director for science and medicine in the US. Food and Drug Administration's Office of Drug Safety, he had a 20 year career with the FDA. He had no idea that his study on Vioxx. His research showed that Vioxx caused 100,000 Heart attacks a year. He experience backlash on his job and he feels as if he was punished for speaking out. The week before Vioxx was pulled from the market he was told by senior FDA people "Why on earth did you study Vioxx and heart attacks? We have no regulatory problem with this drug." (3 ).
David Graham said the FDA was "the single greatest obstacle to doing anything effective" regarding the Vioxx scandal. Graham also said the FDA was in "a collaborative relationship" with industry He was allegedly told by a senior FA official "industry is our client. Graham said "The pharma-FDA complex has to be dismantled," he said, "and the American people have to insist on that, otherwise we're going to have disasters like Vioxx that happen in the future."(4 ).