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Case Studies in Organizational Communication: Ethical Perspectives and Practices

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Case Studies in Organizational Communication: Ethical Perspectives and Practices, Second Edition

Steve May

Pub. date: 2013 | Online Pub. Date: May 31, 2012 | DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781452240572 | Print ISBN: 9781412983099 | Online ISBN: 9781452240572 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.

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Chapter 14: The Case of Wyeth, DesignWrite, and Premarin: The Ethics of Ghostwriting Medical Journal Articles

Alexander Lyon & Mark Ricci

The case of wyeth, designwrite, and premarin: The ethics of ghostwriting medical journal articles This case explores the role of ghostwriters in the marketing of drugs, as pharmaceutical companies seek greater profits through the medicalization of normal parts of life. As the authors note, the practice of ghostwriting raises serious questions about the transparency and trustworthiness of the information in medical journals and, in turn, the decision making of physicians and their patients. The case considers the challenges of pharmaceutical companies to address the tension between profits and patients. Medicine has become big business. “Big pharma” companies like Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck, and others earn over $20 billion a year, more than the Coca-Cola Company earns selling soda in the United States. Companies like Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson earn even more at $50 and $60 billion, respectively (Fortune 500, 2010). This financial success, however, is not without its ...

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