Sunday, September 27, 2009

UK Ahead of US in Disciplining Ghostwriting?

From Roy Poses' Health Care Renewal blog:

This post briefly reviews the case of Dr. Aubrey Blumsohn of Sheffield University, England, who was dismissed by his university some years ago after he went public with a dispute with a drug company (Procter & Gamble) sponsoring his bone research, demanding that he have the right to review all the relevant data. At the time his senior colleague at Sheffield, Dr. Richard Eastell, urged him to drop the matter and avoid offending such an important sponsor of University research.

Flash forward to today, and to reports in The Guardian that Dr. Eastell has been called before the UK's General Medical Council under charges of putting his name on ghostwritten papers. The specific allegation is--you guessed it--that he allowed his name to be put on papers for which he was unable to see all the relevant data.

Now, it would be nice to be able to report that justice was being done to Dr. Blumsohn, though it is a tad late for that. Still, I wanted to get a post up pronto on this topic because of a regular refrain in my previous posts on ghostwriting--when is a university ever going to take action against a star academic who's proven to have been involved in ghostwriting? OK, in this case it's the UK General Medical Council (sort of the equivalent of a state licensing board in the US) and not the University, but it does appear the Brits are out ahead of us in trying to do something about ghostwriting and the problem it poses for the integrity of the medical research literature.

No comments: