Friday, December 10, 2010

Nature Takes Strong Anti-Ghost Stand

Nature's editorial yesterday on the ghostwriting flap involving the American Psychiatric Association:

--seems significant to me for a couple of reasons. One: Nature's editorial page, in the early days of the debate over conflicts of interest between medicine and Pharma, was one of the least sympathetic venues. It's nice to have them on board. Two: The specific proposal the editors offer, in response to NIH Director Francis Collins's "shocked" comment: "A good start would be for the NIH to require all institutions that take its funds to articulate, publicize and vigorously enforce a clear ban on ghostwriting. Other funders should follow suit. Without such a clear signal, and the willingness to give a ban teeth, this troubling ghost will linger at the feast." The "vigorously enforce" part would be both overdue, and a neat trick if they could pull it off.

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