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Medical Book Ghostwritten by Drug Maker

According to the New York Times, documents surfaced this week indicating that SmithKline Beecham, now GlaxoSmithKline, hired a writing company to develop the outline and text for a 1999 book teaching family doctors how to treat psychiatric disorders.  The book was then sold under the authorship of two doctors, Dr. Charles B. Nemeroff and Dr. Alan Schatzberg.  The two doctors deny that the book was drafted by "ghostwriters" and assert they conceptualized, wrote and edited the book themselves.  

Dr. Nemeroff, chairman of psychiatry at University of Miami medical school since 2009 and Emory University before that, is under a two year ban from receiving N.I.H. grants.  The ban was imposed in 2008 after a Senate inquiry found that he had failed to disclose at least $1.2 million in industry financing over seven years from pharmaceutical companies, including GlaxoSmithKline.  

The documents exposing the alleged "ghostwriting" were released on Monday by the Project on Government Oversight, a Washington advocacy group.  The New York Times obtained the documents independently from a law firm in Los Angeles.  The law firm received the documents as part of discovery in the litigation regarding Paxil (an antidepressant), sold by GlaxoSmithKline.   

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