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Drug Maker Wrote Book Under Two Doctors' Names

Prominent medical authors Dr. Charles B. Nemeroff and Dr. Alan F. Schatzberg said that they wrote the book “Recognition and Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders: A Psychopharmacology Handbook for Primary Care,” with the help of an “unrestricted educational grant” from a major pharmaceutical company. But in fact, SmithKline Beecham (now known as GlaxoSmithKline) did more than pay for the book. They had a writing company develop the outline and text for the two named authors, which were then shown to the pharmaceutical company for comments, “sign-off” and “final approval.”

Although a number of publications, mostly medical journal articles, have been criticized in recent years for the hidden drug industry influence known as ghostwriting, this is the first drug company ghostwritten book known to exist.

According to the New York Times:

“The book sold about 26,000 copies, including 10,000 bought by SmithKline Beecham for American family doctors and 10,000 purchased by the Dutch pharmaceutical company Organon ... The authors together received a 15 percent royalty of the $120,000 sales, or about $18,000, he said.”

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