I saw that Dr. Richard Eastell, from the bone metabolism unit at
"No self-respecting scientist could ever be expected to publish findings based on data to which they do not have free and full access," Dr Blumsohn wrote.
But in December 2004, in a letter to Dr Blumsohn, Professor Eastell said that, under guidelines from the US Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), "there is not access to the data...".He added: "The approach we have taken for this manuscript of working closely with the statisticians to identify the best approach to analyse the data is an example of best practice." He said that if Dr Blumsohn wanted to be a co-author of the paper he would have to sign an author's agreement stating he was in "full agreement" with the work." Full text of that article is here.
An example of best practice? Where would it be considered best practice for researchers to write manuscripts based on data they have not seen? Planet PhRMA?? Give me a break! Granted, it happens all the time in psychiatry and all over medicine, but it sure as hell does not match any reasonable scientist's definition of "best practice."
Eastell was later investigated (with no charges sticking) for some irregularities (financial in nature) that can be read about here.
In the end, Eastell is now running a rather expensive event in the name of osteoporosis training. If you’d like to register, just follow the link here. I think I'd rather attend an Eastell seminar titled something like: "Ghostwriting for the 21st Century" -- that would be worth a steep registration fee. How much the seminar will overlap with P & G talking points has yet to be determined but a high degree of overlap is expected. Should any of you attend the seminar, let me know...
I noticed the following quote on the website which advertises this event:
"This course is suitable for pharmaceutical industry personnel from clinical through to marketing disciplines."
You are encouraged to insert your own punchlines here (or in the comments page). I assume that this meets or exceeds PhRMA guidelines.
Eastell may be the nicest man on the planet. He may even be the most ethical gentleman in all of the UK. I'm just pointing out that this chain of events could be construed as strange and reflective of the quite powerful influence of industry in science.