Editor insists prasugrel ghostwriter go public

You don’t need a medium or a seance to find a ghost. All it takes is a sharp-eyed editor.

According to a Reuters story by Brendan Borrell, the editor of the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy,  Frederic Curtiss, insisted that a reluctant medical writer be listed as an author on a prasugrel article. The article, “Pharmacy Benefit Spending Poised to Increase for Antithrombotic Drug Therapy– Prasugrel Versus Clopidogrel,” appeared in the June  2009 issue of JMCP.

Curtiss insists that “all authors who contribute more than 1% to the manuscript” be disclosed, according to the Reuters report. Curtiss uses forensic methods, such as examining metadata in Word documents, to uncover hidden authors.

Regarding the prasugrel paper, Borrell quotes Curtiss: “Much to their consternation, we listed an author who did not want to be listed.” The final, published version of the article has two authors: Sarah Spinler of the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and Catherine Rees, a senior medical writer for Adis Communications. The disclosure statement at the end of the article states the following:

This manuscript was prepared through financial support provided by Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., and Eli Lilly and Company. Sheridan Henness, PhD, contributed to the pre-peer review revision of this manuscript. Spinler serves on the speaker bureaus for Bristol-Myers Squibb and sanofi-aventis and reports having received honoraria for consulting from sanofi-aventis.

Rees performed the majority of data collection and writing of the initial draft, and both authors shared equally in the revision.

You can also read Scott Hensley’s article in the NPR Health blog.

Click here to read our chronology of the prasugrel controversy.

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