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Comment & Response
December 9/23, 2013

Differential Diagnosis: Distinguishing Between Ghostwriting and Professional Medical Writing in Biomedical Journals—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital Clínic, Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(22):2092-2093. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.10387

In Reply Although I agree with Hamilton that focusing only on the negative angle of medical writing may create a distorted perception, history cannot be ignored. Writing in PLoS Medicine, Linda Logdberg1 illuminated her experience as a pharmaceutical company-sponsored medical writer. She asserted the following:

For almost 11 years, I worked as a medical writer, creating a variety of pieces including the occasional ghostwritten article.… Ghostwriting was a small, but real, part of my duties. I have seen published pieces that are virtually identical to the final drafts I submitted.… Each piece (‘‘job’’, in advertisingspeak) was born out of the publications planning strategy developed for a fee by the medical education (meded) company for the pharmaceutical corporation.

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