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Ghostwriting Medicine

Twenty-six medical journals articles that supported the use of hormone replacement therapy in women were ghostwritten, reports the New York Times. The articles were initiated and paid for by Wyeth and did not disclose that connection. Sales of Premarin and Prempro totaled almost $2 billion in 2001, Times says, before a 2002 federal-backed study of hormone treatment was halted after finding that women taking hormones had higher risk of breast cancer, heart disease, and stroke. The articles, mainly review papers, were published between 1998 and 2005 and appeared in 18 different journals. "It's almost like steroids and baseball," Mount Sinai School of Medicine's Joseph Ross says. "You don't know who was using and who wasn't; you don't know which articles are tainted and which aren't."

The WSJ Health Blog points out that Merck dropped its ghostwriting activities after the Vioxx settlement.

The Scan

Could Cost Billions

NBC News reports that the new Alzheimer's disease drug from Biogen could cost Medicare in the US billions of dollars.

Not Quite Sent

The Biden Administration likely won't meet its goal of sending 80 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad by the end of the month, according to the Washington Post.

DTC Regulation Proposals

A new report calls on UK policymakers to review direct-to-consumer genetic testing regulations, the Independent reports.

PNAS Papers on Mosquito MicroRNAs, Acute Kidney Injury, Trichothiodystrophy

In PNAS this week: microRNAs involved in Aedes aegypti reproduction, proximal tubule cell response to kidney injury, and more.