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Pfizer Displeased with PLoS

Pfizer is not happy with a recent PLoS Medicine paper that details the extent to which the company’s subsidiary Wyeth has used ghostwriting to promote its hormone replacement therapies, says Pharmalot’s Ed Silverman. The company alleges that the paper’s author, Georgetown University's Adriane Fugh-Berman, who serves as an expert witness in various lawsuits involving prescription drug promotions, should be forced to make her potential conflicts of interest clear, Silverman adds. Pfizer also claims that PLoS failed to note it had filed a lawsuit against the company seeking access to its documents about ghostwriting, which is another potential conflict. “In effect, [Pfizer’s lawyer] charges PLoS conspired with attorneys to provide fodder both its own pages and the litigation,” Silverman reports. Fugh-Berman says Pfizer is being “ridiculous,” as the paper was part of her academic work and separate from her job as an expert witness. PLoS says it has always had an interest in ghostwriting and has published many papers on the subject.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.