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Published on 20 August 2009

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Ghost-writing used to promote Paxil


Court documents show pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline used a ghost-writing program to promote its antidepressant Paxil.

The programme known as the CASPPER enabled doctors to take credit for medical journal articles, which had been written by company consultants.

A memo produced by the company reveals how salespeople were told to approach physicians to help them write articles about their positive experiences prescribing the drug.

The memo explained how they could help with everything from “developing a topic,” to “submitting the manuscript for publication”.

Law firm Baum Hedlund PC discovered the document and is now representing hundreds of former Paxil users in personal injury and wrongful death suits against GlaxoSmithKline.

It is alleged Glaxo tried to hide several risks connected with its drug, including increased suicidal behaviour and birth defects.

A spokeswoman for London-based Glaxo said: “The program was not heavily used and was discontinued a number of years ago.”

Copyright Press Association 2009


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