Glaxo used ghostwriting program to promote Paxil

August 19, 2009 12:42:20 PM PDT
Court documents show drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline used a ghostwriting program to promote its antidepressant Paxil, letting doctors take credit for medical journal articles written by company consultants. An internal company memo instructs salespeople to offer to help physicians write and publish articles about their positive experiences prescribing Paxil.

The document was uncovered by the Los Angeles law firm, Baul and Hedlund, which alleges Glaxo downplayed the risks of the drug, including increased suicidal behavior in young adults.

The April 2000 memo states that the program aimed to "strengthen the product positioning and overcome competitive issues," facing Paxil.

A spokeswoman for the British drugmaker had no immediate comment Wednesday afternoon.

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