Use of journal articles for off-label promotion hits snag

04/21/2008 | NYTimes.com

The FDA's proposal to allow drug firms to use medical journal articles to promote the off-label use of treatments has suffered another setback with a recent report that claims Merck & Co. hired ghostwriters to write journal articles to support the drug Vioxx. Health officials and medical specialists say the accusations raise questions about the transparency of peer reviews and the agency's dependence on published research to provide evidence on the safety of off-label drug use.

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