The practice of ghostwriting research articles calls into question all legitimate research that's been conducted by the pharmaceutical industry by academic physicians.
Merck, a major drug manufacturer drafted dozens of research studies for a best selling drug Vioxx. To give validity to the study, Merck was in want of a big-name researcher. Before publication lined up prestigious doctors to put their names on the reports according to a leading medical journal.
This practice calls into question all legitimate research that's been conducted by the pharmaceutical industry with academic physicians.
Vioxx, a best selling drug was pulled from the market after causing heart attacks and killing many people. The company agreed to pay a $4.8 billion settlement to resolve tens of thousands of of lawsuits.
To quote from the JAMA article: "This case-study review of industry documents demonstrates that clinical trial manuscripts related to rofecoxib were authored by sponsor employees but often attributed first authorship to academically affiliated investigators who did not always disclose industry financial support. Review manuscripts were often prepared by unacknowledged authors and subsequently attributed authorship to academically affiliated investigators who often did not disclose industry financial support."