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ISMPP Supports Best Practices and Transparency in Medical Publications: Better Understanding of Terms Such as 'Ghostwriting' Needed
Date:10/15/2009

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y., Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The mission of the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) is to advance the medical publication profession through education and advocacy. The organization believes that to correct the growing misperceptions in the medical literature and lay press around a number of critical issues involving medical publications, such as the perception that all medical writing is performed by "ghostwriters," it is critically important for ISMPP to advocate faster adoption of standards and best practices.

"We support full transparency around data disclosure, acknowledgment and disclosure of professional medical writers, and funding sources. We have the same commitment as the health care community and the public in ensuring medical research and opinion are made available via a transparent, rigorous, and professional process, and support all best practices and current guidelines from organizations such as the International Council of Medical Journal Editors," said Al Weigel, President of ISMPP.

Increased attention has recently been given to the use of unacknowledged medical writers (termed "ghostwriters"), a practice distinct from the appropriate, fully disclosed, and acknowledged use of professional medical writers. The editor of Annals of Internal Medicine, Christine Laine, noted the distinction in a related article in the Philadelphia Inquirer (September 20, 2009), saying, 'We don't think the writing assistance per se is bad, it's when it's not disclosed that it's a problem." A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association also reported a significant decrease in unacknowledged medical writing assistance (ghostwriting), but further progress needs to be made.

"Academic and industry involvement in medical publications will continue to be the subject of media scrutiny and criticism. While it is important to properly identify poor practices, we sh
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SOURCE International Society for Medical Publication Professionals
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