Although many Americans may fear cancer more, heart disease is actually the leading cause of death in the United States. In an era of pacemakers and artificial hearts, cardiovascular ailments remain a leading cause of disability, with more than 81 million Americans living with some form of the disease in 2006, according to the American Heart Association. Updated February 2010
In December, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, sent a letter to Mitchell A. Leon, the president of DesignWrite Inc., the company that has now become Exhibit A in the unfolding ghostwriting scandal that has medical journal editors everywhere combing through their submissions looking for fakes.
The New York Times and the medical journal PloS Medicine won an incredible victory for patients and for health writers last week. They persuaded a judge in a lawsuit against drug makers to release 1,500 previously sealed documents that tell the story of how drug companies like Wyeth have been acting as ghost writers in medical journals.