If a misinformed voice speaks out in the wilderness and no one refutes it, does it make a sound? A call to advocacy
Art Gertel TFS, Inc., Flemington, New Jersey, USA
The pharmaceutical industry has been a soft target for many years. Attacks by journalists, politicians, and the lay public tend to be triggered by publications with which professional medical writers are associated. Fault is found, either in the content, perceived obfuscation of content, or on perceived deceptive authorship practices. The term ‘ghostwriter’ is used with great frequency and is often misapplied, or ill-defined (if it is defined, at all). For the most part, these criticisms have gone unanswered.
We must understand that we represent the potential for the strongest and most influential voice in refuting misinformation and misunderstanding about our role. We must educate our critics about the value that we bring to communications about new therapies. We are our own best advocates in ensuring that critics of our profession are brought out of the wilderness.