A recent article in the Wall Street Journal details the disturbing, if not frightening, practice of trusted scientific journals to publish research studies written by ghostwriters working for pharmaceutical companies. Not only are the writers in the employ of drug companies, but also the articles are published under the bylines of prominent academics. In short, we have drug companies writing scholarly articles and putting the name of respected researchers to increase the credibility of the article.
It is a boon for not only corporations, but academics and journal as well. Academics get more published articles, something integral to their professional advancement. Journals get clearly written articles seemingly authored by well-credentialed authors. Corporations get studies proving the efficacy and/or safety of their drug. The diagram below sums up the situation nicely.