Malcharist, by Paul John Scott, is a fictional account of one of psychiatry’s most influential key opinion leaders (KOLs), his ghostwriter, and a journalist on the trail of a big scandal in the world of Big Pharma. The story didn’t happen in reality, but Scott has done his homework in such a way that one of medicine’s darkest secrets is exposed in all of its sordid detail.
For those of us familiar with industry-sponsored clinical trials such as GlaxoSmithKline’s studies 329 and 352, it doesn’t take much imagination to draw analogies to an all-too-common theme: a psychiatrist and a ghostwriter who helped create an illusion. He takes all the credit for her labors and she disappears into the background. What is presented to the medical community, however, is a story of pharmaceutical marketing masquerading as science.