Women who have developed breast cancer after taking an HRT (hormone replacement therapy) drug may have been duped into believing in its safety from a series of 'scientific' papers that were written by marketing companies. Doctors could also have been victims of the PR campaign - dressed up as independent studies published in prestigious medical journals - and continued to prescribe Prempro to menopausal women, believing it to be safe. But the doctors and patients didn't know that the papers had been prepared by marketing companies who had found academics prepared to put their name to the studies. The damage-limitation strategy of Prempro's manufacturer, Wyeth, came to light this week as 14,000 women with breast cancer began to have their claims heard in US courts. Adriane Fugh-Berman of Georgetown Medical Center in Washington DC has researched 1500 documents that expose Wyeth's PR offensive, which began in 2002 after independent research demonstrated that HRT increased the chances of breast cancer. (Source: PLoS Medicine, 2010; 7: e1000335).