That's bad enough, but new research has discovered that the academics aren't even revealing their special relationships with the drug company, or the pay-off they're getting.
Without this connection being revealed, doctors may think the research is honest and objective - and so start prescribing it to their patients.
Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston have discovered that just one in seven authors who marketed off-label drug use had revealed their connection to the drug company that benefited from the positive study.
They discovered that many off-label studies are authored by the same, small bunch of academics: 91 'experts' had 'written' 404 off-label studies. Only 15 per cent had proper disclosures of the drug company connection; of the rest, 43 per cent had no disclosure at all, and 4 per cent even denied a connection that was there!
(Source: PLoS Medicine, 2012; 9: e1001280).