Pharma has a bad reputation in the medical community, and there is history to back it. One of the most well-known scandals involved Vioxx being taken off the market in 2004 after Merck admitted it withheld information about known adverse risk of heart disease, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths.
There are also practical concerns of being overly dismissive of industry. Amidst the history of manipulation and fraud, there are medical contributions too. In the New York Times, surgeon and author Pauline Chen cited data showing that industry was responsible for nearly 60 percent of the more than $100 billion spent on research in 2007. Using authorship ties as a proxy for quality means possibly overlooking research of potential value for patients.