I woke up today to a Twitter conversation initiated by Gary Monk (@GaryMonk) — “Iconoclast and Healthcare Pioneer” — regarding a Wikipedia “group” called WikiCorrect-Health, which claims to train “pharma companies on how to use Wikipedia ethically and also legally.” On his blog, Monk asks, “Who are WikiCorrect-Health?

“The group maintain their goal is to ETHICALLY fix legitimate errors,” says Monk. It appears, however, that the group is not behaving ethically. They have so far not revealed who they are but claim to be “a team of 5” at this point. It is against Wikipedia policy for multiple people to use a single account. Therefore, whoever they are, WikiCorrect-Health lacks transparency and is NOT operating “legally” by Wikipedia standards. And they get paid by pharma to help the industry “use Wikipedia ethically and also legally???”

After reading my blog post — “Is Pharma Working with Wikipedia to Ensure Its Drug Information is Accurate and Up-to-Date?” — Monk suggested that “one or more of them [WikiCorrect-Health] may work for IMS Health, in which case there is again a serious lack of transparency.”

I think Gary Monk is correct about this group being IMS Health. Here’s why:

In a recent report, IMS reminded us that Wikipedia articles on health issues are “in flux” and that there is a need for knowledgeable editors to keep the information as current and unbiased as possible. “There is yet to be established a broad approach to funneling the vast resources of healthcare institutions, the pharmaceutical industry, regulators and patient groups into the information that is being used by millions of patients,” said IMS.

IMS further said that “none of the traditional stakeholders for patient information – such as regulators and pharmaceutical companies – is actively engaged in the development of information or in ensuring its correctness.”

My guess is that after (or even before) reading the IMS report, PhRMA and/or several pharma companies hired IMS Health to be its “eyes and ears” and sometimes its “editor” on Wikipedia. The fact that they are doing this in stealth mode, however, is not cool.

Dear WikiCorrect-Health, I join the chorus who really wanna know: Who are you? Who, who, who, who?