Friday, June 26, 2009


Have I Got a Pill for You!!!!

According to an article in today's WSJ, companies are relying on "Medical Science Liaisons," often docs, to do their off-label promotion.

But this is old news, isn't it? Wasn't the initial Neurontin bust exactly over this, and brought by Dr. Franklin who was fulfilling that role?

Or did I miss something???!

1 comment:

  1. Yes, it is old and worrisome news for anyone who takes a prescribed off-label drug.

    Dr. Franklin, a former medical liaison for Parke-Davis now Pfizer, blew the whistle on the company in 2003 when he admitted that he and others influenced physicians to prescribe off-label drugs for unapproved uses. See: Pharmaceutical Company Whistle-Blower Tells of 'Illegal' Tactics

    He is quoted as saying:

    ''I knew my job was to falsely gain physicians' trust and trade on my graduate degree. If he was a cardiologist, I was an expert in cardiology. If he was a neurologist I was an expert in neurology.''

    ''I'd tell them we had physicians across the county, some involved in clinical trials, and others who had hundreds of patients on Neurontin, all getting an extraordinary response rate,'' Franklin said. ''We'd make them think everyone was using it but them.''

    Dr. Franklin said Parke Davis believed other pharmaceutical companies were doing the same thing.

    Besides medical liaisons, there is also the problem of lobbyists. CBS reported:

    “The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which supports some of Congress' proposed changes but opposes the formation of a government-sponsored plan, has spent $6.9 million in 2009 -- an increase of 91 percent from 2008. Pfizer has more than doubled its efforts, bringing its 2009 lobbying expenditures to $6.1 million.” See: Lobbyists Target Health Care, Tobacco - Political Hotsheet - CBS News.

    Lobbying, lies and lack of ethics have translated to large profits for too many for too long. Unless and until people who commit crimes are treated like criminals, crime for profit will continue to increase.


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