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Posts tagged with "The Dark Side"

  • Clinical Trials

    Massaging the Data for Neurontin?

    There’s a disturbing article out at the New England Journal of Medicine on studies conducted on Neurontin (gabapentin) for various unapproved indications. Parke-Davis (and later Pfizer) looked at a wide range of possible indications for the drug – migraine, neuropathic pain, bipolar disorder, and more. That in itself isn’t unusual… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Selling It, And Selling It Hard

    There’s a long, detailed article up over at Bloomberg on the recent run of huge fines for off-label promotion of drugs. Pfizer, Lilly, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, and Schering-Plough all get mentioned in great detail. And there’s a key point from the whole depressing thing: the reason that marketing departments do this kind of thing is that… Read More
  • Academia (vs. Industry)

    I’ll See Your Conflicts, and Raise You?

    There seems to be some finger-pointing going on about conflicts of interest in the scientific and medical literature. According to this piece in Nature Medicine, a recent conference in Vancouver on peer review featured statements such as this: “We absolutely should not let up on our scrutiny of industry,” says Karen Woolley, a co-author… Read More
  • The Dark Side

    Faked Data at the ETH

    A data-fabrication scandal has erupted at a place that doesn’t see many of those: the ETH in Zürich. Peter Chen, a physical organic chemist there, has been dealing with problems with some earlier publications (from 2000) on the spectra and ionization energies of carbon radicals. Here’s one of the papers, which has now been retracted. Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Pharma Whistleblowing: How It Works

    Here’s more detail on the case that led to Pfizer’s 2.3 billion dollar fine/settlement, courtesy of Bloomberg. Here’s how things got started, apparently: Pfizer Inc. sales folks had one tough customer in psychiatrist Stefan Kruszewski. He didn’t buy their pitch to prescribe the anti-psychotic drug Geodon to children, a use that… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    A 2.3 Billion Dollar Attention-Getter

    No sooner do I write another post about pharma marketing than Pfizer finds itself paying 3.2 2.3 billion dollars in fines for doing it improperly. 1.2 billion of that is a criminal penalty, and needless to say, they’ve set the current record. The issues were off-label promotion of Bexxtra, Geodon, Zyvox, and Lyrica, with the… Read More
  • Business and Markets


    As much as I defend the industry I work in, I have to talk about things that we do that I don’t think are so defensible. Another one of those has come up thanks to the New York Times and PLoS Medicine, who obtained a pile of records from a current court case. This article… Read More
  • The Dark Side

    What’s With Those People at Elsevier, Anyway?

    Via a reader comes this article, which takes us to Elsevier’s hard-hitting textbook publishing operation. The co-authors of a psychology text for the publisher were recently taken aback to get this e-mail from a publicist at the company: “”Congratulations and thank you for your contribution to Clinical Psychology. Now that the boo… Read More
  • Regulatory Affairs

    Selling Zyprexa

    Well, this doesn’t look good for Lilly. A huge pile of court documents has been unsealed in the ongoing lawsuits about Zyprexa’s off-label promotion. The company has already paid some serious fines, and is now fighting it out with insurance companies and other plaintiffs who are seeking to recover their costs. Several states are suing… Read More
  • The Dark Side

    Another Sack of Raving Nonsense Is Slated For Publication

    I spoke here about Scigen, the program that’ll concoct a load of total nonsense for you and make it look – from a distance – like a journal paper. It’s a surprisingly valuable tool, since the scientific publishing world apparently has a bigger demand for total nonsense than you might think, especially after the checks… Read More