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Doctor Indicted for Off-Label Marketing of Drug

There is always a first. So far it has been real hard for any doctor to get arrested for involvement in off-label drug use.

I wrote about this in Off-Label Prescriptions.

It was always the big drug companies paying the big fines and having their executives indicted.

But that is apparently about to change. You see some doctors may have overstepped the line and become marketers of drugs, for off-label purposes. And then, there's suddenly a different ballgame.

The following may be an extreme case, but it made the front page of New York Times.

Read all about it here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Though I hate to see this kind of trouble happen to anyone, I think Dr. Gleason clearly crossed the line when he took pament for promoting off label use. Jazz Pharmaceuticals is also clearly guilty in this case.

I think that if he hadn't become a paid extension of Jazz's marketing wing, there would be no crime.

Blogger MsMelody said...

I've written here before about the problems that have arisen by granting "personhood" to corporations: they seek (and generally obtain) the rights of personhood, but then do their damndest to avoid the responsibilities--including penalties for wrongdoing.

Likewise, I think there are a number of greedy doctors who behave in the same manner. I do not have a problem with doctors "discovering" and recommending off-label usage for a prescription medication: that in one method of advancement for medical science. But to be an obvious shill--a hired gun--selling to a large audience smacks not only of sheer greed, but promotes incompetence and malpractice.

E.g., when Dr. A tells his friend Dr. B how well drug X performed for an off-label usage in patient Y, the details, case history, adverse event possibilities, etc. can be emphasized. In a seminar situation, not ALL attendees are equally interested or attentive; and while the specifics may be addressed by the lecturer, the information may not be accurately or completely impressed on the attendees. Much like the old children's game "gossip" the possibilities for misinterpretation are rife.

[For example, years ago, when I began training a dog for obedience competition, I attended a 'comprehensive' seminar that encompassed novice through advanced stages of training. While I made copious notes of the advanced methodology, it was not pertinent nor immediately useful to me, as a neophyte. When I eventually "grew" in skill, and reviewed notes, I found the methodology did not always work. The problem was NOT with the methodology, but rather with my note-taking and retention skills. Subsequent seminars revealed the 'missing step(s)'; and the problem was neither created by the first instructor, nor by my comprehension--but rather with my skill/knowledge level at the time of acquisition.)

If speakers such as Dr. Gleason were required to disclose that they were well-compensated by a pharmaceutical company to sell an off-label use, many doctors would either (1) consider the information with a jaundiced eye; (2) understand that they are being sold an unproven bill of goods; or (3) (pardon by cynicism)further the good ol' boy network, bless capitalistic merchandising, and seek to discover how THEY could get a piece of the pie.

Anonymous Daniel Haszard said...

Eli Lilly is a big drug company that puts profits over patients.
Daniel Haszard Bangor Maine zyprexa caused my diabetes


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