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Peter Rost, M.D., is a former Pfizer Marketing Vice President providing services as a medical device and drug expert witness and pharmaceutical marketing expert. Judge Sanders: "The court agrees with defendants' view that Dr. Rost is a very adept and seasoned expert witness." He is also the author of Emergency Surgery, The Whistleblower and Killer Drug. You can reach him on rostpeter (insert symbol) Please read the terms of use agreement and privacy policy for this blog carefully.

Blog post of the day.

The New Transparency
Jun 29th, 2007 by impactiviti

Time was, corporate misdeeds could be pretty effectively covered up. Sure, some scandals would leak out and make headlines, but information could often be contained, insiders constrained, or ignorance feigned.

No more. We’re in a time of new transparency.

It’s getting very difficult to keep the lid on wrongdoing, and I, for one, think that is a good thing. What has changed? In a word, electronic communications.

Damning information is leaking out all over nowadays. In our industry, there has been a significant uptick in corporate e-mails, Powerpoint slides, documents, and other documentation of wrongdoing flowing out and becoming public. Much of this has occurred through the emerging pharma blogger community (most notably, Peter Rost over at Question Authority; but now others, such as Ed Silverman at Pharmalot, are being given such info).

Of course, a lot of “after the fact” electronic information gets exposed during trials, as archived e-mails and other documents are unearthed. But now, we no longer have to wait for the discovery process of trials. We’ve seen information leaked, exposure occur, investigations begun, and people fired within weeks - because blogs suddenly make it possible to publicize information almost immediately. Including pictures and videos (far more ubiquitous nowadays).

This has its dangers, of course. Most bloggers are not trained journalists. Sometimes due diligence has not occurred. Rushes to judgment can occur. But when clear electronic evidence is brought to light…well, a refusal to take action suddenly becomes less of an option.

This forced transparency can have a salutary effect. Ethical behavior may be forced on those who otherwise would blur the lines. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. But if you’re playing games, the likelihood now is far greater that you’ll pay the price. Very publicly.


Anonymous he&theyknow said...

The wonderful new reality is evolving with an army of whistleblowers being formed in the big pharma.Those co.s that have nothing to hide, if there is such a thing in today's big pharma, have nothing to fear. That is obvious but we are sure almost non-existan. However these companies having developed use of misconduct to the level of an art have also developed the cover up of it to the level of an art. Luckly as our good doctor points out the electronic age and increases awareness amongst the decent employees counterbalances that artful ability of the big pharma.
Almost everyday we see the violations and actions by the authorities. Pfizer, AZ, BMS and few others seem to have thier corporate head on the proverbial plate. What about the others? Does anyone following this and similar blogs believe that other big pharma companies are not doing the same things? "Not bloody likely" as someone said.
For our and their information, would the good doctor list those big big pharma that have not been exposed or caught. Perhaps the potential WS.s from those may come forward with some good stuff. How about it Doc?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad that Dr. Rost is getting full credit for this. He started this episode in pharmaceutical history by leaking the Zubillaga newsletter in April of 2007.


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