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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.

DTC Perspectives: "What can they do to stop Peter Rost?"

Bloggers Get Mainstream Press

"With bloggers watching most negative activities will become public."
-Bob Ehrlich

My column on May 4 discussed the increasing power of pharma bloggers. Fortune Magazine, in its June 11 issue, profiles one of the most recognized bloggers, Dr. Peter Rost. The drug industry is well aware of Dr. Rost, a former Pfizer executive, who became well-known for publicly supporting drug re-importation while his company opposed it.

Today Peter Rost spends much of his blogger time looking for evidence of pharma wrong doing. His blog has become the place where whistleblowers release evidence of price fixing, off label promotion and physician unethical relationships with drug companies.

This blog and others are a real problem for drug companies. It is clear, that among the many thousands of drug reps and other insiders, there are many willing to report questionable behavior. Actual internal memos are released which makes it hard to deny the behaviors criticized. Drug companies are going to have to recognize that any internal email, memo, phone conversation, or secretly recorded meeting is likely to be public knowledge courtesy of bloggers.

The drug industry now resembles the celebrity world, where the public loves to get the inside story. Our drug industry bloggers are working hard to out scoop each other. We can expect the stories reported to be increasingly sensational in an effort to get readers. Most bloggers do not make money off their sites, but many love the press. Dr. Rost clearly enjoys being in the limelight and loves to tweak his former employer, who he says treated him badly.

I think these bloggers have enormous power. They are outside the influence of the powerful pharma companies. Drug companies can pull ad dollars from mainstream media if their news departments run unfair stories. What can they do to stop Peter Rost?

Big pharma is not helping themselves by constantly getting caught doing illegal and unethical activities. The best way to stop damaging blogs is to be ethical in all things. That unfortunately is as likely as Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton becoming C-Span viewers. Pharma companies, I believe, are not trying to do the wrong thing but when those quarterly sales targets are looming, they just cannot help but do aggressive and often questionable things. With bloggers watching, most negative activities will become public. After all, there are bound to be some angry detail reps or other insiders who want to take some revenge on their company.

I now review blogger sites such as Pharmalot, Pharmagossip, and Rost daily. Only a few months ago I was not even aware they existed. I am sure they, along with video sites such as You Tube, will increasingly influence consumers in forming their opinions on drug companies.

Bob Ehrlich, Chairman
DTC Perspectives, Inc.

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Blogger insider said...


Here's to the future!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Courtesy of mp3 recorders, flash memory sticks, digital cameras and Peter Rost.

"Drug companies are going to have to recognize that any internal email, memo, phone conversation, or secretly recorded meeting is likely to be public knowledge courtesy of bloggers."

Anonymous Anonymous said...

it seems to me you don't have far to go to find piss poor behavior. Maybe just an idea mind you... they should stop doing unethical and illegal things and then we would all be out of business....


Blogger Stephany said...

Oh Bob, don't worry we can think for ourselves. It's not hard to find problems within the pharmaceutical industry, even if a person isn't Peter Rost. I'm a consumer and a mother with a savvy ability to listen and keep my eyes open, along with typing ability to take notes, and I save all paperwork. It's not just those blogs you should be reading. There's a lot of us out there, just try and keep up.

Truth prevails.

Blogger . said...

I agree with Stephanie. Dr. Rost doesn't have to even strain himself to find plenty to blog about. I wish they would just let him do this for some agency who could really affect change in PHARMA marketing policies.



Anonymous Internal-Document-Attached said...

Lets keep them busy.


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