Unethical practices - drug industry

Sy Fisher sfisher at utmb.edu
Thu Aug 24 16:51:06 EST 1995

jffiii at aol.com (JFFIII) wrote:
>Judging from the content of the letters concerning problems associated
>with misuse of prescription drugs under the unfortunate banner of
>"unethical practices - drug industry," it is obvious that the problem is
>not a lack of ethics by the drug industry but human errors on the part of
>all those involved in the medical field.  


>The drug industry does not indulge in attemps to keep a drug on the market
>at any cost.  The company I have had the priviledge of working for for 25
>years has voluntarily refused to market many potential "blockbuster" drugs
>because we felt the risk to the patients was too great.  

>Lets try to be supportive rather that so accusative.
>                                     Best regards,   John

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Yes, it is generally true that a drug may be 
"voluntarily" withdrawn by the manufacturer 
(with some notable past exceptions) on the 
basis of data collected during PREmarketing clinical 
trials.  Of course, this is when FDA is still closely 
examining all the data prior to approval.  But once a 
new drug has been marketed, pharmaceutical companies 
clearly do not want their drugs to be carefully 
monitored in the real world of clinical practice--in 
particular, not by any systematic method that can 
sensitively compare possible ADR profiles.  A drug 
company will indeed resort to unethical behavior when
its profits appear to be threatened, even to the extent 
of attempting to deprive physicians and their 
patients of important new information.  For more 
extensive documentation of these latter assertions, 
E-mail me for a copy of a post I distributed last month 
on "Hanky-Panky in the Pharmaceutical Industry."

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