Unethical practices - drug industry

Sy Fisher sfisher at utmb.edu
Fri Aug 25 12:32:24 EST 1995


jffiii at aol.com (JFFIII) wrote:
>Sy:  You must work for Congressman Dingle!  While you may have some
>"documentation" for efforts by drug companies to keep previously
>undiscovered side effects swept under the carpet, that is still a rare
>albeit unfortunate event.  For every incident like you describe, dozens
>more have occured as voluntary moves by the drug companies monitoring
>their own products.  All major drug makers (brand name innovators) closely
>monitor their products to see if any additional side effects will occur
>that were not evident in the extensive clinical trials that must be
>carried out before approval takes place.   
>SNIP
>                                               Best regards,  John

-John

I agree that no drug company wants to market a product,
or even keep a product on the market, "at all cost."  But 
once a drug has got by FDA, and absent the discovery of
unexpected pernicious ADRs, a number of companies are
prepared to push the  limits of ethical behavior when they
feel that their profits are being threatened.  

You say that  "All major drug makers (brand name
innovators) closely monitor their products to see if any
additional side effects will occur that were not evident in
the extensive clinical trials that must be carried out before
approval takes place."  You omit the additional fact,
however, that pharmaceutical manufacturers are required
by law to submit to the FDA reports of all suspected
domestic ADRs.  And except for any life-threatening ADRs
that could lead to both a public health and a public
relations disaster, the companies drag their feet when it
comes to postmarketing monitoring, which in general is
most superficial.  I've learned the hard way that one
quintessential example of this is in the area where two or
more drugs can be systematically compared for their ADR
profiles--the industry simply does not want this type of
research going on.  

 A few weeks ago I finished a "Part II" follow-up to 
"Hanky-Panky in the Pharmaceutical Industry" that I've been
waiting to post in September after Labor Day, when many
people will have returned from their vacations.  It
concludes with the following paragraph: 

"Somehow we ought to be able to loudly and clearly warn
the 'ethical' pharmaceutical industry that, while we admire
and are grateful for their many therapeutic
accomplishments, we will not tolerate their placing dollars
before truth."

I hope you agree. And if you haven't read my original post 
from July (which includes no reference to any "efforts by 
drug companies to keep previously undiscovered side effects 
swept under the carpet"),I'd be happy to E-mail a copy to you.
      
-Sy    (BTW, would you at least please E-mail me your last name,  
       title, and company?)






More information about the Neur-sci mailing list