Unethical practices - drug industry

Steven B. Harris sbharris at ix.netcom.com
Tue Aug 29 01:37:17 EST 1995

In <41tiat$e0i at parsifal.nando.net> "John W. Barron"
<jwbarron at nando.net> writes: 
>May I humbly suggest that you go back and do a little history
>Tagamet and H. pylori involvement discovery did not occur at the same
>time.  Is it fair to go back and examine sales, and sales promotion
>practices which pre-dated a significant scientific discovery, which 
>even today is not completely accepted by many involved in ulcer 
>diagnosis and therapy.
>Also, to my knowledge, Tagamet was never designed or marketed as a
>"cure" for ulcers.  That was to a great extent responsible for the
>constantly growing sales picture.  Every person put on the drug
>remained a constant purchaser.
>BTW, how about market competition?  Didn't Tagamet have a little?
>Did Tagamet remain the most prescribed prescription medication 
>after Glaxo began their promotional activity?
>It is very easy to point to our pharmaceutical industry and sling
>arrows at its faults.  But, please list for me the drugs that have
>been successfully developed and used in the U.S. which came
>from non-industry sources, such as universities, NIH, etc.
>I would very much like to have such a list.  I think the other
>readers would profit from such information, also.
>John W. Barron, Pharm. D.                             
>email:   jwbarron at nando.net        
>Phone: 919-481-2384            
>FAX:      919-481-0309

   Tagamet demonstrably saved a HUGE number of people from gastectomy
for bleeding ulcers, a costly proceedure which carries a
not-insignicant mortality risk.  It's a drug that more than paid for
itself in social expenses for disease, even if it was something of a
stop-gap treatment.  As you say, hindsight is 20-20.

                                            Steve Harris, M.D.

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