Drugmaker recruits big bucks hired guns to promote its new drug

Psychiatrist Daniel Carlat has been blogging this week about drugmaker Schering-Plough making "aggressive use of hired guns to get psychiatrists to prescribe its new antipsychotic" SAPHRIS (asenapine) for the treatment of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Carlat writes:

"Oddly, the company just sent me a SAPHRIS Speaker Bureau invitation packet. I guess my 2007 New York Times Magazine memoir describing the tangled ethics of promotional speaking has not yet become required reading at Schering-Plough. ...

They offered me $170,000 for 125 presentations (of 45 minutes each)...

What a fiasco for the company. Talk about a bad stumble as they are about to launch their new antipsychotic. I haven't heard any official Schering-Plough comment on this matter yet, but here is how I predict the statement will read: "Speaker programs are intended to enhance a healthcare professional's knowledge and patient care expertise." Wait--they can't use that line, because it was already used by Eli Lilly. I guess they'll have to make up their own sophisticated BS."

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This page contains a single entry by Gary Schwitzer published on September 11, 2009 8:53 AM.

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