Psychiatrist Frederick K. Goodwin, who hosts a popular show on National Public Radio called "The Infinite Mind," earned "at least $1.3 million from 2000 to 2007 giving marketing lectures for drugmakers, income not mentioned on the program," reports Gardiner Harris.
Cholesterol-reducing drugs called statins have been in the news lately following the release of a major medical study that found that statins can prevent heart disease and stroke in people with no previous history of heart disease.
Statins are among the biggest-selling family of drugs of all time. Many articles about the study mentioned above, including one on the credible web site WebMD, also mention the specific drug used in the study: Crestor.
The study has generated hundreds of articles, most of which repeat the same basic framing of the issue: if heart disease is the problem, a drug is the answer.
A $13.2 million ad campaign thanks 28 members of Congress, 25 of whom are Democrats, "for supporting a children's health-care bill vetoed twice by President George W. Bush in 2007." The ads are by America's Agenda: Health Care for Kids, a new non-profit group whose sole funder is the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), a UK government agency charged with deciding whether drugs should be subsidized by the British government, has been criticized by some patient groups for refusing to approve new and expensive drugs.
The pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly has announced that it will begin reporting its payments to doctors in late 2009, using an online database. But the disclosure is limited to payments of more than $500 made for giving talks or advice to the company; payments for other services or gifts will not be included. Payments made before 2009 will also not be disclosed.
According to a recent Gallup poll, the public has "a dimmer view of the pharmaceutical industry than they do of the advertising / public relations sector, if you can imagine such a thing," writes Mark Dolliver.