Monday, December 18, 2006

More accusations of big pharma behaving very badly

The ethics of business is not the same as the ethics of medicine but if recent accusations against Lilly are true you might conclude that in regard to some businesses the word does not even apply. I have quoted Dr. Patricia Illingworth before:

...some commonly accepted principles of business ethics are fundamentally incompatible with traditional medical ethics...,

These practices include spinning and playing down the negative aspects of your product and intentionally misleading customers and maybe that is why we have laws against deceptive trade practices.

Reuters today published an article saying that the NY Times web site describes Lilly's activities promoting off label use of Zyprexa (olanzapine) and acting to play down Zyprexa's known side effects of significant weight gain and increased risk of diabetes. They are accused of a stealth campaign to promote the drug's use in dementia. Olanzapine has FDA approval for use only in Bipolar disease and schizophrenia.

NY Times writes about internal Lilly documents that suggest Zyprexa be promoted to primary care docs for use in dementia noting that psychiatrists are the physicians who mainly treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and primary docs do not feel confident is managing those conditions but they do manage many elderly patients with varying degrees of dementia.

Evidence is presented that indicates sales reps did in fact promote the drug for the off label use with the result of a significant increase in sales and were given monetary incentives for those activities. The promotional program was known as "Viva Zyprexa". A representative for Lilly denies claims of promoting the drug use for non approved indications and is quoted as stating that a Zyprexa-diabetes link has not been proven.

1 comment:

Daniel Haszard said...

Eli Lilly Zyprexa scandal

Zyprexa off label promotion scandal is all over the news now.
Lilly drug reps are alleged to have called their marketing ploy,"Viva zyprexa".

Eli Lilly zyprexa cost me over $250.00 a month supply out of my own pocket X 4 years and has up to ten times the risk (over non users) of causing diabetes and severe weight gain.

Zyprexa which is only FDA approved for schizophrenia (.5-1% of pop) and some bipolar (2% pop) and then an even smaller percentage of theses two groups.
So how does Zyprexa get to be the 7th largest drug sale in the world?
Eli Lilly is in deep trouble for using their drug reps to 'encourage' doctors to write zyprexa for non-FDA approved 'off label' uses.

The drug causes increased diabetes risk,and medicare picks up all the expensive fallout.There are now 7 states (and counting) going after Lilly for fraud and restitution.

Only 9 percent of adult Americans think the pharmaceutical industry can be trusted right around the same rating as big tobacco.

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Daniel Haszard zyprexa-victims.com