How does the drug industry deal with us – real, live people who have something to say about the shabby way they do business and the increasingly unsafe products they punt out to the public?
“Let’s blog right back at them…”
Hence the wonderful blog from America called Drug Wonks – Drugwonks.com is the web log of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest (CMPI), a forum offering rigorous and compelling research on the most critical issues affecting current drug policy. Oh yeah?
Ah, I get the message now, it’s a forum – it’s all in the public interest – it’s got nothing to do with big pharma PR – no, sir – nothing to do big pharma PR at all…
So who is behind Drug Wonks? With the help of CL Psych (and others) I think I can tell you:
The President of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, and which runs DrugWonks, is Peter J Pitts, whose day job is to be Senior Vice President for Global Health Affairs at the big public relations firm Manning, Selvage and Lee. Manning, Selvage and Lee has many big pharmaceutical accounts.
Okay then. So drug companies hire a firm to help them manage their reputations. The president of the PR firm runs a blog on the side that just, by sheer coincidence, happens to cast dispersions on those who criticize the drug industry.
There is still more to the story. Robert Goldberg, who blogs regularly at Drug Wonks, was a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and he is now Vice President of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest. What is the Manhattan Institute? It is a thinktank that advocates for free-market reforms. It would be fair to say that the Manhattan Institute favors a more limited role for the FDA. So who funds this Manhattan Institute? They’re not telling. But it would appear that they receive the lion’s share of their funding from a variety of corporations and foundations that advocate for laissez-faire capitalism.
I notice with interest a new post about counterfeit drugs – “Most fake drugs will come through the Web. They will be bought by kids who will use them recreationally or to resell them. Organized crime will profit and kids will suffer.” That message rings a very loud bell – you can read about the European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines here.
You can also find out more about ‘Patient Groups’ and the wonderful people who are working in the public interest here.
Drug Wonks – a bunch of rich, right wing wackos masquerading as ‘experts’ or champions of the ordinary man in the street.