Big Pharma blogs back at us

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 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.

CL Psych also has a new post detailing the latest Drug Wonks attack on the new blog from Dr Daniel Carlat.

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.

You decide.


8 Responses to “Big Pharma blogs back at us”

  1. truthman30 Says:

    It might be interesting to set up a similar blog..
    Maybe we could call it drugwanks ?…

    Just an idea…


  2. truthman30 Says:

    This drug Wonks Web Site Reminds me of Americas Fox News channel..
    Its obviously a right wing pharma funded counter propaganda web site…

    (someone get me a sick bag)

  3. truthman30 Says:

    Just of note from this drug wonks web site..

    “Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a non-partisan, non-profit educational charity. The Mission of CMPI is to discuss, debate and demonstrate how exponential and accelerating technological progress coupled with smart public policy will enhance and advance 21st Century health care by predicting, preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases with greater speed, more precision and less cost”

    In the public interets my arse …
    An educational charity ? …
    (somehow the word “charity” has lost all its meaning to me lately)

    The CMPI is no more of a thinkthank than the brain of a drig rep ..

    Thinktank ?… More Like WankTank …

  4. Matthew Holford Says:

    Hmmm… I didn’t see any rigorous research on show. Must have missed it.

    Anyway, there’s a post on there about SSRI safety (currently about 5/6 down from the top), so I expressed my concern at the apparent lack of evidence on the “benefit” front. I wonder if it’ll get past moderation?


  5. Matthew Holford Says:

    Interesting… My comment has been published, but I appear to have omitted the negative in the last clause of the last sentence, which should read, “…which we ought NOT to be having.”


  6. Matthew Holford Says:

    LOL. I posted a second comment, noting the absence of the negative in the last sentence. It hasn’t appeared, yet!


  7. Matthew Holford Says:

    More laughs! If you post a comment that is anything other than in full agreement with the sentiment of the OP, then it appears that it will not be posted. Trouble is, the OP doesn’t appear to have any particular sentiment in mind, aside from anything that perpetuates the notion that Big Pharma is our friend and has all the answers, and everybody else is just a party pooping reactionary!


  8. Matthew Holford Says:

    OK. Last comment on Drugwonks.

    It may be coincidence, but, two days after I posted on there for the first time, I received my first Viagra, etc, junk mail!!!!!!! Now, I don’t think we should be too hasty in reading anything into this, but if you should feel inclined to post on there, I suggest you create a “junk magnet” email address on Yahoo, Hotmail, or whatever, and use that. And if you start receiving unsolicited, drug-related mail, then I wouldn’t for one minute suggest that you circulate an email to your entire address book, informing them of your suspicions!


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