Friday, August 03, 2007

More Bloggers Address Pfizer's Marketing of Viracept and Maraviroc

[Revised 4 August, 2007] A complicated story about questionable pharmaceutical marketing practices is now playing out on several other blogs. Basically, the issue is allegations about how Pfizer Inc, the world's largest drug company, marketed two anti-viral drugs, its aging anti-viral drug Viracept (nelfinavir), and the new drug maraviroc. We had previously posted a little about this here and here. But most of the real reporting about the maraviroc issue can be found on Question Authority with Dr Peter Rost, and now on BrandweekNRX, for which Dr Rost is now also blogging. Furthermore, most of the real reporting about Viracept can be found on PharmaLot by Ed Silverman, most recently here (and previously here, here, and here.) And recently the Carlat Psychiatry Blog just did an excellent summary of the story so far.

The main allegations were that Pfizer promoted maraviroc, a new anti-viral drug, before the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it, and that Pfizer marketing people used continuing medical education (CME), which is, of course, supposed to be educational, as a marketing tool for nelfinavir.

Carlat's summary was "The bottom line: When your marketing plan is always teetering on the edge of corruption, you're gonna get burned. It's only a matter of time."

[Note, the original version of this post did not give adequate credit to the reporting by Ed Silverman on PharmaLot. See his comment below. I hope the new version is more adequate. ]

1 comment:

esilverman said...

Hi Roy,

To clarify the record, Peter Rost first reported about maraviroc marketing issues, and only maraviroc, in April. Two months later, in June, I broke the marketing allegations concerning Viracept in a series of posts. Peter focused on one drug, while I focused on the other.

Here are the Viracept pieces, which first appeared on Pharmalot..

http://www.pharmalot.com/2007/06/at-pfizer-improper-marketing-is-an-infectious-disease-drugmaker-probes-another-aids-med/

http://www.pharmalot.com/2007/06/improper-marketing-as-an-infectious-disease-pfizer-probe-looks-at-cme-payments/

http://www.pharmalot.com/2007/06/improper-marketing-as-an-infectious-disease-pfizer-and-unapproved-viracept-materials/

So I'd like to point that Pharmalot didn't suddenly jump into the fray this week when writing about the departing Pfizer HIV marketing managers (again, we did our own original reporting on this story, too).

Regards
ed
Pharmalot