[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. ]
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