After an unfortunate hiatus (see this post), PharmaLot is back. PharmaLot was one of the premier sources of incisive information on the pharmaceutical industry, is back. PharmaLot was and now is run by Ed Silverman, and is known for publishing important, but sometimes unpleasant truths.
Ed Silverman provided unbiased, insightful reporting. Notably for the Health Care Renewal
audience, he was not afraid to report on the good, the bad, and the
ugly. He was no friend of marketing and public relations smarm. Often
he was first to break stories involving legal settlements, guilty pleas,
and miscellaneous misconduct, and in some cases was one of the few to
document such stories.
For example, when PharmaLot last disappeared, I noted that it provided one of
the few accounts of a $21 million fine imposed on Merck by French
antitrust regulators (here is the brief Reuters version.)
PharmaLot reported on a judgement against Actelion for anti-competitive
practices in support of its drug for pulmonary artery hypertension.
The only other media report on this was in the San Francisco Chronicle, and it was less detailed.
As we have noted endlessly, bad behavior by large health care
organizations, including pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and
the various organizations with which they interact, like contract research organizations, medical education and communication companies (MECCs), etc has often been anechoic. If one likes to get along by going along, it is not a good idea to make too much of a fuss about such issues and suppression and manipulation of clinical research, deception in marketing, and perverse incentives including the creation of conflicts of interests, much less outright crime and corruption. Ed Silverman was known to fuss about such issues.
So the return of his fearless reporting, and willingness to post controversial interviews and editorials, is a rare ray of light in the gloom.
PharmaLot has just been added back to our blog roll. Welcome back!
PS - It may be too much to hope that the back archives of older versions of PharmaLot can be restored to public view. We wait with baited breath.
Hat tips to 1BoringOldMan, Fear and Loathing in Bioethics
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