Friday, November 28, 2008

Popular Radio Host Has Drug Company Ties

Doctors say getting a wad of cash for putting their official credentials behind promoting a company's drug, sometimes even going so far as parroting what the pharma co tells them to say isn't unethical! In other countries, these kinds of practices are illegal...probably because bribery is illegal, too. The US is also the only industrialized country that allows the kooky, makes-no-sense direct-to-consumer ads for prescription pharmaceuticals. From the NY Times:
Published: November 21, 2008
by Gardiner Harris

An influential psychiatrist who served as the host of public radio’s popular “The Infinite Mind” program earned at least $1.3 million between 2000 and 2007 giving marketing lectures for drug makers, income not mentioned on the program.

The psychiatrist and radio host, Dr. Frederick K. Goodwin, is the latest in a series of doctors and researchers whose ties to drug makers have been uncovered by Senator Charles E. Grassley, a Republican from Iowa. Dr. Goodwin, a former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, is the first media figure investigated.

Dr. Goodwin’s radio programs have often touched on subjects important to the commercial interests of the companies for which he consults. In a program broadcast on Sept. 20, 2005, Dr. Goodwin warned that children with bipolar disorder who are left untreated could suffer brain damage, a controversial view. “But as we’ll be hearing today,” Dr. Goodwin reassured his audience, “modern treatments — mood stabilizers in particular — have been proven both safe and effective in bipolar children.”

That very day, GlaxoSmithKline paid Dr. Goodwin $2,500 to give a promotional lecture for its mood stabilizer drug, Lamictal, at the Ritz Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, Fla. Indeed, Glaxo paid Dr. Goodwin more than $329,000 that year for promoting Lamictal, records given Congressional investigators show.

read more:

The New York Times