Merck and Schering-Plough: partners in slime

Merck and Schering-Plough: partners in slime

Oh what fun it is to cover Big Pharma. First we get the Wall Street Journal crediting Peter Rost and BrandweekNRX for breaking an insider trading scandal at Schering-Plough.

Then we get Merck and Schering-Plough pulling their popular “two sources of cholesterol” commercials from television because Vytorin apparently does not reduce the buildup of fatty plaque as claimed.

As Media Orchard puts it, there are

Two Ways to Get Egg on Your Face

1. You can crack one open.
2. You can be Merck CEO Richard Clark.

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Comments (1)

A little clarity.

Merck and Schering made a mistake in thier protocol. Typically, a big pharma company hires others to design thier clinical trials to illustrate efficacy and safety. Studies are conducted at sites called contract research organizations, where the big pharma company has complete control on how the study progresses and the conclusions that will be illustrated. They then hire what is called a ghostwriter to annotate this fictitious data on a particular drug. Finally, the big pharma company hires a notable author to sign off on this fabricated study. The last step is for the big pharma company to go to a journal selected by them to convince them to publish this work of fiction, which is thier constucted clinical trial. How do they convince them? They promise to order tens of thousands of copies of thier study from this journal to distribute to thier reps. This order is a great source of revenue for a journal, combined with pharma advertisements within the journal, which compose about half of the entire journal.

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