A principal underlying assumption regarding limits on and ethics guidelines addressing pharmaceutical promotion is that smaller gifts are unlikely to exert influence on prescribing decisions. Nonetheless, a substantial body of marketing and psychology literature suggests that even trivial doctor gifts can exert influence irrespective of economic value.
Adding a small gift such as personalized mailing labels, a pen or a coffee mug to a solicitation for donations has been shown to significantly increase donations. These types of gifts can also influence prescribing behavior, according to a study that appears in The Archives of Internal Medicine. (Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(9):887-893).
The … Read the rest
By August of 1997 Texas had about 5,500 prisoners from other states housed in 22 facilities, generating revenues of more than $1,000,000 for private prison corporations. With such a strong profit motive, is it any wonder that cost-cutting measures such as hiring unqualified prison guards and failing to provide necessary medical care will be undertaken that will lead to problems?
In a searing opinion, the 13th Court of Appeals has upheld $42.5 million in punitive damages against a private prison GEO Group Inc., formerly named Wackenhut, a multinational corrections corporation for the horrific and gruesome death of inmate Gregorio De … Read the rest
The safety of New Yorkers working at or living near construction sites has remained paramount following the crane collapses this past March and May that killed a total of 9 people. Stemming partly from corruption allegations that were first disclosed in the summer when the city’s acting chief crane inspector was arrested on charges of receiving bribes, the New York City Buildings Department announced on October 6, 2008, that it was overhauling its procedures on how the city issues licenses to some crane operators.
The city said that the written and practical tests for lower-level mobile crane operators licenses (called … Read the rest
Recent federal court filings in the Ortho Evra products liability litigation disclosed that Johnson & Johnson hid data from the FDA about their birth control patches’ side effects and failed to address flaws in the manufacturing process which could increase the risk of serious and potentially fatal problems.
The factual allegations were publicly released as part of the plaintiffs opposition to a motion by Johnson & Johnson to dismiss the claims of women injured by their birth control patch. The allegations include that Johnson & Johnson applied an apparently random correction factor of 60% to tests that measured the level … Read the rest
A feature article in the March/April 2007 issue of the Columbia Journalism Review discusses and labels as an epidemic the pervasive role hospitals play in producing “feel good” stories that are essentially advertisements for themselves and feeding the stories to television stations that run the stories as purported health news on their local TV news programs.
The stories chosen tend to promote expensive specialties and procedures like bariatric surgery for obesity and gamma knife surgery for brain cancer at the expense of stories about less profitable diagnoses, like AIDS or pneumonia, care for the uninsured, or critical stories such as … Read the rest
Product liability litigation involving rofecoxib (Vioxx) has led to the disclosure of materials that has provided direct evidence of something that has long been suspected but well-hidden by industry; the manipulation of pharmaceutical studies by for-profit manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and medical devices of study results, using authors, editors, and reviewers to misrepresent research data and manipulate clinical research articles and clinical reviews.
Reports published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) based upon a review of materials disclosed by Merck & Co. in the course of the Vioxx litigation claim Merck & Co. frequently paid academic … Read the rest
Apparently it’s not sufficient that an inspector makes a phantom inspection of a Manhattan construction site crane that subsequently collapses, killing 7 people, injuring another 24 people, destroying a building, and causing untold other horrors.
An investigation by New York State’s inspector general has found that a Crane Operator Examining Board examiner issued more than 200 improper certificates to operators even though they had failed their practical exams. Examiner Frank Fazzio even improperly issued himself a crane certificate. He has been removed from the Crane Board.
The investigation was prompted by an allegation that certificates were being unfairly denied … Read the rest
We recently wrote about the efforts of the chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commision (CPSC), Nancy Nord, to oppose a Senate bill that would increase the budget and authority of the Commission to regulate consumer products such as children’s toys. It seemed more than a little odd that the government official in charge of protecting consumers would oppose legislation designed to improve product safety. Now a review of internal CPSC documents by The Washington Post reveals that since 2002 Chairman Nord, as well as her predecessor, Hal Stratton, have enjoyed nearly 30 trips totaling nearly $60,000.00 that were … Read the rest