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TV and radio host Dr. Drew gets caught schilling for Big Pharma

Gee… If you can’t trust a random guy on the radio who gives sex advice who CAN you trust?

The Wall St. Journal reports that in 1999 Dr. Drew Pinsky had it good. He enjoyed a very rewarding partnership with Glaxo Wellcome.

These days, Glaxo Wellcome is GlaxoSmithKline. And Dr. Pinsky? He’s now famous as “Dr. Drew.”

Back in ’99, Dr. D. told listeners that he prescribed the Glaxo antidepressant Wellbutrin. He added that the drug “may enhance or at least not suppress sexual arousal.”

But Dr. Drew didn’t inform his listeners of one important detail. He received more than a quarter-million dollars for “services to Wellbutrin.”

In addition, Wellbutrin was not FDA-approved to treat sexual dysfunction. So those two words — “may enhance” — land with a thud.

This was recently revealed in court documents that were part of that $3 billion Glaxo settlement. One of the charges against Glaxo concerned the off-label marketing of Wellbutrin.

In an e-mail statement, Dr. Drew defended his Wellbutrin promotion. He said, “My comments were consistent with my clinical experience.”

Okay. But imagine if you were one of Dr. Drew’s patients 13 years ago. And let’s say you agreed to a Wellbutrin prescription in 1999. And then you heard this news today. Would you feel at least a little deceived?

How about $275,000 deceived?

Sources:
“‘Dr. Drew’ Was Paid by Glaxo” Jeanne Whalen, Wall St. Journal, 7/3/12, online.wsj.com

“Biggest Deal Ever: Glaxo Pays $3B For Bad Behavior” Ed Silverman, Pharmalot, 7/2/12, pharmalot.com

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