Junkfood Science: Update: Trusting drug company marketing

January 18, 2008

Update: Trusting drug company marketing

Yesterday, we examined a surprising similarity between FDA approval for diet drugs and statins, but news today brought an entirely new connection. Brandweek NRx has just reported additional background on the company management at Schering-Plough pharmaceutical company, behind that ENHANCE trial controversy.

It is insightful reading, as it reveals the work history of the company Senior Vice President, Sean McNicholas: formerly VP of Marketing at Pharmacia, a subsidiary of Pfizer, Inc., and responsible for its Genotropin marketing, for which the company paid $34.7 million as a result of criminal charges for illegal off-label promotions as an anti-aging and athletic performance enhancement drug.

And who had been President of Pharmacia? None other than Carrie Cox, President of Schering-Plough.

But the heart stopper was to learn she had been VP of Women’s Health at Wyeth, responsible for the marketing of two diet drugs: Pondimin and Redux (Dexfenfluramine), which the company ended up paying more than $20 billion in class action settlements to women for alleged heart valve damage.

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