Biogen-Idec promotional activities

B
Biogen Idec the pharma company that markets Avonex (interferon-beta-1a) and Tysabri (natalizumab) put out a statement on Friday that state and federal authorities in the United States are investigating its sales and promotional practices.The company disclosed the investigation in an annual report filed Friday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.



Source: Nasdaq

“Let’s hope this is not another case of Pharma behaving badly; every time it occurs the fall-out is massive. MS’ers and MS healthcare professionals don’t need another scandal! Confidence in Industry, and with Neurologists linked with industry, is already at an all-time low.”

About the author

Prof G

Professor of Neurology, Barts & The London. MS & Preventive Neurology thinker, blogger, runner, vegetable gardener, husband, father, cook and wine & food lover.

14 comments

  • As Jessie J says "it's all about the money, money, money".
    It's a sad system where drugs companies producing midly effective drugs are making billions. They in turn pay neuros and their research teams huge chunks of money to come up with studies that show that the drugs look more effective that they really are and safer than they are (tysabri a good example). I've never met a poor neurologist, yet I'd guess under 10% of their patients ever get better. Am I bitter – yes. In the year 2012, young people struck down by this disease are not provide with an option to get better / rid themselves of the disease. There's a paucity of ambition in MS research – the talk is of "slowing down" the disease. Surely, halting, reversing should be the target. But with so much money sloshing around no on will rock the boat.

  • Bravo! Totally agree with the comment above. The big pharma vision for future MS treatment is about as robust as what exists right now. It's more of the same old stuff.

  • Didn't MouseDoc call the Charcot Project "a pipe dream that needs development before it gets off the ground."

    Therefore, I too agree with the first two comments. This is not a criticism of this blog, far from it; it's a rebuke of the way big pharmas have screwed over young adults with MS by providing dangerous medicines that are only marginally effective and stupendously expensive. These drugs don't even alter the course of MS progression.

    Big pharmas don't work to cure diseases. They just want you to live with the condition yet still take their drugs. The money is not in the cure, it's in the medicine.

  • "There's a paucity of ambition in MS research"

    I fundementally disagree with you, but progress will never be quick enough.

    Talk about vision for the future… you are over ambitious…..Talk about the reality and you are appathetic.

    As Jessie J says "Caught between the rock and hard stone"

    She did not say that……well "It is all (not?) about the….."

    I am not about to defend the income of pharma, just like I will not defend the income of bankers or professional sportsmen, but it is the system that has evolved and without pharma the drug choices would be effectively zero

  • They in turn pay neuros and their research teams huge chunks of money

    I wish….. Although we do work with pharma any moneies paid, go to the university and not the individual and is being done for mutual benefit to address relevant issues that pharma are not able to do themselves. This is not as a back-hander as you perhaps imply

    "I've never met a poor neurologist"

    Pay levels for academic scientists and clinicials are based on National Pay Scales set by the UK Government. In comparison to other professions taking years of training the pay is not that great.
    However let us not debate this.

  • The Charcot project is indeed a tick outside of the box.

    This is not a case of being a like a lemming following the others, it is a radical approach. It could gain big or Crash and burn big, if the idea is wrong or the idea is not executed properly.

    "Didn't MouseDoc call the Charcot Project "a pipe dream that needs development before it gets off the ground."

    The Charcot Project needs to be resourced to undertake all of the studies. If the grant agencies and or Pharma do not want to support all of the grand plan then it is a pipedream. However, some things are already off the ground already and this perhaps why the Prof Gs decided to go public.

    Some of these initatives take years to get off the groud. The "stop MS" project has already been over 5 years in the organising and planning and most of you will not have a clue about this. You should hear about this in the not too distant future.

    The Charcot project is being led by academics but if it works there will be a drug or drugs and so pharma will benefit.

  • Pharma do there best to try and deliver safe medicines, however until enough people take a drug the side-effects are not always evident.

    Unsafe medicines are usually rejected and so it is not in pharmas interest to bring unsafe medicines to market.

    However, the mechanisms of action of some of the more efficacious drugs means that there is a side-effect liability and it is a risk benefit issue until safer alternatives materialise

  • Blogger Stuart said…

    I would like to know the REST of the STORY?? Like what they actually did that forced this dialogu

  • Mouse,

    You should be watching Antiques Roadshow not replying to my angry post. When all this effort delivers the goods I'll take you on a pub crawl in east Suffolk.

  • Look forwward to it…

    P.S. Didn't you think the 25K diamond ring was a bit of a find..

    One eye on the Blog the other one the Box

  • Re: ""I've never met a poor neurologist"

    True, but then wealth is relative. In the UK neurologists are salaried and like all other medical staff, and other NHS staff, they are in the middle of a process that will cut their salaries by 20% over 5-years. At the moment there is a pay freeze for 3 years and then a maximum increase of 1% for 2-years. With inflation running at 4-5% per annum that equates to a substantial cut in income. In addition to this they having their pension scheme changed. Austerity bites; nobody but the super-rich are immune to the effects.

  • Re: "I would like to know the REST of the STORY?? Like what they actually did that forced this dialogue."

    I am in the dark on this; I suggest you contact Biogen-Idec and ask them.

  • 'Big pharmas don't work to cure diseases' is probably unfair to the pharma companies. Cures exist only for infectious diseases), deficiency diseases and some cancers.

    I don't know of any autoimmune type disease that can be cured. So I think our best hope is from the anti-viral route.

By Prof G

Translate

Categories

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Archives