9 Responses

  1. Mike
    Mike August 14, 2008 at 7:00 am | | Reply

    “Drug companies promote their drugs to children by having video games and books written without mentioning they are the sponsors.”

    Can you furnish any examples of video games that promote these drugs?

  2. Scott
    Scott August 14, 2008 at 7:27 am | | Reply

    In response to Mike,

    How about Glucoboy, or the much ridiculed Captain Novolin as examples of video games which promote diabetes drugs?

  3. Nelson
    Nelson August 14, 2008 at 7:42 am | | Reply

    This is rather ironic. You trash drug company’s for promoting their products cloaked in the form of education, and then you subtly suggest that you are somehow different while plugging your books, or at least you as an author, at the end of your “educational” article here on

    We cannot do away with conflict of interest and have the drugs we want at the same time. If drug companies did not pay for research and pay for influential people to promote their products, then they would not discover the products we want or make us aware of the existence of their products. I think it is important to condemn false advertising and demand full disclosure. But, we should to be cautious of, but not outright condemn simple conflicts of interest.

  4. Mike
    Mike August 14, 2008 at 9:29 am | | Reply

    Glucoboy was an effort to try to create a meter that plugged into a popular device and then sell expensive strips (sadly, why don’t meters have games?). I actually contacted the Glucoboy people at one point to see if they had any updates for US release. They released in Australia and no date for the US. From what I can tell, Nintendo didn’t see it as a threat.

    Captain N was on Super Nintendo so not really new. But you win. :)

    With Nelson’s reply, I do agree that the conflicts between book promotion and drug promotion are similar but rarely do books come with side effects like low-blood sugar, potential heart issues, etc.

    I have a friend who works at a big name drug company (who makes drugs for type 2 patients) and he’s a t1. He says that even without blogs, games or other media-esque venues, companies know what we want already. Hence the creation of designer ailments that seem to suddenly have “syndromes” or other non-disease type names. They see what people complain about, look in their catalogs to see if one of their drugs can help and then then market the drug for it. New revenue stream, no drug dev cost, they win, people complain less.

    Sadly, people aren’t immune to hype (snake oil just got a new name). I remember thinking that Lantus was “the stuff” and every doc saying that it worked for 24 hours. Did it? Hardly… everyone got hyped, few diabetics got paid, many diabetics paid out loads. Oddly, no lawsuits.

  5. David
    David August 14, 2008 at 2:17 pm | | Reply

    I have no problem with the drug companies and agree with Nelson. Nor do I have a problem with Alan’s article. It is curious that, in this day of age, they can’t come up with a single device that can monitor and regulate blood sugar. I mean really, if I can do it….?
    Mike’s comment (9:29 am) kind of made me uneasy. What is wrong with Lantus? I take it along with Humalog. I don’t get why there are sooo many diferent types. Long lasting and quick fix, I get. But wtf?

  6. Bill
    Bill August 14, 2008 at 3:08 pm | | Reply

    If the information that is presented at a medical conference is accurate, I don’t care if the presenter is being compensated by a product manufacturer. If the information is inaccurate or incomplete, then compensation is also a tangential issue…it’s the validity of the presentation that’s critical.

    The same applies to the use of a ghost writer. When a physician or researcher allows his or her name to be attached to a paper, he’s taking responsibility for it’s content. The actual wordsmith who wrote the paper is irrelevant.

    What to me is of far greater concern is the advertising to the general public of prescription drugs. Not only is the cost of all that advertising built into the cost of the drugs (and thus paid by our health insurance premiums) but the usage of those drugs increases at the expense of lower cost alternatives…which further increases health insurance premiums.

  7. Bob Hawkinson
    Bob Hawkinson August 17, 2008 at 2:57 am | | Reply

    I think that if something is underwritten or put forth by a company, then if it is stated beforehand, I would be more comfortable. I know that most of the business world works in a similar manner. Big sponsors support organizations and research that supports their products. I’m ok with that….if it becomes inaccurate or jaded, then just like with anything that is untrue….I lose trust.

  8. im1dc
    im1dc August 18, 2008 at 1:23 pm | | Reply

    Dr Rubin has done the readers of this blog a service by publishing the evidence that BIg Pharma in particular but Medicine in general has been corrupted by the pursuit of profit.

    All he did was tell the well documented truth.

    Ever hear of shills? How about Snake Oil salesmen? Same same.

    The use of shills to push their product at every conceivable point along the Big Pharma chain has completely undermined the intrigrity of the scientific process and calls into question the accuracy, honesty and trustworthiness of the information the medical physicians are told and thus what they rely upon to prescribe medications to patients.

    Here’s the bottomline, the drugs of today are oversold and are in too many cases a clear and present danger to the patients who take them.

    It is totally inappropriate to question Dr Rubin’s ethics for writing this particular blog entry on since the information, as he mentioned, is widely and freely available to all Online, especially from the NY Times.

    He only opened your eyes to the truth.

  9. October 23, 2008 at 10:48 am | | Reply

    Drug companies have paid “ghostwriters” to write articles that are then signed by researchers who have had nothing to do with the research.

    I’m really sad about this but it’s the truth . There are so many people telling something on topics that they have’nt even research before .
    I’ve bookmarked dr.robin’s website , thanks for such a great share.

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