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PHARMA: The gift that keeps giving, or PhRMA being dumb and dumber

Somehow I’ve ended up on Peter Rost’s mailing list. Now he’s a guy who knows a thing or two about the wacky behavior of big pharma. Peter sent me a press release about that novel that PhRMA funded until the grown-ups figured out in horror what they’d done. Unfortunately, their ham-fisted attempt to cover up the fact that they’d funded a novel about terrorists poisoning the drug supply from Canadian pharmacies apparently won’t die. Much more on the background at Health Care Renewal.

But you’d think that PhRMA would shut up about this and hope everyone forgets. After all it was fun while it lasted but there are other pharma-related issues on the front page now! Think again.

The latest round is that the consultant that PhRMA used as an intermediary is now apparently trying to stop the sale of the book — that’s already been published — and make the authors take done the email trail that is pasted on their website. Given that it’s pretty clear that PhRMA paid for the initial payment to the authors (although the consultant has been accused of taking a cut on the way), it sounds a little unlikely that PhRMA isn’t also behind trying to get this email trail taken down, and the book off the shelves. Of course the author Spivak, while claiming to be in high dudgeon, is loving the publicity, and is hawking the film rights claiming Nicole Kidman wants to star in it!

PhRMA apparently only offered them $100K to shut up early in the process. Presumably with the publicity they were already getting the authors thought they’d make more by keeping going. Perhaps a bigger number might have given them pause. I guess like many of big Pharma’s other products they’re discovering that doing the recall costs more and more, the longer you’ve been covering up the bad results.

Remember guys, there is a high road, and in the long run you’re better off taking it!

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Per your earlier post regarding the limited readership for health care blogs, Josh Marshall is looking for someone to blog re: Part D for a while. It would be a great way to raise the exposure of the THCB and other health care blogs and would provide a valuable service to political junkies who read TPM.