Ten Days that Shook the Mice

“It’s unnatural for mice to die exactly every 10 days,” writes a group of online whistle blowers about a high-level Japanese research project.


Either Japanese mice are rather like Mr Bunbury in The Importance of Being Earnest

My dear Aunt Augusta … The doctors found out that Bunbury could not live … so Bunbury died.

He seems to have had great confidence in the opinion of his physicians.

— or, um, “the data [was] tampered [with] to suit the theory envisioned by the researchers.”

But that’s just the Japanese way.

The Yale Psychiatrist is IN.

Helping you with your homicidal dog/crack cocaine issues.

Wagnerian Leitmotif

Karen Wagner, a psychiatry professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, seems to sound a repetitive theme in her work: Accept undisclosed money from drug companies; put your name on articles substantively ghostwritten for drug companies; and just generally over many years demonstrate the sort of behavior that gets you … named president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Rewards in this field, after all, go to people able to increase the probability that drug firms – eager, in the latest case involving Wagner, to rain anti-depressants upon the heads of our teeniest tots – will get FDA approval for their products.

Does the pill do anything a placebo doesn’t… ? Might it have dire side effects… ?

Erfahrt, wie sich die Pharmakonzerne rächen,
von deren Huld ihr euch gewandt!


UD‘s friend Barney suggests some ways out.


Oh – and speaking of kiddies and the makers of fun adorable stuff for them to play with, like Risperdal blocks – a new movie about that drug is coming out, and UD is way excited at the possibility that it will star one of the most… intriguing characters we’ve met on this blog: Harvard’s Joseph Biederman.

Cycle Slut

One of [William O’Brien’s] “patients” was a burly Pagan who boldly stated on his intake form that he “had been pregnant several times…”

“The prosecution also found that Oxy Reckitt Benckiser had wired several million won into a personal bank account of the professor in question, after asking for the team’s confirmation that its product had no direct links to lung damages.”

Corporations have long bribed willing professors to sterilize, if you will, their dirty products; here’s a case of literal sterilization in exchange for cash.

Hundreds of Koreans have been injured or have died from using inhalers they sterilized with what turns out to be a deadly substance. Two Korean professors allegedly performed bogus tests that showed no demonstrable link to toxic results from the sterilizer. The manufacturer is also accused of having destroyed strong evidence of toxicity.

An unnamed (why unnamed?) Seoul National University professor has now been arrested.

The Seoul Central District Public Prosecutor’s Office found out that Oxy Reckitt Benckiser paid the Seoul National University research team about 250 million won for the experiment and separately sent tens of millions of won to a personal bank account belonging to the professor who was leading the research team.

For sheer vileness, this one’s up there with the Iowa State guy who faked HIV vaccine results.

“Zotova testified in her own defense that she suffered from a psychological issue that prevented her from going to the lab and meeting with any of the researchers in person.”

You have to read down the page a bit to get to the fun stuff in research fraud.

As his campaign shows signs of faltering, a new strategy for Donald Trump:

Uterus transplant.

Tenured Radical Hatches Anti-Capitalist Conspiracy.

An October 2015 email to Turing Pharmaceuticals from a University of North Carolina professor.

Given your company’s recent move to raise the price of pyrimethamine over 5,000% to an incredible $750 a pill, I have decided not to meet with representatives from Turing. … I am also urging my colleagues here at UNC, as well as at Duke, ECU, Wake Forest and other clinical centers across our state to do likewise, until Turing announces a reasonable and ethical reduction in the price of this important medication — a drug we rely on most to treat toxoplasmosis.


UD thanks dmf.

Gonna take a sedimental journey…

… to jail.

As Bernie Sanders Surges, Here’s a Way to Understand What He Means by All that “One-Tenth of One Percent” Income Inequality Rhetoric.

According to a Senate report released in December, Gilead knew pricing Sovaldi at $75,000 per patient for a 12-month course would restrict patient access by 24% of US payers, and yet it still ended up seeking $84,000 for it. The company priced Harvoni at an even higher $94,500, such that last year barely 2% of the eligible [hepatitis C virus] patients in the US were treated with the drugs.

Sure, that’s much more than one-tenth of one percent.

Nonetheless. Get the picture? Only a small number of rich people get to be cured.

Gilead is so depraved that the Massachusetts Attorney General is stepping in (though she probably can’t do much about it). Yet the story hasn’t even gotten much press, because as Americans we’re so used to homicidal greed.


Sanders owns this reality. He’s running with it. He’s running on it.


The letter from the AG went out to Gilead CEO John Martin, a man who has brought his depravity to the board of trustees at the University of Chicago.


The lovely larger picture.


Never before has Norman Mailer’s immortal statement felt so true: The shits are killing us.

Payback’s a Bitch.

[Tasmanian physician James Freeman said] “The price [for Gilead’s hepatitis medication] was set at the absolute maximum the market could bear, with absolutely no respect for the fact that it was going to bankrupt the Veterans’ administration or Medicaid – it is extraordinary pricing for a medication. It’s dreadfully sad that we have invented a cure for one of the five big infectious disease killers in the world and we’re not deploying it.”

Well, Gilead needs to make a profit, doesn’t it (Gilead’s 2014 gross profit margin: 85%)? What the HBeAg you gonna do about it?


Actually, turns out that in response to the rancid greed of this company the whole world is producing Gilead antibodies. They’re attacking Gilead’s profits in any number of ways.

They’re setting up buyers’ clubs to get the drugs more cheaply from other countries. They’ve staged such loud street and social media protests that Gilead has now joined Goldman Sachs in the Most Popular American Corporations Club.

A writer in Seeking Alpha keens:

Alas, in the wake of [Gilead’s] giant financial success, patients, insurance companies and government officials are getting perturbed by the greed. The company has had a great couple of years. Massachusetts Attorney General Mara Healey was on CNBC today (01/28/16) attacking the ethics of Gilead Sciences’ pricing of its Hepatitis C drug treatments. State governments making moves on drug prices would be great for patients, but an absolute nightmare for shareholders.

It’s worse than that.

Gilead must contend not only with a shrinking number of patients, as more sufferers are cured, but also the prospect of implementing price cuts to stop health insurers switching patients to Merck’s drug.

Impending competition is bad enough; there’s also the fact that once you cure the fuckers you run out of desperate people to bankrupt.

Watch for Gilead to launch a massive new investment in dirty needles.


The company does have something nice to look forward to. CEO John Martin’s retirement party will reportedly feature a chorus line of hepatitis-free, newly homeless people.

Now that the filthy business of paying doctors to promote new pills has gotten so filthy that even…

… GlaxoSmithKline has stopped doing it, UD notes this lament for the end of the practice.

But, of course, [people will say,] these experts are being PAID. How can they be trusted?

Well, can we really expect experts to do this on a pro bono basis? I doubt that any of us would agree to take time to do this sort of work for free.

How in the world can you expect to find one doctor or researcher in the United States willing to review – FOR FREE! – the data on a new drug that might benefit millions?


More on GSK’s decision:

Neil Barnes, head of respiratory medicines for GSK, says the days of drug companies paying for doctors to attend conferences to listen to doctors paid to speak are coming to end. “It is going to be like smoking on aeroplanes. People will look back and say ‘did we really used to do that?’”

But of course the scandal is what pharma continues to do.

Adriane Fugh-Berman, associate professor of pharmacology at Georgetown University in Washington and an activist for more transparency in drug marketing, says that while GSK’s reforms remove the conflict of interest for individual doctors they do not remove the wider problem of industry influence over medics. “I would be much more impressed if they were getting out of medical education altogether,” she says.

They write it for you, they pay you, you get the publication credit.

What’s not to like?

“A woman who feels sexual desire for about 50% of her waking hours scores only 3 out of 5 on the first question. To score a 5, one must feel sexual desire ‘always or almost always’.”

“[One female sexual desire questionnaire] consists of five yes-or-no questions that ‘…may be filled out by patients in the waiting room’. A scoring guide is provided. [Another] contains a long list of questions and a scoring system, but no information on interpreting the scores. It is apparently up to the clinician to determine who passes or fails. The researcher who published the questionnaire confirmed that there are no cut-off scores (Raymond Rosen, Ph.D., Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, personal communication).

The first question in [one] questionnaire asks, ‘Over the past 4 weeks, how often did you feel sexual desire or interest?’ and the patient is given options that range from ‘almost never or never’ to ‘almost always or always’. A woman who feels sexual desire for about 50% of her waking hours scores only 3 out of 5 on the first question. To score a 5, one must feel sexual desire ‘always or almost always’.”


Manfully they mount me, the pharma bros.

“Are you sure you feel the thrill
From the top of your head to your toes
Every moment? Take this pill
That we made for you, and no more know
The shame of two seconds that pass
Before you crave another piece of ass.”


“Treatments developed to enhance female libido, including the testosterone patch, Viagra (sildenafil), Libigel (a testosterone gel) and flibanserin, have all failed to obtain Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

Of these three, only flibanserin is still in the running. Flibanserin has been rejected twice. A failed antidepressant developed by Boehringer Ingelheim, flibanserin was recast as a treatment for hypoactive sexual desire disorder. In October 2010, after an FDA advisory committee concluded that there was little evidence that flibanserin increased libido and that the drug caused an unacceptable level of adverse effects, Boehringer Ingelheim abandoned developing the drug and sold it to Sprout Pharmaceuticals in 2011. In October 2013, the FDA denied Sprout Pharmaceuticals permission to market flibanserin. The company has resubmitted its application … ”


Manfully they mount the FDA, the pharma bros.

“How to lift the stigma of frigidity
From your drug approval committee?
We will mount and mount and mount
Until you grant approval to Sprout.
Nothing in your total rejection
Dims our lust for our disease-confection.”


“Fourteen [Continuing Medical Education] modules on hypoactive sexual desire disorder in women were identified. All were fully accredited CME modules, approved by a provider accredited by the Accreditation Council of CME. All 14 CME modules disclosed funding through educational grants by [the drug maker]. Additionally, 12 of 14 modules had at least one author with financial ties to [the drug maker].”


Manfully they mount the CMEs, the pharma bros.

“There is nothing we so adore
As your basic pharma whore.
With UD and the FDA
We put on a bogus display:
Compassion, social justice, fake research…
Ha! You’d ne’er besmirch
The essence of our pharma-fucks:
Pharma-lies for pharma-bucks.


(Great news! It’s been approved! A grateful nation breaks down the doors at Valeant ((that Valeant?)) to get it.)

American Academe’s ‘Centers for the Absorption of Federal Funds’…

… chronicled in this book, are entertaining places, and no doubt this new year we’ll continue following them at their most efficient, at the nation’s for-profit colleges.

But this country’s Centers for the Absorption of Corporate Funds deserve equal attention. Indeed these are arguably even more entertaining places, because while the federal government simply acts the well-meaning idiot as it dispenses hundreds of millions of dollars to hedgies pretending to run schools, corporations are often brilliant operators with bad motives — and it’s always more fascinating to watch the strategic villain than the bumbling good guy.

UD doesn’t claim that corporations looking for academic respectability in order, for instance, to hook America on opioids, always exhibit strategic brilliance. Crucially, they must identify research units within American universities able to balance compromised data (papers and presentations must uncover the urgent necessity plus the safety of massively increased pain pill intake) with the continued appearance of scientific integrity, a scheme fraught with difficulty. It’s not uncommon for reporters, and even politicians, to notice that a place like the University of Wisconsin’s Pain and Policy Studies Group is an almost wholly owned subsidiary of pharma, as it stashes away more and more OxyContin money while pumping out more and more Oxy Rocks! research.

Coca Cola, fast food, over-prescribed anti-depressants, over-prescribed anti-psychotics for toddlers, Dr. Shkreli’s Miracle Elixirs… All of these substances need whitewashing, and the university is where that happens. When things get too obvious, or when from the start they’re mishandled (remember what brought down Virginia’s last governor), the Centers suddenly shut down, or suddenly announce they’ve decided to stop taking corporate money…

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