Merck and Co drew up doctor hit list

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Milanda Rout said:
AN international drug company made a hit list of doctors who had to be "neutralised" or discredited because they criticised the anti-arthritis drug the pharmaceutical giant produced.

Staff at US company Merck &Co emailed each other about the list of doctors - mainly researchers and academics - who had been negative about the drug Vioxx or Merck and a recommended course of action.

The email, which came out in the Federal Court in Melbourne yesterday as part of a class action against the drug company, included the words "neutralise", "neutralised" or "discredit" against some of the doctors' names.

It is also alleged the company used intimidation tactics against critical researchers, including dropping hints it would stop funding to institutions and claims it interfered with academic appointments.

"We may need to seek them out and destroy them where they live," a Merck employee wrote, according to an email excerpt read to the court by Julian Burnside QC, acting for the plaintiff.
The Federal Court was told yesterday that Merck wanted to gain the backing of researchers and doctors - or "opinion leaders" - in the fields of arthritis to help promote the drug to medical professionals when it was launched in 1999.

Mr Burnside said internal emails in April 1999 from Merck staff showed the company was not happy with what some researchers and doctors were saying about the drug.

"It gives you the dark side of the use of key opinion leaders and thought leaders ... if (they) say things you don't like to hear, you have to neutralise them," he said. "It does suggest a certain culture within the organisation about how to deal with your opponents and those who disagree with you."

The court was told that James Fries, professor of medicine at Stanford University, wrote to the then Merck head Ray Gilmartin in October 2000 to complain about the treatment of some of his researchers who had criticised the drug.

"Even worse were allegations of Merck damage control by intimidation," he wrote, according to Mr Burnside.

"This has happened to at least eight (clinical) investigators ... I suppose I was mildly threatened myself but I never have spoken or written on these issues."

Mr Burnside told the court Dr Fries went on to describe instances of intimidation, including one colleague who thought his academic appointment had been jeopardised and another who received phone calls alleging "anti-Merck" bias.

Dr Fries said in the letter that Merck had been systematically playing down the side effects of Vioxx and said the company's behaviour "seriously impinges on academic freedom". ...

Vioxx maker Merck and Co drew up doctor hit list
not the least bit suprised! These companies are in control of congress, the house, everything. I believe there should be no monies given to a presidential campain or party for that matter. End of story and we just might have a sense of morality left in the United States to save what face we have left.
Since taking doctor prescribed meds, instead of being allowed to use a plant that is here from God, only to need this med, then this one causes me to need this and that and on and on. OK where do we assemble?
Sheesh... need to watch out for red dots on my forehead. last i heard vioxx was taken off the market for the liver side effects.( i may be sealing my fate !!! what have i done !!!!)
you have been busy lately? Or just finally got your rest from those crazy shifts you were on oh good Dr.?
I want to know how we as concerned patients can help to get the pharma industry in control. I have no respect for these companies any more. Targeting informed Doctors, and photographing medical students.

Bully with a capital B, verging on GANG status. IMO

Anyone know of organizations to get involved with?
no idea, but I am starting MER-C Matchu's Epilepsy Research Coalition non profit 5013c. All we can do is use our voices and stand up together.
Here is one website that I know of, although the person who started it has gone on to other things. It covers stories about the pharmaceuticals and their practices.

A book I read and posted a message nearly a year ago is "Our Daily Meds" by Melody Petersen. It gives detailed info about the pharmacy industry and how they go about ripping off patients and how the entice the drs. with big rewards.
yes, it interesting how quick the prescription flows and yet no diagnosis.
Anyone know any thing about Serquil
Seroquel is actually an anti-psychotic drug that is also prescribed for Bi-polar.

It is another one of those meds that is on the list that can cause diabetes, like zyprexa. If you have any family history of diabetes, high triglycerides, cholesterol, etc, beware of this drug!
Yeah, I am bipolar as well great times! My family does have a history of diabetes. I am on small dosage at this point and seem calm. But honestly MJ works the best with no harmful side effects.
Make sure you tell your dr. about the family history of diabetes and beware of any blurred vision, extreme fatigue, unusual thirst. Even a small dosage can bring on changes in the body.

I was prescribed Zyprexa, no family history of Type I diabetes, and I still ended up with Type I diabetes as an adult!? On top of all my other ailments and meds, I now have to take insulin shots and check my glucose numerous times during the day. :(
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I have unusual thirst and like a dog saliva sort of building up when I am exercising or something. I take it at night and it puts me out!
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