Pfizer tried to hush-up negative study results
More bad news from Big Pharma. Internal documents from Pfizer that were recently submitted in a lawsuit against that company showed that the pharmaceutical manufacturer tried to put a lid on medical studies that did not support the use of its epilepsy drug, Neurontin. More than that, it seems that the marketing arm of Pfizer even went so far as to delay the publication and even ALTER THE CONCLUSIONS OF STUDIES that found that the drug did not work for conditions other than epilepsy.
Pfizer is accused of doing this to boost sales - and it must've worked. Before the release of the generic version of Neurontin in 2004, the drug had racked up a whopping $2.7 billion in sales in just one year (2003)! During this marketing push, the company alleged that the product was also effective in the treatment of pain and migraines. But the clinical studies did not support this claim.
Naturally, Pfizer has denied these allegations. But the company already pleaded guilty and paid $430 million in fines and damages for illegally marketing Neurontin back in 2004. So why should we believe they're not to blame in this latest case?
Bayer's misleading ads are laid bare
When you see a beer commercial, do you really believe that drinking that brand of beer will make comical situations occur in your life? Of course not. Unfortunately, I think it's time that we apply the same kind of dismissive skepticism to any and all pharmaceutical advertising. Because it appears that Big Pharma companies just can't stop themselves from flat-out lying.
This latest gaffe is by Bayer AG, which has recently been warned by the FDA that two of the TV commercials for its birth control pill Yaz falsely claim that the drug can relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), while downplaying the risks of taking the drug.
What's most disturbing is that some of the nonexistent benefits of the drug seem to have been dreamed up by Bayer's marketing department in order to help boost sales in the teenage girl target demographic. The FDA said that the commercials "suggest that Yaz is approved for acne of all severities when this is not the case."
I wonder why they stopped at acne? Why not just say Yaz is more than birth control, but also helps you lose weight, and guarantees you a date to the prom?
Bayer has since pulled the inaccurate ads. But I have no intentions to pull any punches about what I think of their disgusting and underhanded marketing techniques.