Epilepsy Talk

NEWS: Drug Companies Hire Troubled Doctors As Experts | October 20, 2010

This from NPR:

“Drug companies say they hire the most-respected doctors in their fields for the critical task of teaching about the benefits and risks of the companies’ drugs.

But an investigation by ProPublica has uncovered hundreds of doctors receiving company payments who had been accused of professional misconduct, were disciplined by state boards or lacked credentials as researchers or specialists.

Compiled from disclosures by seven companies, the database covers $257.8 million in payouts since 2009 for speaking, consulting and other duties. The companies include Lilly, Cephalon, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Pfizer.”

To read more, go to: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130644774&ft=1&f=100


  1. If those companies need any recommendations, my wife (who happens to have MS) and I (with epilepsy) have more than our share. Neurologists are an “interesting” breed. Many of them belong in a research lab. Oh, message to the profession…we’re not rats or children, we’re people just like everyone else. Perhaps they don’t teach you docs that in med school.


    Comment by Tom Waltz — October 20, 2010 @ 10:47 PM

  2. Thank you for your comment Tom 🙂 It is so true.

    Thank you Phylis for bringing us this subject. I have known it for years.

    For instance, Tylenol has had several recalls. My friends do not believe me because by some miracle, Tylenol and their other products has remained on the shelves. Their company is Johnson & Johnson. The recalls are announced by McNeil Company.

    Only a payoff to someone keeps their products on the shelves. They are greedy big people aren’t they?

    I will be gone for the rest of the day watching baseball.


    Comment by Ruth Brown — October 20, 2010 @ 10:58 PM

    • Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, St. Joseph Aspirin and Rolaids were ALL recalled.

      There were 54 million packages of 27 different over-the-counter remedies.

      Products include various types of child and/or adult Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, St. Joseph Aspirin, Rolaids, and Simply Sleep.

      This adds to the 6 million packages of Tylenol recalled late last year, bringing the total number of recalled products to 60 million.

      The FDA says Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Health Care knew of the problem for more than a year.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 20, 2010 @ 11:12 PM

  3. Ethics? Don’t get me started 🙂


    Comment by Tom Waltz — October 21, 2010 @ 12:12 AM

  4. Talk about Drug Pushers! Makes Ya Sick. 😦 My Mom just found out that she has been taking treatment for Thyroid Problems due to a previous DRS diagnosis & she Don’t have a Thyroid Problem!

    I noted in the Article where others were told to take meds that weren’t necessary. So, between Pushing Drugs we don’t need & Glorifying meds that May or May not Work, Plus have potential Dangerous side effects, for some, we Are the Human Mouse/Lab Rat/Guinea Pig! 😦

    Someone needs to Fire all them Dr Speakers. But, WHO? The Pharmaceutical Companies have already proven they ain’t Interested in Nothing But the Proceeds these guys generate & Let the Damage fall where ever on who ever it May. 😦

    HUGS! Love Candi


    Comment by Candi — October 21, 2010 @ 8:41 PM

    • A FAKE diagnosis, Candi? OMG. I had a friend who was diagnosed with high cholesterol and prescribed 50 MG of lipitor to START with.

      (I wonder how, much kickback that doc was getting?)

      I assured her that I really DID have high blood pressure and all I took was 10 MG — a baby dose.

      So she dumped the meds and started taking a heart healthly vitamin supplement instead. (CoQ10).

      I was also asked by someone on our local epilepsy board of directors if I’d be interested in doing a (juicy) job. I reluctantly told her “no,” because I had a moral conflict with pharmaceutical companies. 😦


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 21, 2010 @ 9:35 PM

  5. Yeh, FAKE for over 10 Yrs. 😦 VA hospital DXed/medicated her. 😦 So, the Drug Reps/Docs get to them, too. 😦

    Well, that sounds like (to Me) a Compliment, being offered the job. But, Totally understand where you Stand. 🙂

    Love Candi


    Comment by Candi — October 23, 2010 @ 1:05 AM

  6. My husband just went to the doctor to ask for a cholesterol test. After the request, she changed the subject and started yelling at him.

    He changed doctors on bad terms with her. I decided because of “conflict of interests” and Ethics to change doctors too.

    My neurologist will now be in control of my epilepsy medicine. He is glad about that and so am I.


    Comment by Ruth Brown — October 23, 2010 @ 5:33 AM

    • Your husband’s doc sounds like a real “beaut”!

      Good move by you to switch over your epilepsy meds to your neurologist!


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 23, 2010 @ 9:10 PM

  7. Not to change the subject Phylis, but I’d be interested in more conversation about epilepsy patients and the relationship with our doctors. These are pivitol to healthy outcomes, and after my experience (and what I am reading from others), it’s obvious that schools of medicine (esp. those that focus on the treatment of epilepsy) should devote significant attention to this issue (i.e., healthy relationships, professionalism, accountability, reasonable inquiry, communications, etc.). Afterall, what good is it to be under someone’s care and fear their reaction if: 1) you need to explore different options because of side-effects; 2) you need your doctor to work with you about a response to your employer; or 3) you need to understand the risks for developing complications from long term medication use; 4) your need a referral to address co-morbidities common to the epilepsy; 5) etc.

    Sorry for the lengthy response.


    Comment by Tom Waltz — October 25, 2010 @ 1:37 AM

  8. Hello everyone,

    I Agree w/ Phylis’s Link & Yes, to get the Best Care from your neuro/doctor, you need to Know what questions to ask. 🙂 This site can Help!


    Love Candi


    Comment by Candi — November 7, 2010 @ 9:49 PM

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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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