Pharma papers go on the web (BMJ 2006;333:368 (19 August))

Pakningsvedlegg - neurontin (gabapentin) capsule (

Suicide Risk of Neurontin Kept Hidden for Years
by Evelyn Pringle 19.2.2007
The all-time poster child for a drug illegally promoted for off-label uses, is Neurontin, marketed by Warner-Lambert, and its Parke-Davis division, until Pfizer acquired the company in 2000.

The term "off-label" means prescribing a drug for indications not listed on the label, upping the recommended dose, prescribing a drug in combination with other medications, or using a drug with a patient population, such as children, not listed on the label. (...)

Study unveils depths of off-label Neurontin promotion 23.8.2006
A new study has unveiled the extent to which Parke-Davis - now part of Pfizer after its acquisition of Warner-Lambert - promoted its epilepsy drug Neurontin (gabapentin) for off-label uses. Pfizer was forced to pay in excess of $430 million in 2004 to settle claims relating to the government's investigation into the sales and marketing of its $2 billion a year drug.

The agreement brought to an end a 1996 lawsuit against Warner-Lambert's Parke-Davis subsidiary that claimed the company illegally promoted Neurontin on at least 13 separate conditions for conditions the drug was not approved to treat. Parke-Davis is said to have used illegal cash gifts for doctors, as well as other ploys, to buoy sales of the drug for these non-approved uses.

Now this new study, led by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, and the San Francisco VA Medical Center, says the company conducted a host of activities - such as sponsored consultants' meetings and medical education forums - that would generally be perceived by doctors to be unbiased but were instead used to encourage the prescription of Neurontin, often at doses or for uses for which it had not been approved. Tactics included sponsoring a large medical meeting to promote higher-than-approved doses, discouraging the publication of negative research results, and sponsoring apparently independent scientific publications. Many of these activities were organized through third-party companies paid by Parke-Davis through "unrestricted educational grants," say the authors, adding that, while this created an aura of independence, in fact there were "extensive ties with Parke-Davis." (...)

Pharma papers go on the web...
BMJ 2006;333:368 (19 August)
Pharma papers go on the web: The University of California in San Francisco has launched a website containing more than 8000 pages of internal documents from the drug company Parke-Davis, a division of Warner-Lambert, later acquired by Pfizer. They come from a successful legal suit in 2004, which established the company had aggressively promoted its antiseizure drug Neurontin (gabapentin). See (...)

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