Docs on Pharma Payroll Have Blemished Records, Limited Credentials
November 12, 2010
Physician William D. Leak was found to have performed unnecessary nerve tests and excessive invasive procedures, including injecting some patients with agents that destroy nerve tissue. But that didn't stop Eli Lilly from using him as a promotional speaker and adviser.
Leak is part of the drug industry's sales force of doctors who are paid to promote brand-name drugs to their peers. Drug companies claim they hire the most-respected doctors in their fields for this purpose.
But an investigation has uncovered hundreds of doctors on company payrolls who have been accused of professional misconduct or lacked credentials as researchers or specialists.
According to ProPublica:
"The implications are great for patients, who in the past have been exposed to such heavily marketed drugs as the painkiller Bextra and the diabetes drug Avandia -- billion-dollar blockbusters until dangerous side effects emerged."