Just watching Panorama’s recent documentary (for the second time) on how the pharmaceutical industry influences doctors and the medicines they prescribe, and I think that Mr Stephen Whitehead (of the ABPI)- speaking on behalf of the UK pharmaceutical industry- definitely deserves the accolade of Silly Man Of The Day..
There are many other adjectives which others might use to describe Stephen Whitehead, but personally I think he is just a very silly man. His comments in defense of the corruption of doctors by pharmaceutical companies are absolutely ridiculous and you would have to wonder who was coaching Whitehead? Did he not get advice? Did he not watch previous BBC Panorama documentaries? Did he not know he was dealing with Shelley Jofre? (One of the best investigative journalists of the pharmaceutical industry in the UK).
How about this for a dialogue?
(from appox the last 10 mins of “Who’s paying your doctor?”)
Stephen Whitehead :”We should never fool ourselves that doctors will be overly swayed by some of this commercial activity given that they have seen a lot of other information”..
Shelley Jofre: “Why on earth would these drug companies spend all this money on doctors if it didn’t sway their prescribing?”
Stephen Whitehead: “Well.. that’s an interesting question isn’t it..
Shelley Jofre: “But why would they?”
Stephen Whitehead : “Well…My view is.. it should sway their prescribing”.. “and I will absolutely categorically say that”…It’s absolutely appropriate for doctors to prescribe medicines for patients that need them.. .it is up to the doctor to decide what is right… “
What exactly is Stephen Whitehead on about? He seems to be contradicting himself..
Basically it seems that Mr Whitehead begins by saying that doctors would not be ‘overly’ swayed by drug company symposiums (or sponsored conferences, exhibits, lectures etc)
but then in the next breath he says that they should be swayed and that drug companies should be able to influence their prescribing!… So which is it Whitehead?… Are doctors not influenced by drug companies? Or are they? (I think we all know the answer to that one)
At least get your script right before you are interviewed.. Whitehead you Silly Man!…
It seems that Whitehad is so far indoctrinated into the greedy industry he so eagerly defends, that he has lost the ability to make sense.. he absolutely failed to defend the industry on Panorama and his gibberish proves that he doesn’t know his arse from his elbow!…
We all know the pharmaceutical industry is corrupt, we all know that doctors have been corrupted by the industry that the ABPI supports, so stop with the silly PR crap Stephen, nobody believes it- it’s getting boring- and your lame attempt at defending the industry was thoroughly pathetic, not to mention -incoherent.
People often say that, 1% of the human population are sociopaths and that it is these callous, devious individuals, with no empathy, or regard for others- who rise to the top of multinationals, banks, politics etc… I am inclined to believe somewhat in the sociopath theory( how else could you explain the ethos of GSK for example?), but I also reckon that there is a sizable percentage of the population who are just silly, idiotic, moronic, easily led, and utterly gormless, and it’s these individuals who also end up in jobs which require them to be just that… they follow orders.
… mindless corporate minions to the cleverer sociopaths further up the greasy ladder…
Stephen Whitehead You Are A Very Silly Man!…
And once again, you have missed the point completely!…
From Seroxat Secrets 2012 :
Stephen Whitehead, ABPI – missing the point completely
October 22, 2012 — admin
I read this article in the New Statesman today and made me really quite annoyed…
It featured a letter written to the New Statesman by the CEO of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), Stephen Whitehead, as a response to issues Ben Goldacre’s new book, Bad Pharma.
It’s amazing just how stupid a response it is – in fact I have to ask if Stephen has actually bothered to read the book at all or if the’s just gone into classic big Pharma knee jerk mode (after all, Stephen did spend 10 years of his career working at Glaxo and Eli Lily).
But no matter, as the New Statesman has printed Ben’s reply to the response.
However the comment I really found strange from Stephen Whitehead was this “…references to companies (GSK, Lilly, Pfizer) being fined are all examples from the US and simply not relevant to the UK market…”
GSK’s fine was, to remind you, the largest healthcare fraud settlement in history at $3bn.
How it isn’t relevant to the UK is beyond me – because what we’re talking about here is not just illegal marketing of drugs – not just bribing doctors to prescribe GSK products – what we’re talking about here are dead people.
Patients died because they were taking drugs that weren’t safe, drugs that weren’t even approved for their treatment.
In the case of Avandia, the drug is so dangerous that it can no longer be prescribed in Europe – it had to be withdrawn from the market because of high levels of heart attack, heart failure and stroke in patients. It had to be withdrawn from the market because it killed too many people.
How’s that “simply not relevant” to patients in the UK, Stephen?