Was browsing through the boards over at CafePharma earlier, I enjoy reading some of the threads on the GlaxoSmithKline page where disgruntled employees, many of them reps, attack the likes of Andrew... [**coughs]...sorry, Sir Andrew Witty.
I'm sure many of the anonymous posters on these boards are legit and are genuinely miffed about the company they work for. Long hours, promises of bonuses, changes in company mantra, promoting drugs off-label to doctors whilst wining and dining them or bringing their staff in coffee from Starbucks or donuts from the company that tell you to 'dunk them'
With what seems like a bitchin' pot of messages to Glaxo it surprises me that none of the disgruntled army of ex and current employees have ever thought about blowing the whistle on those they target.
Sure, it's great to beeatch and off-load your angst against the company but does it really change anything?
Glaxo aren't the only pharmaceutical company that comes under fire, there's different boards for each of the leading pharmaceutical companies, each of which are ladened with current and ex-employees attacking the various policies and management [ahem mismanagement] of the companies they once worked/work for.
I'm writing this in the hope that someone from these boards will pick up on it. By all means carry on bitchin', it makes great reading, but do something about it. Let's face it, the companies you work/ed for don't exactly look after you as they do their key opinion leaders [thought leaders] do they?
When was the last time a rep was given a big, fat meaty cheque for promoting a drug? Okay, they get a wage and, sometimes a bonus [when it's paid on time] but nowhere near to the sums paid to thought leaders such as Karen Wagner, Josef Biederman and/or Marty "bling bling" Keller.
I'd be miffed if I were an employee or ex-employee of major pharmaceutical companies. I'd be pissed at the fact that my employee had used me to promote drugs to children when, in actual fact, my company knew all along that these drugs were not safe for children. I'd be pissed that my company had paid out millions of dollars to thought leaders yet made me work extra-long hours for a mere pittance and a performance based bonus... based on how I could promote drugs for populations that weren't meant for those populations.
I'd be so pissed off with allowing myself to be manipulated by company spin just so I couldn't see the wood through the trees, the dense forest hiding the facts that I had been used as a drug peddler, my objective being to push doctors to prescribe to the vulnerable populations out there... Children.
Hey ho, thankfully I've never been down that road. My conscience is clear.
The bitchin' on CafePharma continues, the main objective, it seems, being just a place to let off steam.
Only way these disgruntled masses can get back at those who treated them with contempt is to start blowing whistles. I'm sure there are many whom have witnessed fraudulent acts against the US government. Whether or not they have been part of these acts is irrelevant - they can and should try to bring about change.
I'm a big fan of US attorneys, Baum Hedlund. They've kicked GlaxoSmithKline's ass to infinity... and beyond on many occasions. They, I'm sure, would welcome employees or ex-employees of big pharma to bitch at them down the phone.
Whistleblower suits are becoming more popular these days, particularly against pharmaceutical companies.
Allen Jones blew the whistle on Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen unit for promoting the off-label use of Risperdal in children. J&J settled with a payment of $158 million, some of which went Jones' way for blowing the whistle. The settlement came less than a month after J&J officials agreed to pay more than $1 billion to the U.S. and a number of states to end a civil investigation into Risperdal marketing practices.
Cheryl Eckard, who humiliated GlaxoSmithKline with regard to the appalling lapses at their manufacturing plant in Cidra, Puerto Rico, was also paid handsomely for whistleblowing. A cool $96 million went her way.
Helen Ge was a former contractor at Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. She learned that Takeda have been playing down risks of three of their drugs, particularly when combined with other drugs. She was fired from her position when she brought this to the attention of her seniors. She has now filed a whistleblower suit.
The more the merrier, I say.
So, I do hope that this post makes it across cyberspace to CafePharma. I also hope that I can somehow tap into the conscience of those who throw the flames anonymously on the boards over there.
Do what's right. Blow the whistle.
Just click on the image to start the ball rolling.
Alternatively, drop me an email... cos I just love blowing the whistle.