Sunday, March 11, 2007

Legal Assault

Ouch - over 1000 adverse event report in the past week and counting, all submitted by law firms for one product of ours. Our drug safety group has been scrambling to get these cases in the database on time, asking overseas offices to assist in the data entry, working weekends, etc. Deadlines will be met, according to the Veep of the department.

The reports for this particular product have been rolling in for about a year. We've got about 8000 total legal reports with named patients. If you've read Grisham's The King of Torts, then you have some idea about how this works. Now I'm seeing it from the other side.

If you Google the brand name of this product, about 3 or 4 of the top 2o hits are for law firms, but almost all of the Sponsored links are for lawyers. It's also under investigation by Pennsylvania for off-label marketing. This is a huge franchise, and we're counting on line extensions to keep sales up for at least 10 more years. It's a shame that a product becomes more well known for the negative news it generrates than any actual good it has done for patients.

We have little advance warning about when to expect discs arriving from a law firm with hundreds or more cases, but we haven't had to cry uncle yet. Still, the resource drain is huge.

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