Friday, February 23, 2007

This Week in the Blogosphere

A couple of blogger denizens of The Pharma Blogosphere -- namely, Ed Silverman (Pharmalot) and Derek Lowe (In the Pipeline) attended an event hosted by the dark side of the The Pharma Blogosphere; namely, the Center for Medicine in the "Public Interest" (CMPI) -- the folks that bring us the Drug Wonks blog (see "Drug Wonks Are PR Wonks").

The PR wonks at CMPI do not like the way the press covers the pharmaceutical industry as anyone who reads the Drug Wonks blog can tell. Just today was posted an entry entitled "Good Article But Selective Reporting?" critical of a Wall Street Journal story about Genentech's Avastin vs. Lucentis for the treatment of macular degeneration. I am not going to get into this topic, but I merely quote what Drug Wonks says at the end of the blog entry:

"[Genentech] must change the conversation with consumers and doctors by giving them different and better information.

"As it can see (no pun intended), the media will not do it for them...."
So you can see what CPMI thinks of the press -- they just aren't nice lap dogs to the industry! And this is how it feels about the Wall Street Journal, friend of the pharma industry. Imagine what they have to say about the New York Times!

I can't imagine, therefore, that Ed got a warm welcome. He hasn't commented on it yet, though. Derek, however, wrote some comments about the conference in his blog (see, for example, "CMPI Conference: Panel on Media Coverage").

Derek posited that the Vioxx debacle had a silver lining -- it started a debate about drug risk vs. benefit (or "reward" as Derek calls it). But Derek didn't think the debate was "informed," by which I infer that he sides with CPMI -- ie, the press needs to give us "better" information.

BTW, I was invited to the conference and it was free of charge. However, unlike Ed Silverman, I don't have a corporate expense account. At least he took the train and saved the Star-Ledger some dough.

Hacker Scare
Several of us were a bit worried that Peter Rost's Question Authority blog was under hacker attack or being censored by the CIA or NSA (see "Did the CIA Shut Down Question Authority?" and "Access denied...?").

But it was all a testosterone tango between Rost and Pfizer's law firm. Rost calls it a click-a-thon (see " Click-a-thon with Pfizer's lawyers") but I think "testosterone tango" sounds better, don't you?

Rost is confident he can win the good fight: "So how can I feel confident? Because raw power and money doesn't always win; if you don't believe me, check out a place called Iraq . . ."

I think he may suffer the fate of "good sir knight:"

This animated version features a briefcase swinging lawyer-like good sir knight:

Speaking of a testosterone tango!

Gardasil Again!
Is Jim Edwards off licking his wounds? He hasn't posted anything to BrandweekNRX for a couple of days after he characterized a few of his fellow bloggers as "pro-cancer" because they disagreed with him on mandatory vaccinations (see Jim's original post and comments at "Pro-Cancer Crowd Forces Merck to Cave on Gardasil") He received quite a few comments, including my own retort (see "Pharma Blogosphere Row Over Gardasil!").

That's all for now...back to work!

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