Wednesday, July 11, 2007

'Round the Sphere: Commies, Canadians, and Death by Drugs!

This week, the Pharma Blogosphere was abuzz about the two death sentences handed down to two of China's former high-ranking food and drug safety officials. One was just executed as reported in the Wall Street Journal Health Blog and Pharmalot.

It is said that injection by lethal drugs is becoming the standard method of carrying out the death penalty in China (see "Chinese applaud ex-official's execution").

Meanwhile, other supposedly non-lethal drugs have lead to the death of a Canadian citizen -- "first clear-cut case of a death stemming from counterfeit drugs bought on the Internet."

Of course, a chief wanker at Drug Wankers couldn't hold back the gloating to respond to the age-old re-importation retort" "Oh, Yeah. If Canadian drugs are dangerous, where are the dead Canadians?"

Expect Pitts et al to refer to this case again and again and again and again... did I mention again? in the diatribes against re-importation.

Meanwhile, the other Peter (Peter Rost), was quoted in Forbes pointing out the irony:

"The FDA recently put out a warning on the dangers of Internet medicines. Peter Rost, a former Pfizer executive whose blog is an annoyance to drug execs, notes an "irony" in the situation: that the first victim of drug reimportation lives in Canada, and got a drug that is not approved there but is available to the rest of the world."
In his own blog, Peter suggests that rather than an argument AGAINST re-importation, this event is really an argument FOR re-importation!:
"So now all the reactionary elements in American politics will claim drug reimportation claimed its first life. I'm sure they think it is too bad it wasn't American blood.

"Of course there is a logical solution to all this. Make drug importation legal and regulated the trade, so that people don't go on the Internet when their money dries up."
Speaking of China, Canadians and Other "Commies"

Of course, Canadians are not really commies. They just have a commie medical system according to the wankers among us.

It's one thing to stretch the commie analogy to describe the Canadian healthcare system, but it's another to accuse J&J's corporate blog of being the "Pravda of J&J." But that is exactly what Jim Edwards over at BrandweekNRX did!

Ouch! Tough love indeed!

But let's look at the glass half-full instead of half-empty, shall we?

Did you know, for example, that Pravda is the Russian word for "The Truth"? I bet you dinnit! Marc Monseau, the author of JNJ BTW, might take some comfort from being labeled "The Truth of J&J." At least he wasn't called the "CNN of J&J," which might be a much less flattering comparison.

But Jim has a point. If a corporate blog remains silent on issues roiling around it, then suspicions are aroused. It's best to say something, even if it is to refer to the official company press release, which is some form of "truth" if not absolute truth. I suspect that's what Pravda would do.

Of course, this is not what we expect of blogs. But what should we expect from a blog like JNJ BTW?

You can read more about my opinion on that subject in Pharma Marketing Blog (see "Advice to All Pharma PR Bloggers Out There").

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