Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New Merck Names "The Fosamax® Guy" As Its New Chief Medical Officer

The guy apparently led the development efforts on Fosamax® (a drug the subject of over 900 lawsuits alleging jaw bone death, as a side effect of taking it, longer term). Let's hope his instincts have improved since then. I trust he is better than that would suggest -- here is his prior life, in summary fashion:

. . . .Dr. Rosenblatt has served as Dean of Tufts University School of Medicine since 2003. Prior to Tufts University, Dr. Rosenblatt held the appointment of George R. Minot Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Division of Bone and Mineral Metabolism Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). He served as the President of BIDMC from 1999-2001. Previously, he was the Harvard Faculty Dean and Senior Vice President for Academic Programs at CareGroup and BIDMC and a founder of the Carl J. Shapiro Institute for Education and Research at Harvard Medical School and BIDMC.

Prior to that, he served as Director of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. And earlier, he was Senior Vice President for Research at Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories where he co-led the worldwide development team for alendronate (FOSAMAX), Merck's bisphosphonate for osteoporosis and bone disorders. In leading most of Merck's international research efforts, he established two major basic research institutes. He also headed Merck Research's worldwide University and Industry Relations Department.

Dr. Rosenblatt is the recipient of the Fuller Albright Award for his work on parathyroid hormone and the Vincent du Vigneaud Award in peptide chemistry and biology, and the Chairman’s Award from Merck. Dr. Rosenblatt received his undergraduate degree summa cum laude from Columbia and his M.D. magna cum laude from Harvard. His internship, residency, and endocrinology training were all at the Massachusetts General Hospital. . . .

Well, I guess Merck just found a permanent expert witness for its defense of these cases -- and probably cheaper (all-in) than his day-rate, too.


Anonymous said...

Any drug you know that is being used long term has effects of death, disease, and other unforeseen effects in patients who don't match the profile of patients in pre-drug testing trials. We can never foresee huge problems unless we do large scale drug studies before releasing a drug without excluding anyone, unless you want to start doing it, you'll see that nearly al the drugs will be causally attributed to death or other serious side effects to a small extent.

You are stupid into thinking that drugs are innocuous and that pharmaceutical industry is out to kill people intentionally.

Medicine is an inexact science, and to perfect every drug to perfection is hard.

I know that you think these people are profit mongerers, and to some extent they are, but at the same time they at least improve the lives of other people.

You may think otherwise about Defense Weapons companies, why not go after them first?

Condor said...

To be clear here, Anon. -- I do support large scale trials, pre approval. So too, now does HHS, as the ACA of 2010 rolls into full-effect.

I think drug companies do wonderful things. I think they really want to improve human health care. I do not think they want to kill people.

But I also know -- having served for 20 years inside one -- that profit is the primary focus.

We cannot ignore that powerful self-interest. We must harness it and regulate it when patietn safety hangs in the balance.

Here endeth my (immensely belated) sermon.

Do stop back.