Tom Nesi used to be the director of public affairs at Bristol-Myers Squibb. He quit and wrote a book, Poison Pills: The Untold Story of the Vioxx Drug Scandal.
from us news, here are a couple excerpts from the interview:
Q: As a veteran drug marketer, you warn consumers to beware huge marketing campaigns for new drugs. In fact, you urge people to ask their doctors for proof that new drugs are superior to older ones before accepting a prescription for the newer medicine.
A: I would say the larger the marketing campaign, the more you should use caution. I would also say if there are good drugs in a category—in a type of illness that you suffer from—that have been out there for a while, there’s no reason not to use those first.
Q: This book seems the antithesis, in some ways, of your life’s work. Why did you write it?
A: My wife died about six years ago. She was very young, and she died of brain cancer. I went through experimental drugs, the talking to doctors—just about everything you can think of—and I found out that it was bogus. [Marketing medicines] was my life’s career, and it forced me to really [re-]evaluate. I just didn’t want to get out there anymore and tell people such-and-such a drug was a miracle compound when I knew that, (a) it wasn’t, and (b) even if it was helping people, it was destroying their quality of life. So it caused me an entire career change—it just changed not just my career but my entire life. We’re being duped.