invincible summers

in the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer. (albert camus)

Senator Grassley is not backing down April 6, 2009

Filed under: corruption,news — clementine @ 3:29 pm
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Thanks to Gianna and Duane for this amazing news. According to this report at Bloomberg, Senator Chuck Grassley is now investigating NAMI. Excellent! I would write more but I need a nap and I need to let this sink in:

April 6 (Bloomberg) — U.S. Senator Charles Grassley expanded his investigation into drug company influence on the practice of medicine by asking a nonprofit mental-health- advocacy group about its funding.

In a letter sent today to the National Alliance for Mental Illness, based in Arlington, Virginia, Grassley asked the nonprofit group to disclose any financial backing from drug companies or from foundations created by the industry.

The Iowa Republican, in a series of hearings and investigations, has focused on financial ties between the drug industry, doctors and academic institutions. His efforts have led New York-based Pfizer Inc. to begin disclosing consulting payments to U.S. doctors, and Harvard Medical School in Boston to reexamine its conflict-of-interest policies. Now Grassley is expanding his inquiries to nonprofit groups.

“I have come to understand that money from the pharmaceutical industry shapes the practices of nonprofit organizations which purport to be independent in their viewpoints and actions,” Grassley wrote in his letter.

Officials at the National Alliance for Mental Illness didn’t return calls for comment.

of course they didn’t

The group identifies itself as the largest grassroots organization in the U.S. for people with mental illness and their families. The group came under scrutiny in 1999, when the magazine Mother Jones reported that 18 drug companies gave the group $11.7 million from 1996 to mid-1999. The article reported that at one point an executive of Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly & Co. worked out of the nonprofit group’s headquarters.

A 2007 annual report showed that the group’s corporate partners at that time included Madison, New Jersey-based Wyeth; London-based GlaxoSmithKline Plc; Eli Lilly, which makes Prozac; and the Washington-based trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

Financial Report

A separate financial report shows the National Alliance for Mental Illness brought in $10.5 million in contributions in the year that ended June 30, 2007. The donors aren’t broken out.

Vera Sharav, president of the Alliance for Human Research Protection, a New York-based nonprofit that promotes ethical research, said the National Alliance for Mental Illness may have drawn Grassley’s attention because it lobbies Congress for mental-health funding.

“Academics and physicians give an appearance of authority,” Sharav said by telephone. “Industry gives them the money. Grassley has been going after each group systematically, and the dots are being connected.”

click the Bloomberg link above to continue reading….


Pfizer CEO’s compensation slips 5% to a mere 13.1 million! March 15, 2009

Filed under: big pharma,corruption,news — clementine @ 12:22 pm
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From The WSJ Health Blog:

Pfizer cut its 2008 bonuses for execs and is freezing executives’ salaries this year, the company said this morning in its proxy statement. Here’s the key paragraph on the action by the board’s compensation committee:

The Committee, based on the recommendation of Mr. Kindler, determined that given macroeconomic conditions, the performance of Pfizer’s stock price and other factors, it would (a) freeze salaries for executive officers (other than in the case of promotions); (b) reduce 2008 bonuses for the executive officer group as compared to bonuses paid for 2007 to the comparable group of executive officers … and (c) reduce the 2009 long-term incentive target grant amounts by 10%.

Still, everything is relative. Kindler’s direct compensation for last year was valued at $13.1 million, down from about $13.8 million the year before, Dow Jones Newswires notes. His 2008 package included a salary of $1.58 million, a cash incentive bonus of $3 million, long-term stock-based awards valued at $8.3 million and perks worth about $228,000.

To see how the other top execs fared, check out the Direct Compensation Table in Pfizer’s proxy.

I’m still trying to figure out why any of these jokers, er, CEO’s are making more than 100,000/a year. It’s ridiculous and sad.


SICK of big pharma and doctors March 2, 2009

I must begin by saying I’ve been sick since before or on the week of February 16th, it’s been so long, I can’t remember. It began with a sinus infection and after taking a 5 day Z-pak, well, I got sicker. Go figure. I don’t know why I’m surprised. I’m thinking I’m pretty close to pneumonia at this point, I have all the symptoms minus the fever. I’ve had horrible side effects and found via this website that my side effects are not uncommon. Not to get too terribly gross here but constant diarrhea (with blood one day), no taste buds, heavy chest congestion, headaches, body aches, exhaustion, dehydration (no matter how much water I drink) and constant drainage. I’ve taken a Z-pak before, years ago, and had zero side effects. Something has changed and something tells me Big Pharma is involved. I believe Pfizer produces the Z-pak. Needless to say, this post might not make sense being that I’m way beyond feeling good. And none of this is easy dealing with when you are uninsured.

If you’re not a regular reader you might wonder why I am SICK of big pharma and doctors. First of all, let me state, I do feel lucky. Don’t get me wrong. I could be dealing with an incurable cancer, I could have an incurable disease, RRP, that my sister has. I know that I am lucky. However, for nearly 23 years I have been dealing with a mental illness. Fighting the good fight. I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on therapy, hospitals, medications, etc. None of which worked. period. Most importantly, I continue to run into these stories:

Recently news broke that AstraZeneca buried Seroquel studies. Just take a look at part of the story if you don’t feel like clicking on the link, but I suggest you read the entire story and do your own research: (more…)