GlaxoSmithKline bribery admission ensnares celebrity 'Dr. Drew' and other physicians

Monday, July 16, 2012 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: Dr. Drew, GlaxoSmithKline, bribery

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
BACK INTO THE CLOSET: Why U.S. reporters are not allowed to write about rainbow events in nations where being gay is still condemned
Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized
A family destroyed: Six-month-old dies after clinic injects baby with 13 vaccines at once without mother's informed consent
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
INVESTIGATION: Three days before Dr. Bradstreet was found dead in a river, U.S. govt. agents raided his research facility to seize a breakthrough cancer treatment called GcMAF
BOMBSHELL: China and America already at war: Tianjin explosion carried out by Pentagon space weapon in retaliation for Yuan currency devaluation... Military helicopters now patrolling Beijing
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
BAM! Chipotle goes 100% non-GMO; flatly rejecting the biotech industry and its toxic food ingredients
ECONOMIC SLAVERY FOR ALL: While we were distracted with the Confederate flag flap, Congress quietly forfeited our entire economic future via fast-track trade authority
NJ cops bust teenagers shoveling snow without a permit
McDonald's in global profit free fall as people everywhere increasingly reject chemically-altered toxic fast food
March Against Monsanto explodes globally... World citizens stage massive protests across 38 countries, 428 cities... mainstream media pretends it never happened
Italian court rules mercury and aluminum in vaccines cause autism: US media continues total blackout of medical truth
SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision may have just legalized the concealed carry of loaded firearms across all 50 states, nullifying gun laws everywhere
Orthorexia Nervosa - New mental disorder aimed at people who insist on eating a clean diet
Vicious attack on Dr. Oz actually waged by biotech mafia; plot to destroy Oz launched after episode on glyphosate toxicity went viral
Nearly every mass shooting in the last 20 years shares one surprising thing? and it's not guns
Holistic cancer treatment pioneer Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez dies suddenly; patients mourn the loss of a compassionate, innovative doctor who helped thousands heal from cancer
(NaturalNews) Radio personality Dr. Drew Pinsky once touted GlaxoSmithKline PLC's antidepressant Wellbutrin as one of a few such medications he prescribed to patients suffering from depression because it "may enhance or at least not suppress sexual arousal" as much as other antidepressants.

What he didn't tell listeners during that 1999 endorsement; however, was that two months earlier Dr. Pinsky - who rose to fame as "Dr. Drew," co-hosting a popular radio sex-advice show, "Loveline" - received the second of two payments from GSK for a total of $275,000 for "services for Wellbutrin," The Wall Street Journal reported.

The paper said the payments were made to Pinsky via a communications firm that worked for GSK, according to revelations in an attachment to a complaint filed by the U.S. government in October 2011 in a Massachusetts federal court. The documents were disclosed in early July after the Justice Department announced a $3 billion criminal and civil settlement with GSK over illegal medication marketing, among other things.

In an email response to an inquiry about the payments by the Journal, Pinsky said: "In the late '90s I was hired to participate in a two-year initiative discussing intimacy and depression which was funded by an educational grant by Glaxo Wellcome," one of the pharmaceutical firms that eventually merged into GlaxoSmithKline.

Pinsky added that the campaign he was involved with "included town hall meetings, writings and multimedia activities in conjunction with [a] patient advocacy group."

"My comments were consistent with my clinical experience," he concluded, according to the paper.

Revelations stem from Big Pharma fraud settlement

According to published reports, GSK pleaded guilty to promoting popular antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin for uses that had not been approved by U.S. drug licensing officials at the Food and Drug Administration.

In its original complaint, the federal government said GSK improperly promoted Paxil as safe for children and adolescents, though the FDA had never given its okay for such patients, and the company's own clinical trials raised red flags over increased suicide risk concerns.

Federal prosecutors alleged that GSK promoted Wellbutrin for improper uses as well, which included treatment of attention deficit disorder, bipolar disorder, obesity, sexual dysfunction and anxiety, though it was never shown to have been safe or effective for such uses, The Associated Press reported.

The government's complaint came on the heels of a nine-year investigation of GSK's marketing practices, which led to the huge settlement.

As the Journal noted, physicians can prescribe medications as they deem appropriate, but it's illegal for companies to promote a drug for any uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration - a practice that's known as "off-label" marketing.

In the case of Dr. Drew and Wellbutrin, the drug's prescribing label says nothing about it being "less inhibiting of sexual libido than other antidepressants," WSJ reported.

In an email to the paper earlier this month, GSK refused to answer questions about the company's financial ties to Pinsky or any other physicians.

Taken out of context?

"The complaint to which you refer concerns events in 1999, 13 years ago. It does not reflect what would be allowed in GSK today," a company spokesperson told the paper.

"The government has made many allegations and legal conclusions concerning Wellbutrin that GSK disputes," the spokesperson continued. "GSK admits; however, that during the period from January 1999 to December 2003, there were some occasions in which certain GSK sales representatives, speakers, and consultants promoted its antidepressant Wellbutrin to physicians for uses which were not FDA-approved in violation of federal law."

Pinsky, the paper said, is only one doctor mentioned in the government's complaint. It also accuses other doctors of taking payments from GSK and improperly endorsing the company's drugs. One doctor received $2 million from GSK between 2001 and 2003.

That physician, James Pradko, "gave hundreds of talks to doctors and Glaxo sales reps about depression and frequently made 'off-label claims' about Wellbutrin's effectiveness against a number of conditions for which it isn't FDA-approved, including weight loss, chronic fatigue syndrome, erectile dysfunction and chemical dependencies," said WSJ.

In an telephone interview with the paper, Pradko said the U.S. government complaint takes the speeches he gave "very much out of context," adding he only ever spoke about treating depression and that his speeches "weren't meant to sell drugs, ever."


Follow real-time breaking news headlines on
Dr. Drew at
Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...


Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.