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Pfizer sales rep: "PFE tried to find 'naïve doctors' for illegal premarketing of maraviroc!"

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A Pfizer whistleblower a few weeks ago alleged that Pfizer used the HIV sales force to illegally market maraviroc to doctors before FDA approval.

The illegal conduct allegedly started already in November 2006, when Pfizer was trying to set up “expanded access sites” throughout the country for a maraviroc experience trial.

The whistleblower claimed the sales reps were used as liaisons to help medical affairs enroll new research sites and the sales reps were allegedly asked to promote the “trial,” in which doctors were paid $1200 per patient for one year, along with free drug.

For prior articles click
here.

Yesterday, a Pfizer HIV sales rep contacted me with dozens of internal Pfizer e-mails that support the earlier allegations.

The Pfizer sales rep told me, "We were asked to solicit sites for Phase III trials prior to approval specifically for maraviroc. We were asked to solicit small community health centers because they had a lower threshold for following certain protocols that may be inside the larger academic centers . . . meaning Pfizer would be able to control the process and use reps as go betweens."


So in essence when this sales rep claims Pfizer was looking for doctors that "had a lower threshold for following certain protocols" he means Pfizer was looking for "stupid doctors" with little research experience.

Let's see if the documents he provided prove him right, but first some background on how this trial started:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Rodriguez, Arthur (Agouron)
Sent: Friday, October 27, 2006 3:05 PM
To: Adcock, Bryan; Bestler, Michael; Cragar, John B; DeRamus, Lisa A; Evans, Jay; Fazzina, Douglas; Frank, Denise; Glazer, Bruce J; Grice, Karen; Jackson, Kyle A; Larralde, Mark; Lovelady, Johnny F; McCarty, Gene; McCauley, Nancy; Pieper, Shasta; Raymond, James; Root, Tamara; Shimp, Christine Lynn; Snody, Bonnie J; Snyder, Elizabeth L; Soler, Jennifer D; Staver, Kent; Stephenson, Kimberly T; Stinson, Kelly N; Tabraue, Alex; Taylor, Joan; Turner, Edward; Vollmers, Thomas L; Weiss, Lawrence; Williams, Brennetta C; Woll, Joyce M; Yost, John (La Jolla); Zaleski, Carolyn; Brake, Jeffrey; Ceperley, Mark A; Ebenroth, Joseph ; Ferguson, BJ; Hopkins, Melanie E; Jaconetta, James; Miller, Adam M; Rossbach, Mareen; Seaver, Scott
Cc: Brown, Mark (Sales); Meador, Tom; Lamoreaux, Kirk W.; Hornilla III, Lamberto Z; Lumpuy, Marcus; brenda.gleason@m2hcc.com
Subject: Immediate Action Required: siteFOCUS program
Importance: High

HIV Team,

The HIV Field Force has been selected by the NYO to participate in an innovative program called siteFOCUS. This program assists and trains research-naive, community-based physicians to conduct clinical research as part of a Phase III or Phase IV trail. Headquarters has identified a list of potential investigators and would now like to collect some additional information to determine which physicians may be appropriate targets. A Breeze presentation has been prepared to offer you an overview of this unique program and to also outline in more detail the role you will play. As you can imagine, there are some important legal and regulatory issues that you must be aware of before proceeding. Please pay special attention to these instructions.

/snip/

Kind regards,
Art Rodriguez

Art Rodriguez
National Director
Pfizer HIV/AIDS Division
National Sales Office
18500 Von Karman, Suite 600
Irvine, CA 92612
Office: (949) 794-1505
FAX: (949) 794-1509
Voice mail: 81945
Cell: (760) 473-1807

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Peter Rost M.D. Peter Rost, M.D., is a former Vice President of Pfizer. He is the author of "The Whistleblower, Confessions of a Healthcare Hitman" and "Killer Drug." He also writes the daily Pharma Law Blog and the Pharma Expert Witness (more...)
 

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