Saturday, February 2, 2008

Another drug company

Hmm didn't think my blog would morph into a drug company watch list.
Another article in the Star ,about a drug company under investigation for making exaggerated
claims as to the effectiveness of a drug,and once again suppressing negative clinical trials.

I guess they will do like the others, pay the big fine and carry on as usual.

So Montel Wiliams is going off the air. I read that on Brass and Ivory :Carnival of Blogggers, an excellent blog !

I'd like to write Montel a letter . I'd tell him that he is getting too cosy with big Pharma. That his intentions might be good, but you know the old saying. I'd like to ask him if he really thinks it's a good idea having a CEO of a drug PR company involved with an MS fund raiser? The Gala Honoree?. Is gambling, which causes addiction and misery, a good way to raise money for MS research ?

I can't come down on Montel too hard . I know from reading his book " Climbing Higher" that he has been through the mill because of MS. Still I wonder if all the money raised through his MS foundation will go to drug research. There is so much more that MS sufferers need besides drugs. How about some research to improve the quality of life for MS'ers ?

I know many many people will disagree with me when I say that anti depressants either have a limit effect or simply don't work. That doesn't mean I say stop taking them . A person should do what they think is right . You have to learn to live with depression and fight back.
Counseling, behaviour modification , work for me. And I know depression . I tried to commit suicide when I was 15, long before MS came into my life. Many times over the years I've thought of doing it. Not anymore . Now I see depression as a challenge. I have to fight it. Yeah depression sneaks up on me and knocks me down all the time . I keep getting back up .

1 comment:


Hi Carole, I'm glad you visited my blog. Another MSer (newly diagnosed and somewhat still ignorant) wrote about Montel a few weeks ago. I provided the following comment for her:

I almost don’t want to comment on Montel, but do feel a need to address one of your statements.

“He’s raised a lot of money for patients without health care coverage.”

To my understanding this misrepresents activites which Montel is associated. His Foundation does raise money, but for MS Research. His Foundation awards grants to selected institutes involved in ms research. One institute which had previously been the sole beneficiary is Karolinska Institute in Sweden. In 2006, six institutes received awards. My information comes from the 990s on Guidestar (unfortunately, without a Premiere paid membership I have access to only three years of 990s.)

In 2004:
$72,000 - Karolinska Institute, Sweden
$50,000 - National Foundation of Neuroscience
$36,000 - Univ. of Calif. San Francisco
$158,000 - Total

In 2005:
$41,200 - Karolinska Institute, Sweden
$25,000 - Nancy Davis Foundation
$30,000 - Kennedy Kreiger Institute
$30,000 - Yale University
$ 2,000 - Accelerated Cure Project
$128,200 - Total

In 2006:
$39,000 - Karolinska Institute, Sweden
$50,000 - Kennedy Kreiger Institute
$16,000 - Norwestern University
$16,000 - Accelerated Cure Project
$16,500 - Research Center at Stony Brook
$40,000 - Johns Hopkins
$177,500 - Total

Disappointingly, form 990s are not available for examination on Montel’s MS Foundation site. (Often similar organizations do provide access to the IRS filings.) The only guarantee I see as to use of funds is that 100% of “the public’s” funds go to support ms research.

“He’s raised a lot of money for patients without health care coverage.”

You might be confusing Montel’s foundation with his spokesperson (flack) role for the Partnership for Prescription Assistance which is a PR concoction for PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association), one of the most powerful lobby organizations in the country.

Now if Montel is fully aware of the big smoke and mirrors routine of the PPA, then shame on him for allowing PhRMA to use his celebrity and his MS in an attempt to burnish Big Pharma’s reputation.

BTW, my opinions regarding PPA come from direct experience with them and several organizations which ‘administer’ the assistance programs.

Here’s something for you to check out:

Take care, Lisa

Carole, I would be thrilled if you could link to the Billy Tauzin/Montel post on my blog. :)