Friday, August 31, 2012
This new book by Karen Sharp, Blood Medicine: Blowing the Whistle on One of the Deadliest Prescription Drugs Ever tells the story of Mark Duxberry and Dean McClennan, two pharmaceutical reps who became concerned because they felt that their employer, Johnson & Johnson, was asking them to sell doctors a drug intended to improve the lives of patients undergoing chemotherapy and kidney dialysis but instead was apparently shortening their lives. The book is apparently deeply critical of not just the pharmaceutical company but the slowness of regulators to respond to the reports of unexpected deaths.
I haven’t read it yet, but both from my experience at the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office and the research I’ve been doing over the past five years it reflects the sad truth that for all we benefit from the courage of those insiders who bring forward information of public importance, the experience is almost uniformly bad for the whistleblower--even when like here they are ultimately vindicated and in this case even compensated. This is an important story to tell and I will be evaluating it for use in a class on pharmaceutical law I’m developing.