March 27, 2006
One project I've thought about but never quite gotten around to is to test the predictive value of plaintiff attorney advertising for pharmaceutical plaintiffs -- i.e., determining if an increase in ads by attorneys for a particular pharmaceutical product predicts the withdrawal of or other negative action relating to that drug.
Purely out of curiosity, I periodically checked on the numbers of ads for Vioxx attorneys between the initial indication of Cox-2 inhibitor problems and Vioxx's withdrawal, and saw a modest increase in numbers in the weeks prior to the withdrawal, but I wasn't nearly methodical enough to say there was anything significant there. It would be a fun project for an enterprising programmer; shouldn't be too hard to parse the search results pages automatically, track where the links lead, and identify trends.
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