Monthly Archives: April 2011

by Kirsten R Bellur

It is almost four years ago that, after many failed attempts, I was finally accurately diagnosed with Pemphigus. In the face of that solemn pronouncement, I was told there was good news: it was only Foliaceous, a more benign form, that was easily treatable with Prednisone. And under that treatment it would most likely go away. But this sanguine vision and mitigating explanation of the seriousness of the illness did not obviate the fact that I was unable to regain the integrity of my skin.

By Rebecca Berman, Janet Segall and Jean-Claude Bystryn, M.D. from The National Pemphigus Foundation and The Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY. February 17, 1999

As many of you know, we recently conducted a survey of persons with pemphigus to find out 1) which treatments were most commonly used, 2) which appeared to be the most effective, and 3) which were most often associated with side effects. The survey was conducted by means of a questionnaire enclosed in the Fall 1998 issue of the National Pemphigus Foundation newsletter, the Quarterly. The questionnaire was also sent to all individuals who responded to a notice on the NPF website.A total of 110 responses were received. This number is impressive, taking into account the rarity of pemphigus. We thank all participants for their collaboration.

Following up Merck’s doctor-payment disclosures, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline posted their numbers. And perhaps befitting to the world’s largest drugmaker, Pfizer spent the most: $177 million was doled out to doctors in support for clinical trials and speaking fees. GSK’s payments were slightly less than half that, at a total of $85 million for trials and speaking.

For Pfizer, the lion’s share went to research; $108 million of its total spending supported clinical trials and related work. A chunk of the rest went to doctors for speaking on behalf of the company. Some 4,600 physicians collected a total of $34.4 million, or $7,400 on average. Then there was $18 million in free meals, $8.9 million in advisory fees (paid to 1,400 doctors), $5.8 million for travel, and $1.7 million for education.

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