Thomas Tossall, a Professor of Medicine at Dry Prong, Louisiana, Medical School, is spearheading a new secret worldwide professional organization. According to Tossall’s preliminary description, it is “to be a forum for senior university staff engaged in surreptitiously taking large amounts of pharmaceutical company money in exchange for puffing pharma products, and who are ready to oppose the small but well organized and well-informed coterie responsible for blowing the whistle on us.”
The Forum for University Corporate Kickbacks in Education as Determined by University Professors (FUCKEDUP), slated to hold its charter conference this month, will be led by a steering committee consisting of physicians from Dry Prong Medical School, the State University of Louisiana and the Catsup Clinic. It will be logistically managed by Crookpointe, a science-based medical communications company that produces “continuing medical educational programs” for doctors to encourage off-label marketing of drugs, and as such is completely sponsored by pharmaceutical companies.
So far, funding for FUCKEDUP has been covered completely out of pocket, though Tossall said he fully anticipates extensive industry participation and funding. The tentative schedule for July’s meeting includes more than two dozen speakers – doctors, industry representatives, health and patient association officials -- and topics range from policy corruption to the establishing the value of collaboration between medicine and industry (for which, of course, Tossall hopes to push as high as he can).
According to Tossall, the perceived risks of physician-industry relationships are too often demonized instead of assessed for value. “The damages are imaginary or speculative,” he claims, dismissing public disquiet at pharmaceutical company payments to supposedly independent scientists as being due to a “crescendo” of anti-business sentiment in science and medicine. “Now that guys like Nemeroff and Biederman have been outed, no one else wants to get caught with their fingers in the till by The New York Times or Senator Grassley”, he says.
For Tossall, the more minor bribes for doctors’ acceptance, for example, of pens and meals -- the “low-hanging fruit” -- is where the corruption trend started, but has grown egregiously in a way that is “highly profitable” to physicians and industry alike.“The pens, the meals, who’s going to fall on their sword for that?” he said. “What we want is large amounts of cash in plain brown envelopes, and now.”
“Rest assured, we at FUCKEDUP will be doing our utmost to discredit and smear our critics whilst ensuring that the backhanders still continue to roll in for us,” Tossall states, “just like every other pharmaceutical industry funded forum…”
Pharmagossip has a completely unrelated tale from the real world…