Archive for May, 2011

Carl Elliott in Columbia for the SC Book Festival

May 13th, 2011

Carl Elliott is heading to the South Carolina Book Festival tomorrow, torch in hand, to cut a path of destruction through our medical industry and our way of life.

He’s on tomorrow (Saturday) at 4:10pm.  Go if you have to, but the Food, Farming and Wine session, held during the same time slot, looks a lot more interesting.

Fun Fact:  Carl’s birth certificate actually says North Carolina.


Happy Belated Mother’s Day!

May 9th, 2011


Courtesy of the Bonkers Institute - Click to enlarge

. . . One day late, when flowers are cheaper, anyway.

From a 1967 issue of JAMA, another example of our pharma heroes doing their part to advance women’s rights.  “Some say it’s unrealistic to educate a woman and then expect her to be content with the Cub Scouts as an intellectual outlet.” That’s why you need Miltown!

Corporate Outreach

The “Erikson Prize”, or whatever it’s called

May 8th, 2011
I'm special!There’s nothing quite so awkward and painful as watching a sibling rivalry unfold in public.  It’s one of those sad aspects of gaining fame and becoming an internationally recognized thought leader:  Eventually, less successful members of your family tend to get jealous and start trying to bring you down, or one-up your accomplishments.

Which is why I must apologize to you, my readers, for your having to witness the sad spectacle of my brother Carl wangling some sort of journalism award out of a place I’ve never heard of,  only 1 week after my entry into competition for the PharmaVoice 100.   It`s an obvious ploy for attention, and I`m sorry you you had to see it.

The award is called the Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media, and it`s given by some place called the Austen Riggs Center.  Rumor has it he`s hounded them night and day for this, so I guess all that hard work paid off.  Now they’ve finally relented, let’s hope he leaves them (and us) alone.

Self-promotion, Siblings

The Ethicator: Did I vote for the right person?

May 4th, 2011

Purple finger

Dear Ethicator,

I recently encountered a problem with coercion.

Someone I know of from the ethics world tried to manipulate people into nominating him for an honor. It seems that this person is trying to make his mark in the ethics world and does blatant self-promotion, sometimes at the expense of others. He decided that he should be nominated for an award given by a prestigious group from Big Pharma. He embarked on a campaign of wheedling, flattery and pleading to try to manipulate his readers into nominating him for this award. I and others were besieged by e-mails. All the same, begging to be nominated. Some of the e-mails were sent in the early hours of the morning. Not only was he obsessed with this idea, he was trying to drive us crazy, apparently hoping that his barrage tactics would force up to nominate him.

I was torn. This ethics geek seems to be dedicated, though sometimes his opinions are skewed. I really wanted to nominate someone who would merit the honor, like the world famous Carl Elliott. Or even the unemployed Randy Cohen. But, in the end, I caved in and nominated the dweeb. I was just too worn out by the endless e-mails.

Did I do the right thing?



Dear MT,

I can see why you were torn.  A bold, fresh face bursts onto the ethics scene, skyrockets to fame, and forces you to confront your conscience. You think to yourself:  Shouldn’t such courage and grace be rewarded in some way?  Who else is more deserving? And seriously, isn’t filling out that little nomination form the least you can do?

Still, you realize your move will be controversial. There are so many safer nominees out there: People who have been flaunting themselves in the media for years, people who would no doubt want to bully you into nominating them instead.  In fact, who knows what the consequences will be for you, once this self-promoting narcissist learns you’ve passed him over for a more deserving candidate?  You face all these questions and still, you vote your conscience.  Good for you.

You did the right thing.  Sleep well.

The Ethicator

Got a moral question you just can’t solve?  Send it to the Ethicator:

Advice Column, Ethicator