Update: Seroquel, Sex, Conflict of Interest

We blogged last month about Seroquel, Sex, and Conflict of Interest, which involved the AstraZeneca exec who oversaw research on the antipsychotic drug trading, well, sexual favours for favourable treatment of the drug by a researcher and a study writer. We pointed out that it was an interesting case (all titillation aside) because it was a conflict-of-interest story that didn’t involve money.

Here’s the latest, from Bnet: AstraZeneca’s Seroquel Research Director Confessed to Sex-for-Studies Affairs

Former AstraZeneca U.S. medical director for Seroquel Wayne MacFadden confessed his multiple sexual affairs, and his offer of drugs to one of the women he was sleeping with, to lawyers in December 2007.

The confessions include descriptions of sex in hotel rooms paid for by AZ, illicit distribution of Vicodin, and a kinky relationship in which one of his colleagues asked to be “punished” for looking at a study that had negative results for Seroquel.
He made the confession to the lawyers — who are suing AstraZeneca for allegedly failing to warn patients that side effects of the drug include significant weight gain and diabetes — as part of a deposition prior to the current litigation going on in Florida.

The Bnet article also includes snippets from various depositions, including juicy/sordid bits like this exchange between MacFadden and a lawyer:

Q: Sir, you’re using sex to try to get trade secrets out of Bristol-Myers Squibb to benefit AstraZeneca. That’s not only unethical, that’s illegal, isn’t it?
A: I don’t know that.
Q: You were pumping her for information, correct? I withdraw that question. You were trying to get information out of her?
A: It appears that I asked her for information.

That’s not how research is supposed to be done. That’s not how innovation is supposed to go. Then again, it’s a system full of humans. That’s not a justification. Just an observation.

~ by Nancy Walton on March 13, 2009.

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