Blood pressure boiler: Bribes to prescribe

A drug company exec urges sales reps to get busy because he fears for his "net worth"

Published September 21, 2009 2:28PM (EDT)

Reason No. 992 why the profit incentive is not necessarily good for human health. Biovail, a New Jersey pharmaceutical company, must pay $25 million in fines after pleading guilty to bribing doctors to prescribe Cardizem, a blood pressure drug.

At the BNET Pharma Blog Jim Edwards looks at a DOJ press release and finds the following nugget in an e-mail from a Biovail exec urging sales reps to do whatever was necessary to boost sales:

We have to deliver growth to Wall Street and everyone knows exactly what is expected from us. If we ever don't deliver, my net worth will shrink dramatically. I will suffer tremendously if this were to happen... We have made a huge upfront commitment and now we expect you (the reps) to make a commitment in return.

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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