Drug firm snoops on FDA officials

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals logoAmphastar Pharmaceuticals reportedly paid more than $100,000 to a private investigative firm to snoop on FDA officials they suspected of having a too-chummy relationship with a competitor drug maker.  Amphastar insists it did nothing wrong, but Senate Finance Committee investigators are looking into the case.  Law Professor Kevin Outterson, an authority on drug law and marketing, says it’s disturbing.

“I don’t know what is more disturbing: that Amphastar hired the private detectives or that they are unapologetic about it after being caught.”

Contact Kevin Outterson, 617-353-3103, mko@bu.edu

One Comment

Jarvis posted on April 1, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Why on earth should they apologize? They are absolutely correct in their suspicions about what is happening at FDA, and FDA knows it. Before you so smugly condemn, you might want to spend a few minutes reading the much bettee reportage on the issue by Andrew Zajac and Alicia Mundy. Enjoy the circumlocutions by FDA as they lied once, twice, three times about what they actually looked for, what they found and why they never did bother to complete a real investigation. The reality here is that Amphastar achieved sameness several years ago; was on the cusp of approval, and then Momenta and Woodcock began publishing articles, taking trips and doing goodness knows what else together. When Amphastar asked for information, they were given nothing. When they requested Woodcock’s recusal, they were told to go to hell. When they went to the media, FDA accused them of using “tactics.” When they hired a private investigator (in the same fashion someone did in 1989, when they broke open the generic drug scandal), they were accused of “spying.” What the investigators did wasn’t at all different than what investigative reporters do all the time, and not much different than what Intelius and other services offer online. If anyone should be apologizing, it is Max Baucus for his gratuitous insults and FDA for its treatment of the entire generic industry. As for Professor Outterson, I would recommend he do his homework before he mounts his next pulpit.

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