Dr. Drew Accused Of Pocketing $275,000 To Talk Up Antidepressant Drug: [ send to a friend ]
Dr. Drew is facing allegations that he accepted $275,000 to talk up antidepressant drug Wellbutrin SR on 'Loveline'.
The revelations emerged as a result of the government's case against drug company GlaxoSmithKline, which will plead guilty to misdemeanor criminal charges and pay $3 billion for promoting the drugs for unapproved uses.
The company also will plead guilty to failing to report safety problems with diabetes drug Avandia to the government for seven years after it was found to sharply increase the risks of heart attacks and congestive heart failure.
Pinsky reportedly accepted the payment in 1999 for raving about the virtues of the antidepressant "in settings where it did not appear that he was speaking for GSK," according to the Justice Department.
He also claimed Wellbutrin SR had the ability to "increase libido" in depressed patients -- when the company didn't have FDA approval to make the claim.
But the now 'Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew' host claims that the payment from the drug manufacturer was actually an "educational grant."
"In the late 90s I was hired to participate in a 2-year initiative discussing intimacy and depression which was funded by an educational grant by Glaxo Wellcome," he says in a statement.
"Services for the non branded campaign included town hall meetings, writings and multi media activities in conjunction with the patient advocacy group the National Depresive and Manic Depressive Association. My comments were consistent with my clinical experience."
The Justice Department took steps to make this the largest drug company settlement in US history because it says GSK encouraged doctors and health-experts to prescribe the drug for everything from weight loss, ADHD and drug addiction rewarding them with Hawaiian vacations, high-priced tickets to concerts and millions of dollars for "speaking tours."