Monday, October 16, 2006

Website Debut: Doctors Post Opinions of Pharma Drugs

Sermo Inc. runs It's a password-protected private forum where supposedly candid comments made by doctors may be posted then seen (for a fee) by Wall Street investment firms.

The site will also be a forum for doctors to share information about so-called off-label uses of drugs, for conditions other than those approved by the Food and Drug Administration. reports that Sermo generated publicity early. A doctor reportedly commented that Pfizer's Lipitor has been anecdotally reported as causing nightmares in some patients.

In another comment one doctor allegedly said the diabetes drug Byetta was associated with ``sudden death" in 50 patients.

The site has come under criticism from Public Citizen , a Washington nonprofit consumer advocacy group that frequently petitions the FDA to have dangerous drugs removed from the market. Public Citizen said companies should not attempt to supplant the FDA's watchdog role