What the public doesn’t see about pharma trying to buy influence

The big European Society of Cardiology world congress will be held in Barcelona next month.

Larry Husten of Cardiobrief.org shared an invitation he received from a PR company, which read, in part:

“…for an internal event organized by Sanofi Regeneron (PCSK9) on August 30 in Barcelona, we are looking for a moderator for the whole day to animate the plenary session of the meeting.
This moderator should be able to speak in front of 250 people, to animate the different roundtables organized during the day between KOL, patients and Sanofi Regeneron teams, and to “interview” the different speakers.

Based on your experience and expertise, we are contacting you to know if you can be interested by this activity and if you have already managed this kind of event in the past?

Please note that a rehearsal is planned in Paris on August 20 (all day) and a rehearsal on site in Barcelona on August 29, and the attendance of the master of ceremony would be needed.”

Hmmm.  A trip to Paris and to Barcelona…..

Husten won’t take them up on the offer.

He’s written about the PCSK9 drugs on his site. It’s a relatively new class of cholesterol-lowering drugs.  The last thing I can see that he wrote about them was,FDA Sprinkles Some Rain On the PCSK9 Inhibitor Parade.”  Excerpt:

Last month Regeneron disclosed that it had been “advised by the FDA that it has become aware of neurocognitive adverse events in the PCSK9 inhibitor class. The FDA requested that Regeneron and its partner, Sanofi, “make an assessment of potential neurocognitive adverse events across the global development program” of their PCSK9 inhibitor, alirocumab.

Husten predicts that “the PR initiative on the PCSK9s is likely to be about as big as it gets these days.”

It’d be a nice coup for a PR company to lure a journalist who covers cardiology news fulltime to be a moderator/MC for a session about its client’s drug.

But Husten, we have a problem, just as you did with that arrangement, and we’re pleased to see you won’t bite.


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