Dr. Drew Pinsky cashed in on drug company money: Is your doctor on the take?By Charles Seife
Jul. 11, 2012
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If you've ever seen Dr. Drew Pinsky on TV, you've seen the look: lips pursed, eyes narrowed, head slightly tilted to stage right. It's an expression that seems practiced in front of a mirror, designed to dispense to his troubled patients precisely the right dosage of compassion tinged with disapproval—but, instead, it makes him look like his mind is somewhere else, off golfing or figuring out where his next paycheck is going to come from.
Thanks to the Justice Department, we now know of a Dr. Drew payday large enough to trigger a reverie or two. As part of its monstrous $3 billion settlement with the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the DOJ unsealed documents showing that the dear doctor had taken in at least $275,000 for "services for Wellbutrin."
Precisely how can one service an antidepressant like Wellbutrin? According to the government's complaint, Dr. Drew was hired to "deliver messages about [Wellbutrin SR] in settings where it did not appear that Dr. Pinsky was speaking for GSK." After Pinsky suggested that Wellbutrin might be responsible for increasing a woman's orgasm rate—to as many as 60 orgasms in a good night—an internal GSK memo noted approvingly that Dr. Drew had "communicated key campaign messages" about Wellbutrin to the public.