Call In: Off-Label Drug Use

Thursday, September 03, 2009

The pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, agreed to pay $2.3 billion, the largest criminal fine in history, to settle civil and criminal allegations for illegally marketing drugs for uses that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Bob Garfield, co-host of NPR's On the Media, columnist at Advertising Age, and author of the new book The Chaos Scenario, talks about marketing off-label drug use.

We want to hear from you. Has your doctor prescribed a drug for you off-label? Are you a doctor who has written off-label prescriptions? Have you had success with off-label drug use? Give us a call or comment below!


Bob Garfield

Comments [4]


and of course carboxytherapy and mesotherapy injections.

Sep. 03 2009 11:30 PM

off label usage is considered innovation by entrepreneurs. take botox.

Sep. 03 2009 11:20 PM
Millie Niss from North Tonawanda, NY

I have a rare disease, behcet's disease, for which no drugs are approved because it is virtually impossible to gather enough patients for a clinical trial that would be big enough to get FDA approval. Moreover the drugs for my conditions are extremely expensive -- my main treatment is an infusion that costs $6000 every 8 weeks, a drug approved for rheumatoid arthritis and other common autoimmune diseases but is also used for my rare autoimmune condition. If the government makes it harder for doctors to prescribe off-label, no one with behcet's will get medications of this type because no patients can afford it out of pocket.

Sep. 03 2009 11:57 AM
Henry from Katonah

My aunt, for a few happy years, had a prescription from her doctor for quinine. She used it for leg cramps and she thought it was very effective.
Apparently the FDA said that this use was not approved and the doctor stopped the Rx.
I am not sure what research the FDA relied on but obviously big pharma is not behind quinine.
My aunt has not anything as effective.

Sep. 03 2009 11:56 AM

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