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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 19175

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: news

Asbury K
Former drug rep sues for unlawful discharge
The West Virginia Record 2010 Dec 21

Full text:

A former employee is suing Novo Nordisk Pharmaceutical Industries for wrongly terminating his employment.

Brian Semenie, a pharmaceutical sales representative for Novo, was also named as a defendant in the suit.

David Myers began working for the defendant in January 2006 as a district business manager of pharmaceutical sales, according to a complaint filed Nov. 29 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Myers claims during the course of his employment, Novo launched a Web site that provided physicians access to Novo’s pharmaceutical drug samples via the Internet.

Myers claims he expressed his concern that Novo was illegally distributing pharmaceutical drug samples.

The defendant willfully, maliciously and unlawfully terminated Myers’ employment after he expressed concern, according to the suit.

Myers claims Novo also failed to pay his employment wages within 72 hours.

Semenie falsely reported to Myers’ former clients that he had violated company policy, following his discharge, according to the suit.

Myers is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by Todd Bailess.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Carrie Webster.


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Cases of wilful misrepresentation are a rarity in medical advertising. For every advertisement in which nonexistent doctors are called on to testify or deliberately irrelevant references are bunched up in [fine print], you will find a hundred or more whose greatest offenses are unquestioning enthusiasm and the skill to communicate it.

The best defence the physician can muster against this kind of advertising is a healthy skepticism and a willingness, not always apparent in the past, to do his homework. He must cultivate a flair for spotting the logical loophole, the invalid clinical trial, the unreliable or meaningless testimonial, the unneeded improvement and the unlikely claim. Above all, he must develop greater resistance to the lure of the fashionable and the new.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963