Stephanie Saul Sucks Up to Apotex

  • by: |
  • 08/16/2006

On the heels of an article in which she ridiculed Bristol Myers Squibb for being out negotiated by Apotex, the generic drug firm which is producing a copycat of the BMS blood thinner Plavix and a previous article about drug reps in which she failed to disclose one her main sources was also promoting a movie and book about her life as a drug rep, Stephanie Saul has hit a “gag me with a spoon” low with this weeks article lionizing the chairman of Apotex, Bernard Sherman. I will spare you all the details but give you all the delicious irony…

“….The opening chapters of a draft autobiography sit amid the hundreds of pill bottles and mound of legal documents in Bernard C. Shermanâs office. It will be the story of a brainy kid born in Toronto who becomes Canadaâs richest generic drug mogul.

Though a work in progress, it has the makings of a page turner. One chapter will recount how an employee from a brand-name drug company offered to sell him secret files. Another, he says, will describe how Mr. Sherman caught a rival stealing the recipe for a blockbuster generic developed by his company, Apotex.

But what promises to be the bookâs most riveting chapter is still unfolding. It is the part where Mr. Sherman seemingly outsmarts two big drug companies, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis, to market the first generic form of the big-selling drug Plavix five years before its patent expires. And it could conceivably end with someone in jail….”

In jail? Gee, the last time anyone was tossed in the slammer in the pharmaceutical world, I think it was in 1989 after generic drug company employees were caught bribing FDA inspectors. Does Stephanie have any basis for asserting that anyone involve could be sent to prison? Any indictments? Convictions? Guilty pleas?

And as for illegality, it was Sherman (as Saul grudgingly notes) who was linked to a company that forked overr 500K for selling drugs illegally from overseas via the mail. A man ahead of his time. What a visionary. He tells our truthseeking reporting that he just gave the firm the drugs and didn’t know where they were headed.. Really.

Anyways, we also find out in this hardhitting piece that Mr. Sherman is Canadaâs “richest men with a net worth that magazines estimate at nearly $4 billion. He and his wife, Honey, give millions to charity each year. ” Somehow Stephanie has never mentioned (she had two chances) to note that BMS gives away hundreds of millions each year.

What does Mr. Sherman do for his dough? He launches lawsuits, Lots of them, in an effort to trip up a drug company on the soundness of a patent. He spends hundreds of millions a year in legal fees to make his money. A company like BMS has been pumping Plavix profits into new drugs for cancer, schizophrenia, arthritis, etc (I know, I know, spending money on marketing medicines too, G-d forbid)

All of which has nothing to do with why Apotex and BMS were dealing. Apotex launched a lawsuit to terminate the patent life of Plavix earlier than 2011. It was trying to negotiate money to cover the fines it would have to pay if the court ruled their lawsuit as without merit. And then at the same time he was writing Congress criticizing the sort of deals he was engaging in and explaining why — though his deal with BMS seemed like more the same, it really wasn’t. Stephanie takes this letter as proof that he was dealing in good faith. Or she puts it:

“The letter â addressed to Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, and the Democrats Charles E. Schumer of New York and Herbert H. Kohl of Wisconsin â accurately predicted that the refusal would come within weeks.”

Bernard Sherman, a prophet in our time. And in Stephane Saul he has found his acolyte and Boswell.


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

Blog Roll

Alliance for Patient Access Alternative Health Practice
Better Health
Biotech Blog
CA Medicine man
Cafe Pharma
Campaign for Modern Medicines
Carlat Psychiatry Blog
Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry: A Closer Look
Conservative's Forum
Club For Growth
Diabetes Mine
Disruptive Women
Doctors For Patient Care
Dr. Gov
Drug Channels
DTC Perspectives
Envisioning 2.0
FDA Law Blog
Fierce Pharma
Fresh Air Fund
Furious Seasons
Gel Health News
Hands Off My Health
Health Business Blog
Health Care BS
Health Care for All
Healthy Skepticism
Hooked: Ethics, Medicine, and Pharma
Hugh Hewitt
In the Pipeline
In Vivo
Internet Drug News
Jaz'd Healthcare
Jaz'd Pharmaceutical Industry
Jim Edwards' NRx
Kaus Files
Laffer Health Care Report
Little Green Footballs
Med Buzz
Media Research Center
More than Medicine
National Review
Neuroethics & Law
Nurses For Reform
Nurses For Reform Blog
Opinion Journal
Orange Book
Peter Rost
Pharm Aid
Pharma Blog Review
Pharma Blogsphere
Pharma Marketing Blog
Pharmacology Corner
Pharmaceutical Business Review
Piper Report
Prescription for a Cure
Public Plan Facts
Real Clear Politics
Shark Report
Shearlings Got Plowed
Taking Back America
Terra Sigillata
The Cycle
The Catalyst
The Lonely Conservative
Town Hall
Washington Monthly
World of DTC Marketing
WSJ Health Blog