Dr. Baselga and a serious lack of judgement

  • One of the world’s top breast cancer doctors failed to disclose millions of dollars in payments from drug and health care companies in recent years, omitting his financial ties from dozens of research articles in prestigious publications like The New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet.
  •  Did not follow financial disclosure rules set by the American Association for Cancer Research when he was president of the group.
  • The feedback from within the medical community has been sharp “Dr. José Baselga’s demonstrated lack of ethics by not disclosing his ties to big pharma is a cancerous lesion on the entire medical research community. SHAME, SHAME, Dr. Baselga”.

“Ultimately, profits before people breeds an unethical disgrace like Dr. Baselga and many other doctors like him” was one of the quotes from readers of the Times article.  Other comments from HCP’s include:

“As a primary care physician, my view is quite straight forward. The man should be barred from every well regarded publication, should be removed from his position of authority at any hospital, publication or other health related field”.

 

“I run clinical trials for a living. There is no way an advisor would inadvertently omit disclosure of these conflicts because every single person who is a pharma consultant or a study author must disclose all their financial stakes in the industry. He should have disclosed his position with Roche when putting a positive spin on negative data. And, frankly, he should not have been presenting those data.”

 

“If Memorial Sloan Kettering has one iota of integrity, he should be summarily dismissed”

Dr. Baselga, at a conference this year and before analysts in 2017, put a positive spin on the results of two Roche-sponsored clinical trials that many others considered disappointments, without disclosing his relationship to the company. Since 2014, he has received more than $3 million from Roche in consulting fees and for his stake in a company it acquired.

Ouch

Make no mistake, this is a serious black eye for the industry.  The draw of potential big money from pharma is too enticing for many and may have lead to this huge lack of judgement.

Any company or institution associated with Dr. Baselga should immediately sever ties with him.  Memorial Sloan Kettering needs to show him the door as well.  Once this is done, we need to install controls to ensure this never happens again.

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