What would you do if you made
hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, and stayed in the best hotels and
ate in the best restaurants around the world . . . wining and dining clients at
posh resort destinations with the full approval of your bosses . . . selling the
products of major pharmaceutical companies?
Well, if you were John Virapen, Ph.D.,
you would write a tell-all book exposing the dirty, dark secrets of Big Pharma.
John spent nearly four decades
plying his trade: helping to gain approval for infamous drugs like Prozac,
sweet-talking doctors and their staff to accept his free samples of the latest
concoction from his company, bribing opinion leaders and regulatory authority
employees, all to get more drugs into the hands of patients, some drugs that
came with deadly side effects.
After the birth of his last child
over 10 years ago, the hackles on the back of his neck were raised when he saw
who Big Pharma was marketing to now: kids. John decided right there and then to
get the message out to as many as possible, to warn them about the pills he had
been pushing, to educate them about the deadly side effects he knew existed,
but that Big Pharma knew how to hide from public view.
Thanks to John we can learn all
their dirty tricks, for never has someone so close to the action and that privy
to the ways of Big Pharma exposed it all in book form.
Find out why John is known as the
“Big Pharma Insider.”
AUDIO INTERVIEW: “Big Pharma”
Insider Talks Side Effects and Death
“I bribed a Swedish professor to enhance the registration of Prozac in
Side Effects: Death is the true story of corruption, bribery and
fraud written by Dr. John Virapen, who has been called the Big Pharma Insider.
During his 35 years in the pharmaceutical industry internationally (most
notably as general manager of Eli Lilly and Company in Sweden), Virapen was
responsible for the marketing of several drugs, all of them with side effects.
Now, Virapen is coming clean and telling all of the little secrets you
were never intended to know!
Pharmaceutical companies want to keep people sick. They want to make
others think that they are sick. And they do this for one reason: money.
Did you know?
- Pharmaceutical companies invest more than €35,000 (over $50,000) per
physician each year to get them to prescribe their products?
- More than 75% of leading scientists in the field of medicine are “paid
for” by the pharmaceutical industry?
- Corruption prevailed in the approval and marketing of drugs in some cases?
- Illnesses are made up by the pharmaceutical industry and specifically
marketed to enhance sales and market shares for the companies in question?
- Pharmaceutical companies increasingly target children?
Softcover, 194 pages
I Was a Global Player
Marketing and Bribery
My Past and the Future of My Son
It’s All Just a Question of Money
The Set-up of this Book
How I Became What I Am
Growing up in British Guyana “Do It or Else …”
Europe, the First Time
First Sales Training
Twist of Fate
Roman Magazine Sales
To the Boundaries of Europe
The Good One-armed Man of Travemünde
Sweden—My New Home
Pop Star Jay Vee
My Start in the Pharmaceutical Industry
Becoming a Pharmaceutical Representative
Sales Quota and Tricks
Show & Tell
On the Road to Success
Bridges to the Physician
Question of Trust
Introduction to a Global Player
Representative Training á la Virapen
Turnover to the Power of Three
Buying Opinion Leaders
Group Photo with the Opinion Makers
Benoxaprofen—The First Blockbuster Starts the Race
Change of Strategy
Chronology of Hushed up Deaths
Vioxx—History Repeating Itself?
Lessons from History
The Eli Lilly Jazz Festival
Virapen’s Excesses? The Cash Flow at Lilly
My Prozac Story
The Serotonin Theory
Fat People are Great
The Approval Procedure
Development of a Drug
Weaknesses in the Approval Procedure
Seeding Trials – Feeding Trials
Approval or Dismissal
In the Car with Sidney Taurel
The Pressure Increases
I Buy a Psychiatrist
What Psychiatrists Think About
Hocus-pocus Science in the Hotel Room
Price Negotiations for Prozac
My Price Sets Standards
Only the Price Counts
What is “Depression”?
Softening Diagnostic Boundaries
Internal Lilly Memo
Failure Doesn’t Count
A Dwindling Number
Only the Strongest Survive the Clinical Trials
From 11,000 to 286
Length of Treatment
Newborn Babies on Withdrawal
Uselessness—Well Known since 1984
A Positive Effect Isn’t Required
Antidepressants Cause Depression
The Big Serotonin Scam
Prozac on Trial
625,000—My Nightmare Number
Prozac in Germany (Fluctin) The Same Pattern as in Sweden?
The German Federal Health Office (BGA) Rejects Fluoxetine
Eli Lilly Involves the German Authorities
Who had dinner with whom?
Kids on Prozac
Relocated to Puerto Rico
Up, up and Away
Promotion to Nowhere
Final Conversation with Sidney Taurel
Virapen vs. Lilly
My Case Pending with the Public Prosecutor in Sweden
Change of Law in Sweden
The Law Is on Their Side
Insulin—The Same Pattern
Black List as Recommendation
Insulin—An Ethical Start
Are Humans the Better Pigs?
Shortage of Drugs
Approval of the New Insulin
Patents Allow For High Prices
No Insulin Pens for Poor Countries
10 Percent for Me
Giving Without Taking
Off-Label Marketing - Growth Hormones
No Sympathy—No Bribery
Growth Hormones and Eternal Youth
Fines in the Millions? Peanuts
Schering, Pfizer, Lilly and Co.
Hyperactivity or Made-up Illnesses
Advertising for an Illness
Reverse Burden of Proof
The Pharmaceutical Industry Defines Social Standards
Pressure from Below
The Way Kids Are
Heinrich Hoffmann’s Prototype Fidgety Philip Little Nick,
Tom, Huck and Consorts
Sales Representatives’ Logic
Happiness in a Pill
Is Prozac’s History Repeating Itself with Strattera?
My Complaint about the ADHD Advertisement
Depression—A National Disease? Kids on the Most-Wanted
From Questionnaire to Social Phobia
Cutting out the Parents
The Hocus-pocus Label
Is Everything OK in Germany?
Death is a Company Secret
$1.2 Billion Hush Money
Disinformation in the Waiting Room
Health System Infected with Corruption
What You Can Do?
Ask Your Physician or Pharmacist
Glossary of the Pharmaceutical World
peculiarity of my story is that the beginning continually changes. This preface
is therefore the preface to the preface, and I fear that with each new edition,
there will always be events, which are so closely related to my past, that they
will have to be mentioned in this book …
the almost ghostly story of my past in the pharmaceutical industry appears to be
writing itself. It is continually confirmed by the present, but it also
repeatedly drags me back to that very playing field, which I thought I had left
for good so long ago. So much for that.
incident: On February 25, 2007, at 1:35 a.m., as the statistics tab in Windows
reveals, I finished the penultimate chapter of my memoirs. With a glass of Cognac
to end the day, for once I finally relax and watched as the computer programs
are leisurely closed, and the humming of the fan and hard drive finally relapse
into silence. With the murmur of silence resounding in my ears, I slip into the
bedroom to my wife and my young son.
the early morning I am pulled out of my deep sleep by a call from Atlanta,
Georgia. Damned time difference! On the other end, it is no less than Andy
Vickery. He is one of the most prominent and successful lawyers in lawsuits
concerning the effects of psychotropic medicines on humans, which we commonly
label with the innocent words “side effects.” In my story, these include suicide,
murder and massacre. Vickery is a clever guy, but even he didn’t think about the
time difference between his office in the United States and my home in southern
Germany. I’ve forgiven him.
Andy Vickery is one of the few lawyers,who has been able to successfully carry
out lawsuits for the aggrieved parties against the unbelievably potent machinery
of Big Pharma. Vickery became aware of me via the internet. I introduced myself
as a former employee of Eli Lilly and Company on YouTube and announced the
publication of this book. Vickery immediately knew who he was watching on
March 10, 2007, I fly to Atlanta. Andy Vickery has invited me to give expert
testimony in court regarding a suicide in the USA. I don’t know the victim
personally, nor do I know the exact circumstances of his death. He is said to
have shot himself. I hear his name, Porter, for the first time. “A strange
witness,” you may be thinking, and you’d be right, but I am more than just a
witness. Vickery has leads about certain information, which seem to be important
for his client, Porter’s widow, but he has no evidence. This is where I come
into play. For Porter had been taking Prozac for no longer than a week and had
been thrown so far off track that the only sensible option, that appeared open
to him, was to shoot himself. Porter had been a successful businessman,who was
not at all at risk of committing suicide,although he had seen his doctor about
personal problems. He had then casually prescribed him Prozac. You know – a
little “mood lifter,” nothing more. Well, after a week Porter’s mood had
been “lifted” to such an extent that he shot himself.
10th is a Saturday. I only have one day to acclimatize. It all begins on March
12. For two whole days, two lawyers from the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly,
my former employer, take on mine. Their objective: to try and discredit me as a
person in order to make my testimony implausible and, at best, to exclude it from
the proceedings. What I know and to which I testify under oath is dynamite. They
are both there to defuse the bomb.
two whole days, they pester me with detailed questions about events which
happened ten and even twenty years ago. Like a bizarre test at school … My
memory doesn’t fail me, but the procedure does demand nerves and concentration.
Over and over, one of them retreats to make a phone call and recall data to try
to corner me. They don’t succeed. No matter how much this sort of questioning
wears you out, if you tell the truth you will prevail. A tissue of lies can be
torn apart. I know my way around my own story. No matter how unsteady the
gangplank is that they are leading me down, I do not fall off. For two whole
days, they duel with me using every trick in the book.
as if in passing, a key question arises but it isn’t a factual one.
are you doing this, Mr. Virapen? Why are you concerning yourself so intensively
with the past? Why can’t you just let it rest?”
but still determined, I fling a photograph onto the table, a snapshot of my
young son. “That’s why, because it’s about the future.”
moment, silence reigns in the objectively cool court room. There is no
whispering. There are no strategic consultations. No paper rustling. The
files remain untouched for a moment.
these past two days, they have chased me through my history like a bull being
chased through the streets of Pamplona. For the whole of the following week, my
mind remains completely empty. They have worn me out—but they haven’t won.
They didn’t find any
contradictions, lies or anything that wasn’t true.They do reserve the right to
obtain an injunction against my testimony being admitted later, but then they
don’t pursue it.
testimony stands. Andy Vickery will use it to support Porter’s widow’s lawsuit
against Eli Lilly. But who knows if it will happen? Often enough, such lawsuits
are stopped during the phase in which it becomes risky for the pharmaceutical
giant, where it would have to reveal its confidential documents, and in which
insiders of such a pharmaceutical giant would have their say. In such a phase,
Goliath’s lawyers would normally try anything to prevent a showdown in court and
would retreat into the semi-darkness of the backrooms of a hotel to settle the
matter out of court. (And sometimes even trials, which they could win, but which
would necessitate laying unpleasant facts on the table, are settled in this
any of the plaintiffs can refuse the sums of money offered to them by the
pharmaceutical giants. The corporation doesn’t have to show weakness and can
maintain its clean image of a pharmaceutical industry, carrying out research in
the name of humanity.
trial cannot bring your husband back, no matter how it ends. At least, take this
check as consolation and who knows, maybe you can start anew one day … Life
will argue like this or in a similar manner. If they succeed, the struggle to
allow my testimony to be used will have been for nothing. The transcript and
the video of my testimony would be closed and sealed. And once again, the public would discover nothing of what really happened, how the mood lifter Prozac
turned a person into a murdering machine.
now, you are holding the information in your hands that was included in the
statement given in Atlanta in March 2007. And much more besides. If my testimony
given under oath should be shelved and the truth about Prozac and Porter should
fall by the wayside – it would be deplorable for this case. My testimony is just
as valid for many other cases. Then, as you may recall, I wasn’t familiar with
this specific case; instead, I was invited to Atlanta as an expert
on psychotropic drugs and bribery. And what I said there is of importance far
beyond Porter’s case. In the case of the homicidal maniac, Cho Seung Hui, at
a university in Virginia, it was revealed that he had been in psychiatric care –
and I can imagine what that could mean. In this case too, it is being speculated
whether psychotropic drugs turned a person into a murdering machine. To put an
end to the speculation, facts should be laid on the table and with them, the
truth, instead of out of court agreements and temporary injunctions.
flight to Atlanta and other current cases certainly show how important my story
Virapen, May 2007
John Virapen has worked over 35 years in the pharmaceutical industry. In Sweden he was general manager of Eli Lilly & Company and was involved in the market launch of several drugs, also such with massive side effects.
Born in British Guyana, Dr. John Virapen went from being a door-to-door conman to a pop star, to a pharmaceutical representative to executive director of one of the largest drug companies in the world. He admits to participating in bribery, false information and deception to help launch and market some of the most popularly prescribed (and most dangerous) drugs. In an effort to exorcise his demons and expose the tactics and dangers of the pharmaceutical industry, he wrote Side Effects: Death and Medicine Cult.
Listen to my true story . . .
* Pharmaceutical companies want to keep people sick.
* They want to make them think that they are sick.
* They increasingly target our children and they are killing them!
* And they do this for one reason: Money!
Why do I know this? I was a culprit myself.
During my 35 years in the pharmaceutical industry internationally, most notably as general manager of Eli Lilly and Company in Sweden, I was responsible for the market of several drugs, all of them with side effects.
My book Side Effects: Death is the true story of corruption, bribery and fraud.
My goal is to contribute more transparency and more regulation of the criminal atrocities performed by Big Pharma!
I cannot do this alone. You can help by joining the cause.
* Read my book and recommend it to others
* Help spread the word on Facebook and Twitter