For years I've been suspicious of the motives of television wanna-be celebrity Dr. Drew Pinsky. Dr. Drew is the personality behind such shows as 16 and Pregnant, Teen Moon, Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew and other such shows. I personally find it horrible that Dr. Drew and the producers of 16 and Pregnant profit on exploiting teens in distress. Clearly, 16 and Pregnant producers casts select teens with the most issues and possibly pre-existing psychological issues and them exploit them for fun and profit. Several of the cast members from 16 and Pregnant have gone on to have multiple run ins with the law.
In addition to his work with faux reality television shows, Dr. Drew gets additional minutes to his 15 minutes of fame when a celebrity dies. When Whitney Houston died, Dr. Drew was on television news channels commentating on her death and speculating on the cause and even her life style.
If his involvement and results with 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom, and Celebrity Rehab were not enough, there are now allegations that Dr. Drew accept money totaling $275,000 to promote an antidepressant. Dr. Drew described his work with GlaxoSmithKline, which recently agreed to page $3 billion over health care fraud, as follows…
In the late 90s I was hired to participate in a 2-year initiative discussing intimacy and depression which was funded by an educational grant by Glaxo Wellcome. Services for the non-branded campaign included town hall meetings, writings and multimedia activities in conjunction with the patient advocacy group the National Depresive and Manic Depressive Association (NDMDA). My comments were consistent with my clinical experience.
It has been well described how pharmaceutical companies pay off doctors, educators, faculty, and others in the medical profession by proving grants, paid conferences, and even pre-writing research papers and scientific research results. To learn more on how the pharmaceutical industry operates, take a look at the lecture by David Healy, Professor of Psychiatry at Cardiff University in Wales on the Big Ideas podcast from TVO.