Category: Views on News

Somebody quoted me-wrongly

It is always a mixed blessing when a reporter calls and asks for an interview. It is nice to know someone else thinks enough of you to call and ask you questions, especially about important issues of the day. But, after a while you learn that no matter what you say, it will come out wrong. This happened to me again last week. Some guy from the Boston Globe called me but I couldn’t talk right then. Another guy from that newspaper called me later and it was clear he didn’t know what he was talking about. He did not recognize that the FDA and DEA are separate federal agencies that do very different things. No matter how I explained it to him, he just could not get it. So the story ran the next day and to my surprise, it had nothing to do with the subjects we discussed. It was about a Massachusetts Senator who wrote a letter favoring compounding pharmacies. That’s the state where all the spinal meningitis cases have been traced to a compounding pharmacy that distributed injectable steroids for pain across the country.

Anyway, they wrote “But changing or clarifying DEA enforcement policy is also important to helping the industry avoid a legal gray area that could jeopardize its business, said Jesse C. Vivian, professor of pharmacy practice at Wayne State University in Detroit and the general counsel for the Michigan Pharmacists Association. Vivian and others say enforce­ment is now selective, meaning compounding pharmacies are at risk if DEA agents choose to crack down on them.” Then they wrote, “What they’re really looking for is to legitimize what in fact they’re doing right now,” said Vivian, who is not involved in the industry’s lobbying effort, but believes the DEA is treating the industry unfairly.” 12, 2012)

I didn’t say anything close to any of that. I didn’t say anything about the DEA being fair or not. I was talking about the FDA and its battles with compounding pharmacies.

Of course, this record will never be set straight. One day I might learn to just not talk to reporters. Everything you say can and will be twisted around and make you look foolish.


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