Originally Posted by epluribusnev
I hope that I'm not calling you out here D-Queued, but as I was reading the article it triggered a memory of something that you had posted a couple of years ago on that other (Daily Peloton) forum regarding the off-label marketing and tacit encouragement of the illicit product usage by some of these Big Pharma companies. You had linked a few articles regarding the fines & penalties that some of these companies had agreed to pay, even though the fines paled in comparison to the profits that they were raking in due to the off-label usage. If you still have those links at the ready, I think that they would give some additional insight to the size & scope of this problem. I tried searching the archives over there to locate your post, but I was unsuccessful. You were a rather prolific (ahem) poster there! I hope that this request doesn't contravene any of the accepted forum protocols.
Yes, I am certain that I did comment on it. Actually had an argument with a fellow cyclist on a ride the other day about it. Of course, they also think Lance is being unjustly singled out.
Didn't have to look far, as Wikipedia has a nice page on the problem:
Up to one-fifth of all drugs are prescribed off-label and amongst psychiatric drugs, off-label use rises to 31%
That math is pretty simple.
Q: How do you increase your market? Even more important, how do you increase your profits when your fixed costs are already covered?
A: Find a new market for the current product. Enter off-label usage.
Q: Want to extend the market some more? What else can the product do, and who would you like as a front man?
A: Sports, anti-aging, vanity. Perfect. Bristol Meyers Squibb? Enter Lance Armstrong and the 'Driven by What's Inside' campaign. Any surprise Lance is out there promoting that he wants to be the fittest 40(plus) year old in the world? He knows his customers.
The Psychiatric drug reference on Wikipedia caught my attention given the notable usage of Ritalin in cycling. No less than four cases of Ritalin positives in the 1982 Giro.
But, think about that. Off-label use of psychiatric drugs? One-third of all psychiatric prescriptions - powerful mood and behavioral modifying drugs - are not for the psychiatric ailment that they were developed for?
The links you are referring to did include EPO. The reference in the OP touches on this already.
EPO - is it really just another aspirin?