Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Eli Lilly and the Surviving Sepsis Guidelines

Recent blistering attacks on the Surviving Sepsis Guidelines have made a large appeal to public distrust of the pharmaceutical industry (specifically Eli Lilly) with little regard for the actual evidence. I originally made that point here and here. Critics implied that the guidelines were little more than marketing for Lilly’s activated protein C (Xigris). They were proven wrong when the guideline authors remained true to the evidence by downgrading their recommendation for Xigris in the 2008 update.

A commentary just out in the journal Critical Care made those same points:

Some have argued that the campaign is simply advanced marketing for activated protein C. That Eli Lilly are interested in promoting education in the field of sepsis because they have a product to treat sepsis is unquestionably true. But the multiple checks and balances outlined above prevent any direct influence in the guidelines content. While the consensus process included a number of proponents of activated protein C, it also included some of activated protein C's more vocal critics. If Eli Lilly's primary objective is to cast their drug in a favourable commercial light, they have shown questionable judgment in supporting the SSC, as the current recommendation for activated protein C use in sepsis is a weak one.

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