You would think that, if you were a business, you’d want to ensure your good reputation and the honor of your company (and your brand) that you only do business with other reputable firms, and people of the highest caliber and quality. You would hire the best and brightest. If you found a bad apple in your group (or amongst your consultants), you’d let them go, in the interests of protecting your name from being tarnished by others who are less reputable than yourself.

Well, you’d think.

Apparently, though, some pharmaceutical companies dredge the bottom of the physician barrel to meet their needs, and we find that truly a shame. The New York Times has the story, and Philip over at Furious Seasons has the commentary.

Because out of the thousands of physicians that work in research with pharmaceutical companies, you’d think it wouldn’t be that difficult to find ethical and honorable replacements for folks who can’t keep themselves out of trouble with a state’s medical board. Keep in mind, too, that most physicians never have any kind of problems with their state’s medical boards — only a small minority ever face their board on charges or allegations.

Minnesota is the shining star amongst the states for bringing a level of transparency into this previously dark and secret world. When you start discovering some of the people involved in the process, it’s kind of like knowing how sausage gets made.

Keep in mind, though, too, that probably more than 99% of the people and professionals involved in getting a new drug to market are ethical, hard-working, dedicated individuals who really want to help others through new pharmaceutical innovations. Why a company would keep this other 1% around that tarnishes their company’s name and reputation is beyond me. It does a real disservice to all of these other people’s hard, ethical work.