STAT has retracted the article “How pharma sales reps help me be a more up-to-date doctor,” by Dr. Robert Yapundich. It did not meet our standards.
As a matter of policy, we ask all our contributors to disclose payments from industry and other possible conflicts of interest. In this case, the author disclosed no conflicts other than his affiliation with an organization that supports expanding manufacturers’ ability to discuss off-label uses of drugs. In response to reader questions, we contacted Yapundich and he told us he had received more than $300,000 in recent years from pharmaceutical companies, including one he mentioned in the article. He also acknowledged that his organization was funded in part by pharmaceutical companies. We disclosed that information at the bottom of the article on Tuesday.
We also asked Yapundich to address reader questions about the veracity of the central anecdote in the piece. He said the anecdote was accurate as written.
But Yapundich later told HealthNewsReview that the anecdote was not, in fact, accurate. After that interview was posted Thursday afternoon, we contacted Yapundich again and he conceded to STAT that the anecdote was inaccurate.
We then retracted the article.
STAT takes these matters seriously and values the trust of our readers. We regret the lapses.