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Dr David Tuller: My Letter to One of Mahana’s Gastroenterology Advisors


Senior Member

Trial By Error: My Letter to One of Mahana’s Gastroenterology Advisors

By David Tuller, DrPH
On its website, Mahana Therapeutics has listed sixteen gastroenterology and psychology advisors from prominent academic and medical institutions. Companies often add such names to their rosters as a way of signaling their significance and their access to great minds. Sometimes these people are compensated; sometimes not. In many instances, these advisors play little role in day-to-day company activities.

In the case of Mahana, that means those advisors not directly involved in the development of the web-based cognitive behavior therapy program for treating irritable bowel syndrome might have little knowledge or awareness of the details of the matter. However, that doesn’t mean they have no responsibility to express their thoughts on the company’s promotional strategy–especially because Mahana itself has so far failed to respond to my questions.

One of the advisors is Dr Mel Heyman, a prominent specialist in pediatric gastroenterology at the University of California, San Francisco. This morning I sent him the following e-mail. After I sent it, I received an automatic notice that Dr Heyman would be out of the office until later this month, with minimal e-mail access.
Dear Dr Heyman–....................................................
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