Dr. Drew Exits ‘Loveline’ — Leaves Sex Callers Sad

LOVELINEIt’s the end of an era for talk radio, because Dr. Drew Pinsky officially announced on the Kevin & Bean Show that he will be leaving ‘Loveline‘ after 30 years. Pinsky’s reign as a sex advice aficionado began with KROQ in 1984 during their ‘Ask a Surgeon’ segment, which later became syndicated in 1995 with Adam Carolla as its co-host. The well-known MTV version aired from 1996-2000 and featured celebrity guests who willingly answered very personal questions. Carolla left the show in 2005 amid a contract dispute but Pinksy stayed, and despite some brief bad blood, the besties quickly renewed their bond and now co-host their own podcast together. According to Drew, “The Loveline brand is still strong and perhaps we will bring it back some day. But for now, this version is ending and [he] will be focusing on all of my other projects.”

In truth, ‘Loveline’ never survived Adam Carolla’s exit. The format worked precisely because Carolla’s crass comments and tough love were balanced by Drew’s class and empathy, and without each other, it never gelled. And though I’m a big fan of the duo’s current podcast, I still find myself anxiously waiting for the audience phone-call segment, because that’s their money zone. I hope the two just re-brand their podcast in the Loveline format and take calls the entire show.

Did Dr. Drew Deliver Distortions About Drugs For Dollars?

Written by: Rik Sault, Contributing Writer

Early this month, drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline pled guilty and agreed to pay a record $3 billion settlement for fraudulently promoting unapproved uses of the depression drugs Wellbutrin and Paxil, as well as the diabetes drug Avandia.

One of the claims against Glaxo is that it used a “network of paid experts, speaking to doctors and to the press,” to tout certain uses, or benefits, of the drugs which were never approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

And Dr. Drew (Pinsky) – a board-certified internist who is firmly embedded brand includes best-selling books and three shows — was one of the hired hands peddling an unapproved use for Wellbutrin. Although he was not charged in the Glaxo case, the Justice Department’s complaint alleged that Dr. Drew received $275,000 from the company in 1999 to promote Wellbutrin for its ability to sexually enhance (or “at least not suppress”) the patient.

In the 1990s, Wellbutrin was being shadily promoted as a drug that would not only treat depression but also enhance a patient’s sex life and lead to weight loss; Glaxo’s sales reps occasionally referred to it as the “happy, horny, skinny pill,” according to the Justice Department. As part of his deal with Glaxo (which sells somewhere around $44 billion worth of drugs annually), Drew took time on ‘Loveline’ to explain that he prescribed Wellbutrin to patients suffering from depression because it might “enhance or at least not suppress sexual arousal” like other antidepressants. Dr. Drew then went on a national radio program, ‘David Essel Alive!,’ with a 34-year-old woman who claimed that she had 60 orgasms in a single night. Essel asked Drew, “What type of a medication would increase someone’s orgasmic potential, where they go from three or four to 60?” Dr. Drew’s response: Lots of antidepressants might do the trick, but he advocates Wellbutrin because it “may enhance or at least not suppress sexual arousal” as much as other drugs. A memo from Glaxo’s PR agency indicated that Dr. Drew effectively “communicated key campaign messages” on the Essel show, including that Wellbutrin “is recommended for people experiencing a loss of libido.”

Problem # 1:
In both instances, Dr. Drew endorsed Wellbutrin but failed to disclose that he was paid by the company to do so.

Problem # 2:
The FDA approved Wellbutrin for treating depression, not as a sexual enhancement. In fact, Glaxo never even received FDA approval for advertising Wellbutrin as having fewer sexual side effects than other antidepressants. Therefore, Dr. Drew was at least suggesting, if not squarely promoting, the drug for an unapproved, off-label use. And putting the name Wellbutrin next Ms. 60-in-one-night is a pretty strong endorsement, right?

Dr. Drew told CBS News that everything he said about Wellbutrin back in 1999 was both lawful and accurate based on his medical experience. However, Drew did not reveal whether he has any current financial deals with drug companies or advocacy groups. According to Glaxo and HLN, the channel that airs the “Dr. Drew” program, he recently made a deal to promote Nicorette, which is used by patients trying to quit smoking.
Many health-care reform advocates have long stressed the necessity of disclosure and transparency. The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) includes a provision requiring pharmaceutical companies to disclose their payments to physicians. And the nonprofit organization ProPublica has collected such disclosures from various drug companies; its database reflects more than $760 million in payments for services such as consulting, speaking, and research.

“You deserve to know who [doctors are] working for,” says John Santa, head of the Consumer Reports Health Rating Center. “You think they’re working for you. But they might not tell you all the side effects… [and] [t]hey might not tell you the benefits of other drugs.” Many viewers rely on Dr. Drew as a competent, legitimate medical authority (and Andy Dick goes so far as to use him as a primary care physician). As such, maybe Dr. Drew should let us know about his pharmaceutical endorsement deals at or near the time he is recommending a particular product.

Clip of the Day — Adam Carolla & Dr. Drew Collaborate for Adam’s Audiobook

There are certain people who are better together than they are apart. And that’s definitely the case for Adam Carolla and Dr. Drew. Both have yet to duplicate the success of their Loveline partnership. Though Drew has a television career without Adam, and Adam has a successful podcast without Drew, they can’t survive without each other. Without Adam, Drew seems creepy, and without Drew, Adam seems heartless. Watch a clip of their recent collaboration for Adam’s Audiobook. Here’s hoping they reunite and bring Loveline back to television.



Quote of the Day — Dr. Drew: “The Very Poor & The Very Rich are the Same”

“I spent 25 years working in a psychiatric hospital, and one of the first things I noticed is that the very rich and the very poor have more in common with one another than with the rest of us . . . . So, when we see these off the rail, so to speak, behaviors, it certainly is not limited to impoverished or stressed social strata . . . . Many of us could be capable of some not so good things. Income and privilege or lack, thereof, may not have that much to do with it, at least, certainly at the extremes it sure doesn’t.” Dr. Drew on whether income levels and drug addiction are related.


Dr. Drew Looks for Courtney Stodden’s Breast Implants — GROSS!

Was there a moment when Dr. Drew realized he’d gone to the dark side? Or has he convinced himself he’s still doing important work? And speaking of important work, is there anything more valuable than conducting an on-air ultra-sound to determine if a pedophile’s teenage girlfriend has had breast implants? I suppose there’s a line that everyone crosses when they get a taste of fame, and even real doctors are susceptible to becoming blood-sucking maggots. Shame on you, Dr. Drew. Watch below.

Dr. Drew Interviews Courtney Stodden — Deplorable

Remember when Dr. Drew was a real doctor? Now he’s just one of those television hacks that preys on the downfall of celebrities. And to make matters worse, he has a new, purposeless show that involves interviewing Z-list celebrities. Those “celebrities” include the 51 year old Doug Hutchinson (also known as “pedophile”) and the 17 year old Courtney Stodden (also known as “suffering from Stockholm syndrome”). And forgive me for picking on little children — but what’s wrong with Courtney Stodden’s face?

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Dr. Drew Calls-Out Anna Nicole’s Doctor

Dr. Drew has an insane way of keeping his calm amongst crazies. Perhaps if he could bottle that skill and sell it, I’d be a much healthier person. If it were me sitting across the table from the man that prescribed medication to Anna Nicole Smith, listening to him wax-on about how she wasn’t technically a drug addict, and how he only partied with her once, I might reach across the table and strangle the guy. Not Dr. Drew though. Drew spouted a bunch of medical terminology that put Dr. Sandeep Kapoor in his place. Watch below.



Loveline Will Air on AOL — Not the Same Without Adam Carolla

For years I’ve been wanting to see Loveline on television again. It was one of my favorite shows growing up, and it taught me everything I didn’t want to know about third nipples. I was so obsessed I even caught the evening radio show after watching it on MTV. Since Adam Carolla left the show, it has never been the same. Carolla says he left because he was strangely offered a much lower salary, which led him to think someone wanted to push him out. The disloyal Dr. Drew chose to continue the show without his much-need partner in crime, and Mike Catherwood is his current co-host. If you saw Catherwood on Dancing With the Stars, then I don’t need to explain why Mike Catherwood is not exactly . . . entertaining. So does it really make a difference that AOL will start to air video of Loveline? Bring back Adam Carolla!

Dr. Drew on The Bachelor! — Is He a Celebrity Whore?

I’ve loved Dr. Drew since the days of Loveline on MTV, when he taught me everything I didn’t want to know about random callers with third nipples.  He was the expert doctor who was there to help.  At no point in the show did I believe he was in it for the fame.  I’ve since changed my mind.  I’m fine with him lending his expertise to Celebrity Rehab, but I draw the line at Dancing With the Stars and The Bachelor.  If you are going to whore yourself out for money, at least stick to your field.  Watch his extremely uncomfortable and inappropriate appearance on Dancing With the Stars below, to see what I mean.

Is Oprah The Next Dr. Drew? – Oprah Will Air a Rehab Show

Oprah announced a new rehab show for her OWN network.  The show will follow individuals in rehab that are trying to conquer their eating disorders.  No offense to the Queen, but I cannot think of a show I would like to watch less.  I can barely get through Celebrity Rehab, but I stick around to see Heidi Fleiss’ antics.  Unless Oprah is going to get Heidi Fleiss to fight with Tom Sizemore, this sounds like a bust.