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Novartis, physicians foster ethical relationship

Boston Globe, January 5, 2011
When drug maker Novartis AG tapped a Massachusetts General Hospital cardiologist to run its global research operations in 2002, some company insiders chafed at his ambition to reinvent drug discovery here on the banks of the Charles River, nearly 4,000 miles from Novartis headquarters in Basel, Switzerland. Most big drug companies have been tightly integrating their research and marketing efforts, targeting drugs that might yield the largest sales pop. But Mark C. Fishman, the Novartis research chief, took a different tack. He got doctors involved in early-stage research, kept marketers at bay, and focused on medicines that might treat smaller numbers of patients but also yield insight into ways to fight other diseases.