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Bruce Boise worked for nearly 24 years in the pharmaceutical industry, first as a hospital representative, and then as a sales manager in the Great Lakes region. After losing his job as a whistleblower, he spent portions of the next 17 years working with the United States Justice Department on two separate False Claims Act cases against his former employer, Cephalon/Teva, a neuro biotech company.
His story is told in a new book, Cold Comfort: One Man’s Struggle to Stop the Illegal Marketing of Powerful Opioid Drugs and Save Lives. He was featured on CBS-TV’s Whistleblower.
Boise, after exposing how Cephalon was illegally marketing off-label prescription drug usage, waited many years to see justice after wearing a wire, losing his job, becoming homeless, and black-balled by the pharmaceutical industry. At one point, he was flipping burgers for ten bucks an hour just to get by. Cephalon settled the case many years later with the United States for $425 million in fines and damages.
Today he advocates on behalf of whistleblowers and helps educate the public on the importance of supporting all whistleblowers.
https://amzn.to/39qbiZD (Aff Link — Book)
SUCCESS STORY PODCAST
Stories worth telling.
On the Success Story podcast, Scott has candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas and insights.
He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their story to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.
Machine Generated Transcript
whistleblower, people, occurred, drug, false claims act, company, book, doctors, wind, patients, label, case, job, thought, career, interview, happened, turned, lose, life
Bruce Boise, Scott D Clary
Scott D Clary 00:06
Welcome to the success story podcast. I’m your host, Scott Clary. On this podcast I have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, politicians and other notable figures, all who have achieved success through both wins and losses. To learn more about their life, their ideas and their insights, I sit down with leaders and mentors and unpack their story to help pass those lessons on to others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between. Without further ado, another episode of the success story podcast. Alright, thanks again for joining me today I am sitting down with Bruce Boice who worked for nearly 24 years in the pharmaceutical industry first as a hospital representative then as a sales manager in the Great Lakes region after losing his job after losing his job because he was a whistleblower for a very large false claims issue where stefflon is illegal marketing off label prescription drug usage. He spent the next 17 years working with the United States Justice Department on two separate False Claims Act cases against his former employer, death lawn and Teva. He is the author of a new book called comfort one man’s struggle to stop illegal marketing and powerful opioid drugs and to save lives. He was featured on CBS, TV’s a whistleblower. He is an advocate for patients, he’s worked with a lot of professionals in the field. He works with the public and with doctors to support whistleblowers, to make sure that drugs are used for the proper use to educate patients on the right. And an all around just an interesting career turn for somebody who works so long as a representative of the pharmaceutical industry. So Bruce, I really appreciate you sitting down. I would love to, I would love to unwrap the entire story. Start with your career, but also the entire story that led to where we are today, because there was a huge, huge lawsuit, tons of fines and damages. But how did that actually occur? What was the story that led up to that?
Bruce Boise 02:20
Well, first of all, Scott, thanks for having me on. And telling my story. The first part of this started when I was an area manager with company around the year 2000. And what occurred was that I noticed that some of my reps were upset that their bonuses weren’t higher than they thought they should be. And what I noticed was that there was there was a group another area, we were in a national meeting. And we were promoting GABA trill at the time, which is an anticonvulsant drug. And they were and the group was promoting the drug for anxiety in psychiatry, which is an off in it, which is an illegal off label promotion. And I was really upset with it and decided if this was what was going to happen, at least I was going to try to stop this and save my job. And also I thought to save the company, because I thought it was just a rogue airy manager that was doing this. And you know, lo and behold, it wasn’t a rogue or manager, it was the decision that the company was going to sell their all their products off label unlawfully. And we had three at the time, it would have been gab betrayal provisional and antique antique is a fentanyl product. And so with that, I just decided that I was going to move on and collect my get my resume together. And I was gonna I was gonna just get another area manager shop. I was at the top of the heap in the industry. I had one President’s Club all over whether it be a manager or rappin. And I figured I just move on. And a nurse called me and said, Hey, would you do something about this? Because you know, this is illegal? And I said, Yeah, sure. Almost like to blow her off. Is to Yeah, sure. I’ll do that. Not thinking that her sister was FBI, Texas. And so that’s how it got started, because then I got a call from OCI, which is Office criminal investigation, and those are the federal agents for the FDA. And that’s how it got started.
Scott D Clary 04:34
And tell me something. So what when you first uncovered this? I think that it’s very financially motivated incentivized. When did you realize like you mentioned this, this, this woman called you and she said, Can you do something about this? When did you realize it was a little bit more widespread than just people wanting to hit All this, which is obviously not enough of reason as it is, but I mean, still it could be. He said he mentioned a rogue area manager, a few rogue sales reps, how did you know this was a top down issue?
Bruce Boise 05:12
What happened was that I was demoted from an area manager because I voiced my opinion. And, and then I went back into as a hospital rep. And what as the one or two years moved on, I was trying to save the company saved my job. And it just kept going the way that I thought they shouldn’t go. And I finally was sort of frustrated with it just said, Look, you know, what, I’m just gonna get a different job and move on. And, and I really hadn’t, you know, whistleblower wasn’t even in my mind, all it was was trying to protect the company and protect my job. And, and so I was going to just move on, and I’ve taken a vacation and, and she called me on my vacation. And she said, Hey, would you do something about it? I know you could. And I said, Well, I can’t really, because I don’t know who to contact, who would you contact. And so I really didn’t know who to get ahold of. And I figured, well, I’ll just appease her and say, Yeah, sure, if you’ve got somebody, I’ll talk to them. And I’ve been through, you know, my manager, my boss’s boss, I went through HR. And as that played out, I can see that, you know, I became a voice for not promoting off label illegally, and the cup, that’s what the company wanted. So the company knew who I was, and what I want, what I didn’t, I wasn’t gonna do. And, you know, they turned around on me because I wasn’t promoted off label, my sales tanked, and they got rid of it. And so that’s what that’s that’s eventually what occurred. But in that period of time, you know, I was still current with a company and I figured I’d just get a different job, and move on. And that’s what I was doing
Scott D Clary 07:01
And, and this this final settlement of over $425 million, that’s a it’s like mind blowing, when you think of where you started just trying to deal with a few bad apples, I think we’ve all been in the corporate situation where we raise a red flag, or we’re not happy with something and then it kind of gets pushed under the rug, or it’s not given the attention. It’s deserved. But not a lot of us go through this this level of, I guess, investigation, career turmoil. I know, you were blackballed from the industry for this next level stuff. Now, when somebody reaches out to you like that, and you realize you can do something, walk me through what that investigation looks like, as an individual and employee in the company. How does that start? And how does that progress?
Bruce Boise 07:51
Oh, that’s a great question. And Scott, because isn’t that at the heart of it? Is that how do people do this? How do this is one of the things that I ran into a wall with is that first of all, you know, you wind up, one of the things I tried to do is that I tried, I went to the justice department office in Columbus, Ohio, where I was living. And people don’t realize the security involved with with prosecutors. It’s almost like trying to get into a police station, uninvited II, there’s security, there’s doors. I wasn’t I dropped my name off. No one got back with me. I wasn’t even allowed to come in the building. So it was like, I was pretty frustrated with it. Because it was like, you know, I tried to do certain things with it. And it just seemed like there was just no way that that was going to happen. And so what happened with I’ll call her Sue. Yeah, not to use her real name. She wound up saying, Well, let me get a hold of somebody. And I said, Sure. Well, you set up a meeting with that with the individuals and their OCI office criminal investigation. So they’re federal agents, let’s just like FBI. And, and you go through an interview process with him. And and at that time, I thought, I was just thinking, Okay, I’ll just turn over documentation, the company, the government will know what’s going on. And that will be fine. And if I have to testify later, I’ll be in another job. And I’ll just do that. And so about the second interview, they asked me to wear a wire. And that’s when things changed. That’s when they got real. That’s when I went wow, this is like, you know, I became, you know, they want me to become an undercover informant for the government. So we’re still far away from the whistleblower thing. So with that, I said yes, because I you know, I, to me, I thought it was wrong in that what they’re they were trying to do was not Just off label promotion for a cough called product that was relatively safe generically to the population. But they were off labeling in the marketing for fentanyl. And if you know anything about fentanyl, it’s an opioid, it’s 100 times more potent than morphine, it is a product that you’re not to give it to drug naive patients. So when you wind up starting promoting a fentanyl product to drug naive patients, you’re going to get in a lot of trouble real quick. And that’s what I was worried about. And so consequently, I finally turned around and said, Yes, I’ll wear the wire. And with that, you know, you’re fingerprinted photographed as an undercover informant for the government. And, and that leads us into the national meeting where I wore the wire.
Scott D Clary 10:52
That’s, that’s a super stressful thing to go through. How did you make that decision? Was it just an ethical decision? There was no question about it, or did you maybe not understand the full scope of consequences, career consequences that come with it?
Bruce Boise 11:09
I think it was two things, it was both those things at the same time, was that I just morally and ethically, I thought that what they were doing was way over the line way, way over the line to for sales to increase to put at risk patients and and really put doctors at risk and ever, you know, with misleading information. And so I just thought it was just aligned to the too far over the line. The other is that, I just really felt like that, that if I could wear the wire and stop them, they would save lives. That’s what that’s really what I thought is that if I could just wear the wire, it would be somebody reasonable with finally step in and say, hey, look, you know, you’ve got to stop this. And the company would basically be saved. And and basically, you know, and maybe those patients would be saved. So that’s, that’s what I thought. Now,
Scott D Clary 12:13
this is going through your head when they first when they first asked you. So you agree to it. Right? Sorry. I didn’t mean to sorry. You were gonna give me
Bruce Boise 12:21
a second happier question. Sorry. No, no,
Scott D Clary 12:23
I was just saying. I was just wondering if you knew the implications. And I think actually, let’s actually let’s let’s let’s bundle implications with with whistleblower protection, because I think that’s a whole bunch of things that people don’t quite understand properly, because, again, not really many people go through this in their career. So let’s just walk through the how the case played out. So you were the you were asked to wear the wire? How often did you wear the wire? Were you wearing it at work every day? You mentioned an annual general meeting, what was the actual the what did the investigation piece of that entail?
Bruce Boise 13:00
how that played out, for the first time I wore the wire was at the national sales meeting. And I wore the wire every day for eight to nine hours. And so there’s a lot of detail to that. That’s fascinating how they actually do it. But you know, and I and I was still in good state with the company. And so I just figured I was going to wear the wire, turn over the information, interview with somebody else and move on with my career. And that’s not what occurred. And I think that one of the things that are that happens is that the the federal investigators have to work so hard to wind up getting the company caught red handed doing this that, that it takes an insider to give them the information like this, over a long period of time there there was really sort of a two year period that I worked with the government pretty intensely. And it was more than once that I wore the wire. So to answer that question. So it was it was a quite a long time to wind up working with the federal government as an undercover informant and not be a whistleblower, you could have you could have backed out of this help with the government. And you could have turned around and said, I’m going to file as a whistleblower with false claims act. And you would have gotten a key tam lawyer and you would have warmed up, you know, then the first file and that’s not what happened to me. I kept working with the government to try to build the case, to try to slow the company down what they were doing, and other people filed in front of me and the False Claims Act. And so it was really an effective the Justice Department considered me first to file because of the work I did, because that’s sort of the basis of whether you’re first or second in the False Claims Act. So, so with that, it was like, you know, one, and there was a lot going on it moving parts of this, you know, one is that I was an art cover foreman, I was collecting the information. And as, as we we got the documentation, and we got a tremendous amount of evidence, that of the wrongdoing by the company. You know, the other thing happened, the, you know, the lead, the lead investigator, Greg, that was on 60 minutes, he was interviewed by 60 minutes, you know, the FDA didn’t want to prosecute the company. So it was like, Greg and another US Attorney out of Columbus want to turn around and and, and charge them with drug trafficking. So they would have been able to close the company’s doors, and they would have been able to put those kinds of laws in place statutes against the company. And the FDA didn’t want to do that they wanted to handle it differently. Greg was actually moved off the case, and I got a different lead investigator. Now this is this is all before I became quote, unquote, a, you know, a whistleblower, right. And we kept investigating the company almost two years into it. And by the time I got to the fall of 2004, of the lead investigator that was leaving said, You really need to get a lawyer and protect yourself. And that’s when I got a hold of Philips and CO and Peter Chatfield. And that’s when I we filed in Oakville for on the first case. And that’s and that’s how the first case started was probably September October of 2004.
Scott D Clary 16:34
And then what what is what is that point where you transition from, then that’s the point where you transition from just an informant into an official whistleblower on the company, correct? Okay, correct. Now, what happens after that official whistleblower status? Are you still working for the company at this point,
Bruce Boise 16:51
at the time I was, I was fired by the company. And that happened probably like July. And they gave me severance. But you know, I was looking for a job. And I actually actually had a great job that I was interviewing in San Diego, and I was director of training for them. And they had said that I was basically hired, I actually pet pack my suitcases to leave home to to not only just do final interview with with the execs involved with company, but I was supposed to go to Arizona for their national meeting, as our inner just deuced as the director of training. And what happened was that somebody from Cephalon call the company and next my job, and I was escorted out by security. Peameal.
Scott D Clary 17:48
So how did they end? And I just the one point that I didn’t, I didn’t understand was, so you had, you are now an official whistleblower. And now you’re obviously this is an indication you’re getting blackballed in the industry, by other by other industry stakeholders because of what happened at SF one. But how did they How did they know? How did they actually they they let you go with severance, like, it doesn’t seem like a tumultuous break to that relationship. It actually seems quite Non non, you know, non stressful when they let you go. So was it just a matter of do you announce that you’re whistleblower? And they’re like, Okay, walk out the door? Or, or how did they let you go? And what was that relationship break? Like? Oh, you mean with Stefan? Yeah. Was Cephalon. Sorry, yeah.
Bruce Boise 18:34
What occurred is that there was a business card by one of the agents that had Columbus, Ohio on it. And so what at the time of the national meeting, they sort of had an idea that might, it might be me, given the information to the FDA. And that’s, that’s my speculation. That’s what I think occurred. And so they sort of knew who he was, but they had to figure out okay, how are we going to do this? Yeah. And so we you can’t just come in and fire somebody for no cause. Right. And so they had a sort of play that out about what they were going to do. And I went through this whole thing about, it was like, Oh, you’re selling skills are bad now. And, you know, you know, the whole chain, it’s all on you. Your skills are bad. You know, we don’t know what happened to you, but you just sort of fell apart. Well, that was just, you know, crap. That’s all it was. And it was just trying to get rid of me. And so at that point, I sort of figured, well, the, you know, the gigs up, I’m ready to go. And so my boss said, Well, why don’t you talk to HR and get a package? So they were trying to steer me out to get a package. And if I got a package, and I signed off, and then they felt like they were okay. And that’s what that’s what occurred. That’s how that so it was like, yeah, it looks like you know, and even the vice president at the time called and said, We’d love you Bruce. And we hate to see you go. Whatever.
Scott D Clary 19:58
He just placating just playing nice playing nice. You know, so, you know, you mentioned you got blackballed from that one company that you had actually, you know, you thought you had the job? Obviously not. And and somebody from south lawn or you assume somebody from Cephalon most likely doesn’t sound too far fetched, stopped you from getting that job. So what was are there not laws to protect whistleblowers, your career, you know, career prospects. So what happened after you were let go? What was your What was your life like, after you? Were like, oh,
Bruce Boise 20:33
yeah, I you know, Scott and I think that that’s that’s a really great question for your audience. And the reason why is that there really needs to be a change in legislation in the False Claims Act, where pertains to the whistleblower. And, and, and when you are what I consider, like a real whistleblower where you’ve worked to build the case, and you know, it’s a good federal case against the company involved, that that and you’ve gone through hell, too. And you and I was a millionaire before I was a whistleblower. And I lost everything. And so the whole idea that I’m I did this for all this money. I was making 340,000, a year 20 years ago. Yeah. So just multiply that and what I received from from the settlements, probably wasn’t adequate. What I’m saying is that if you don’t do this for money, yeah, but what occurs in the False Claims Act as it is a section H, and the Section H talks about, you know, if you’re retaliated against that you get X amount of income for this or that the other, the trouble is, that doesn’t kick in until like, the end of a case, if a case is thrown out of court, then that kicks in, or if the case is settled, it kicks in at the end of the settlement period. Now that now, the issue with that is that, you know, we settled for $425 million, there was 57 million, for the real there were four for total relators. So that, you know, 57 million was like divided up and I wasn’t first file on first of all gets the lion’s share over 50% of that. So. So with that, you know, you really sort of let your section H of the retaliatory side go, because you’re signing off on this really big case. Right. So so what happens is that the whistleblower is really not protected through this whole process early on. Yes, there are things that kick in later for the whistleblower. As far as retaliation, things like that, but it’s not till the end of the case, or the case is either settled, or it’s it fails, and it gets thrown out, and then the Section H comes back for you. So that’s what I that’s why I stay in the book that we really do need to look at, how can we do this? And and I don’t mean to get into like a constitutional issue as well. But you really in a criminal case, you really can’t have a whistleblower paid by the federal government? If that makes sense, doesn’t it? You can’t have that. So there’s got to be some other form of protection that, let’s say, let’s say the whistleblower goes two years, and they’re able to be left alone, and the cases presented, fail or succeed on that. And and there are protections early on on the whistleblower, that they’re able to collect that evidence. Now some of it is done in the sense that the false claims cases are sealed by by the Justice Department. And so that allows the prosecutors to work behind the scenes, when the when the company doesn’t realize it, they’re our target. But that still doesn’t that aspect of it still doesn’t help the whistleblower. Does that make sense?
Scott D Clary 23:46
Yeah, it does. It’s just very, very interesting and very complex. Like I’m coming in as such a layman to this entire world. And I know you’ve you’ve lived it. And you know, even before we started, you said this was the the the world of of UN that now understanding all the legal around whistleblowing around false claims. Even the advocacy work you’re doing right now, it’s become like a second career for you, which I don’t think you originally meant for it to be No, but it’s it’s, it’s very interesting. It’s just the whole the whole story is just very interesting. And I think that you know, even just when I first when I first read about your story, and I watched 60 minutes episode, just the fact that is speaking to somebody who’s actually gone through this because we always think like these corporations, oh, they more or less, you know, play by the rules, and they definitely don’t. And I think that’s what you know, that was literally turned to the story of your life. So, you know, now you understand, like, there’s some issues with the legislation, you weren’t profitable, you’re not you weren’t properly protected, but you weren’t able to be protected given the fact that nothing can really kick in until all these things are settled and done with. So, what what happened in your life after this occurred? What happened with your job? You said you got blackballed from one job. I think there was a year where you mentioned there was some homelessness like, this is a tough, this is not easy stuff right now making 340k is a pharmaceutical sales rep going to President’s Club every year. That’s, that’s a nice life. So what happened? What happened next?
Bruce Boise 25:25
And Scott, this is I started write the book, and I’ll start off this way. I started writing the book and my lead counsel, Peter Chatfield, 10 years ago said, Oh, you got to write a book, what you went through, you’ve got to write a book. And I go, I know, Peter, I know. But we were in a second case at that time. But what happened, I thought I was I fall off the cliff. I thought, okay, you know, I’m a glass full all the time. I’m an optimistic person. And so I knew that I was going to have some tough time and I’d get a different job. I just didn’t think that, you know, what occurs is that you get blackballed. But once you get blackballed, what happens is that if you’re out of the industry, you’re out of your career. So it’s not just a job, you lose your career, I had spent 24 years in this career. So at that point, then, then you try to go to do an interview. And let’s say, you know, I say in the book that I was interviewed for Sears siding, and I was going to sell Sears siding. And the guy that was across from me, looked at my resume, and he looked up again. And he said, What are you doing here? That’s what he said, The interview was over. He said, What are you doing here? You made this much money. You were a manager, you were about to be a director and training. What are you doing trying to sell signing? And and he goes, I’m afraid what’s going to happen is that I’m going to hire you. And he said, then you’re going to get a job, you’re going to go right back to where you were. And, and that’s sort of kicked in as like, people wouldn’t hire me because they were afraid they’re going to lose me, like, because of what I had done before. And, and maybe they were right. But But So it went from your job losing the career, and then just not able to secure employment. And then I had I was I was interviewing for wound care. And it was the Pennsylvania company for wound care. And, and, and I was interviewing, and we I was still working with Justice at the time. And the US Attorney turned around and said, Are you interviewing for so and so wound care? And I go, Yeah, she goes, you want to wear a wire? I go, No, no, I don’t want to verify. And the company that I was interviewing for, they were investigating. And they wanted me to wear wire because I did such a great job with the other that they said, Oh, you’re good. We trust you. And I go, absolutely not. I’m not doing that. And so there were there were a lot of those things that took place. And but as that came about, I lost everything. I lost career jobs, houses, cars, to a point where I was painting with my son, just trying to make ends meet, I blew up my shoulders from painting. And, you know, I had rotator cuff issues, and I couldn’t paint. And so that a friend of mine, as in the book gave me a job flipping hamburgers for $10 an hour. And that’s what that’s what saved me. Other than being homeless, I think I moved five times in one year. So it was like, you know, with my mom was my brother than a friend and then that fell apart. And, and and, you know, I you lose, you lose. Next you wind up, you know, you you have assets and you have books or you have clothes or and if you move five times in one year, you start to lose all that, you know, you just It was devastating. And when I started right, the bucket it took me like I had to stop I took four months, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t I couldn’t go back into it again. And you know, once you lose everything, yeah, once you lose, like career job, cars, houses, you know, you lose everything. And now you’re flipping burgers for $10 an hour. And people asked me, Would you do it again? And you know, and what do you get out of this? Right? Well, what you get, you get the sense that, you know, you’d really tried to do something bigger than yourself to try to protect people that were innocent, right? So that’s a good feeling for yourself. But there’s another aspect of it. And the other aspect of it is that you purge yourself almost you lose everything. And you find out about yourself. And I don’t think I would, I would never change that at all, because of what I learned about myself and learned about how much stronger I am and learn about, you know, you know, I was I was depressed in some periods, yes from it. But what what I went through and and I learned so much about myself and my family came together, it was pretty powerful. It was very, very powerful. So with that on one side, yeah, you lose all the other things, and you have to adjust. But on the other side of it, you what you what you received is is is something that lasts you all your life of who you are. And, and, and it feels pretty good. Actually
Scott D Clary 30:55
I could see that. Um, and I think that I think that you make a really good point because I don’t want to as people listen to this, I don’t want them to feel dissuaded, or feel scared to do the right thing if or, you know, God forbid, they’re in situations like this, because, you know, there’s some issues with the legislation, you went through some tough times You did the right thing. But you’re making a ton of money before and the settlement isn’t really what drove you. But I think that there’s a lot more to purpose in life, that and you you do come out on top, if you have that conviction, if you have that, like just just, you know, you you push through all of this stuff. And it was tough for a bit. But now look at what you’re doing now. So you have a book, you know, you have you have a career you can be proud of you have one hell of a story. And you and the personality of the guy that success in the first place, that those traits always do come back, they do rebound. And now you’re doing incredible work and doing other things. So I think that that’s really like the takeaway, I don’t want to like dissuade people from doing the right thing. Because it’s tough. But you know, at the end of the day, like you’re you’re living proof, like he mentioned, like some of the lessons you learned about yourself are probably more more than you’ll you ever thought you get out of this in terms of any sort of, you know, recognition, settlement compensation. That’s not what that’s not why you do this stuff. Right.
Bruce Boise 32:18
Exactly. Right. Exactly. That’s not you don’t you don’t first of all, you don’t take this on because you’re gonna wind up making a pile of money. That’s not that’s usually not what it what it is it, you’re motivated. There was a fascinating study that Peter Chatfield, excuse me, got me into. In Harvard, it was a he’s a lawyer, and he’s a doctor as well. And he did a study, you know, why do whistleblowers do what they do? And, and the studies really fascinating. And the study basically broke down one simple answer. Something happened in their lives prior that they decided to pick up the cards on the table, something occurred. And for me, when I was in my first company, it was we had a product called chub tall, and it was an anticonvulsant drug that was indicated for Lennox gusto. And it has multiple seizure activity. So there’s the epilepsy syndrome, has multiple seizures to it. It’s the kids that wear the helmet that they fall down, that’s when it gets so patient, so usually institutionalized. And it was a really good product for that. The trouble is, is that, you know, they didn’t didn’t require a blood level, and the company wasn’t high science. And so what occurred was that we ran into problems with aplastic anemia, and hepatic failure with that product. And, and, and I was, I was really close to a group, neurologist, Samson’s Cincinnati, and what occurred was that they sent me next to the patient, that my drug almost killed. And they saved the patient. And so I said, in the Grand Rounds next to the patient, and they went through the Grand Rounds was was for Talbot Hall and this patient. And, you know, the, the chief at the time said, This is what we do. This is why it’s important to have what you say to us. And so it that stuck with and so when all this occurred, you know, the study, the Harvard professor turned around and said, you know, this is, this is probably why you picked up the cards is because it was just not going to be on your your, you were not going to let this go by on your watch. And that’s why you picked up the card. So it’s a it’s a fascinating thing, but, and I and and again, to reiterate what you mentioned prior there are so many other positives that come out of this You know, even even the judge in the, in the, in the cases, turned around and said, Bruce, I know is a long time that the statute worked, it worked. And so you know, it, there are really great positive things that come out of it. And, and possibility of change. Yeah. Right. You you can, as an individual in this country, that’s what’s so great about this country, you can, as an individual in this country, make change, that you just have to commit, you have to be able to be committed to that. So there are there are great positives out of this. And you it’s worthwhile for you to reiterate that that out of this whole chaos and and destruction and all this that occurred that, you know, you can you can affect good in this country with that.
Scott D Clary 35:56
It is a nice ending to the story like thank goodness, because that’s one that’s one hell of a journey that you went on. Now, now walk me through what you’re working on now. Yeah, you know, even I wouldn’t when we spoke before I said, you know, we can speak about your book, and the first thing you said is no, that’s actually not what I want to speak about. I’m doing something much more important than my book. Am I okay, so let’s, let’s, let’s go into that. So, and I agree, I think that that’s, that’s nice. You brought that up, like the advocacy working with doctors working with patients. So what are you doing now? What’s, you know, what’s your mission?
Bruce Boise 36:34
Sure. So right now, what’s what’s happening is that we’re launching the book. But But what has transition is that the book talks about what I went through early on with pharmaceutical and, and the fentanyl product and all that. But now the country has transitioned. And could there be some of that still going on in pharmaceutical, probably some of it. But really, what’s happening is that you’ve got an opioid crisis now in America. And with that, you’ve got, you know, fentanyl is cheaper than heroin. And, you know, your the CDC just released information that 71,002 1009 19 overdosed with an opioid. So the numbers are up. And this predict this number from the CDC, predates what’s going on with Corona right now. So it’s like, you know, the, you know, you’re still got major issues, major problems with opioid epidemic. And with that, what I noticed is that it’s really approached it multi organizational approach. And so if you wind up throwing your support to prop, its Physicians for Responsible opioid prescribing, and so or A to A to D, which is American Association for treatment of opioid dependency, so, so there are groups that are available that most people don’t know anything about, the families don’t know anything about, that if they, they did a little Google search, and they find help, because right now, the big thing is, is, you know, I think, a multi organizational approach to help resolve some of the, the, you know, opioid problem in America. So, that’s what I’m trying to do right now is to promote those, those organizations, and also help in that, I’ve got a conference call tomorrow, that I’m talking to one of the chairpersons of one of those groups to try to partner up to do something with that. So it’s an it I think, it’s, it’s a good thing to do. And I think it’s, it’s sort of an extension of what I went through in the book. And I think it, it makes sure a positive effect in America.
Scott D Clary 39:03
And, and, and walk me through, there’s a ton of like, the work you’re doing with all of these advocacy groups is incredible. And it’s very important. But another point that I wanted to discuss is the complications and and the and I guess the help and support you’re giving individuals who may not be who may not be addicts, but they just want to understand drug options, because that’s much more relatable for me at least. You know, at a much more relatable cause helping me understand when I go to my doctor, what they should be prescribing me and not if off brand is ever okay. Because I think that that’s something that’s very confusing for people that aren’t suffering from addiction, right. That’s just every single day. You know, you go to a doctor and you get
Bruce Boise 39:57
not necessary opioid right it’s all Right, it’s everything. Yeah, it’s everything. One of one of the things I do especially in my podcast, I talk about an off label prescription that is legitimate, that if if a doctor winds up seeing a patient, and they have a medical condition, and the medical edition has failed gold standard, and all in all other areas of therapy, they’re really out of they’re out of cards to play on this. And so they basically can go to an off label prescription to see if there can be some information. And and that usually, there’s a lot of information that is available. There’s a compendium that talks about off label information on certain products that the drugs and the pharmacist have. And so, so the the physician goes by that, and usually it’s a drug that’s pretty safe, effective, and they’ve got a lot of information, and they can go off label with that. And they write a prescription for that. Now, that’s okay. What I’ve talked about with the pharmaceutical company that illegally promotes off label, you know, that’s an issue that that is can be dangerous. But you still have to be an advocate for yourself as a patient. In other words, if let’s say, you, Scott, go to a doctor, and the doctor says, hey, look, you really need a script, this script is off label, you need to have the right questions that you can use, it doesn’t take a lot to do. Today, in today’s society, you can Google what the doctors prescribing for you. And you can ask relevant, educated questions about what I’m what am I getting? What is going on here? And what kind of side effects do I have? What do I expect out of this? And what are you trying to hope out of out of your, your treatment modality. And I think that’s really important to say to people, look, you can take responsibility of your there’s so many people I think walk into a doctor’s office. And I know it’s fast. And I know it’s quick and you got to be on your toes with questions. But you have that you have that right to ask those questions. And I think especially in today’s society, that I think that’s really very important.
Scott D Clary 42:08
And and and tell me some things that’s very relevant now. And then you can go as opinionated or not as this but at least you can at least start high level with with Coronavirus with hydroxychloroquine. With the doctors in DC that just did a press release. I think you know, today where the with the day to day or the 28th. And I think a day or two ago, there’s a whole bunch of doctors in DC just did a press release. And I heard one of the doctors saying that this is an off brand use for hydroxychloroquine that actually works preventing and treating Coronavirus plus, I think a couple other ancillary supplements. When when when you see this, what are your What are your thoughts on on this as somebody who’s worked in the industry, just keep it high level. And I’m curious as to what you think,
Bruce Boise 42:52
My my, my basis goes back to my training. And my training is from the package insert. And the package insert is is all relevant information, usually to describe any drug that’s approved by the FDA for specific medical condition. We all know that for most know that, right? But the myth the issue with that, or the or the source of that is pharmacology and pharmacology is based on from a code dynamics and from a kinetics. And those two aspects, those two aspects are what’s the basis of the studies and all the information that comes out of it. So when you’re when you’re targeted a drug for a medical condition, and you do the studies, what happens is that you wind up getting the information that is both effective and it’s safe. Now that can that can go on. And and for any drug that can go on. But when a doctor or doctors have this one product that has been around forever, and all of a sudden it’s in a new indication, a lot of times what occurs is that the FDA then expedites a secondary indication. And they’ll do they’ll do a post a review of a drug and get the information to the doctors that becomes a more stable situation for prescribing that more reliable. And I think that both those things have to happen at the same time. It can be really complicated, but it’s not unusual for for example, Neurontin. Neurontin was used for as an epilepsy drug for years and years and years. And now it’s prescribed really for mood stabilization by psychiatry. And and it actually I think works better in that area. And so all that rolled into it eventually, time will tell but eventually came out where the studies were done. It became effective. And now Neurontin is really the gold standard for that. So that’s a that’s a involved process. And it takes time. What we got now with the Coronavirus is that we’re trying to get a vaccination and get out and to stop the virus. And so there are things that are being expedited by the FDA, which is a good thing. And it’s a good thing that the pharmaceutical industry is actually, they’re smart, they can do this, rather than just doing a meet to drug for the society, do something for the society and get a vaccination out. So those things can go hand in hand. And I’m and as I said earlier in the broadcast, I’m an optimistic person, and I’m positive that they’re be able to figure that out, and hopefully, then share that with the world. Right?
Scott D Clary 45:45
Yeah, I like that answer a lot. So so, you know, there there is possibility for drugs to be and this is a very again, layman’s term, but eventually repurposed if the proper due diligence, a proper investigation, doing it, doing it safely. These are all things that have to be taken into consideration. I was just I was curious if that was a thing that does occur in hitstun medical history, but it obviously does is something that happens if if the if the proper research comes to light about the drug in particular. So I guess that that’s what a lot of these doctors are indicating. And there’s something that the tests haven’t been done yet. But, you know, anecdotally, without, without the proper investigation, they’ve seen it work. So it’s interesting to, you know, at least at the very at the very minimum, there’s some hope for some of for some of these drugs, if not something net new to to come to light, based on, you know, what we’re hearing from from doctors. And I think the one thing that I, you know, this is just my personal opinion, I just wish that this whole, this whole issue wasn’t politicized. That’s really my biggest issue with it. And I think that that’s what a lot of it is come to, and that’s unfortunate. You know, it’s very, very unfortunate. And who
Bruce Boise 46:58
and who and hurt hurt from that, who get hurt from that you are I know, it’s somebody that is sort of ignorant of the process that they don’t know what goes on and they get bounced around, and maybe their loved one goes into ICU and now a ventilator, and they could have had something that maybe would have helped them and their and their and their family member dies. That’s not right. Got that not?
Scott D Clary 47:23
No, that’s very sad. It’s horrible, actually. And that’s what you know, that that’s my biggest issue with Coronavirus. It’s the fact that it’s become a political topic, which I think is you don’t politicize the pandemic. And regardless of the drugs use, regard, you know, it’s
Bruce Boise 47:45
been horrible and, and with that, you know, people struggle and, and you and I have, I talked to people all the time about that, they’re confused, they’re totally confused with it. And eventually, you know, medicine is is science but it’s an art, it just, it just takes time for that to play out. And eventually we’ll get there okay, it’s just it just unfortunate that people on both sides muddy the water and then all of a sudden it becomes a political football and who gets hurt are the patients that you know, like, for example, the the elderly? Yeah, I mean, it becomes a political football and really what they should have been focusing on is the patients that are most at risk right?
Scott D Clary 48:35
Yeah, I agree. No, it’s unfortunate. Anyways, let’s not that’s it’s a very it’s very real for a lot of people I don’t want to I don’t want to I think he I don’t want to overshadow your story with with what’s going on with the politics and Coronavirus because that can go on for another another hour of conversation. Okay, so I have I have some some rapport questions. But before I get into those, is there anything about about your story about the book about, you know, about your journey to where you’re at right now that we didn’t go into? I didn’t know to ask, you know, any floor is open for any sort of closing
Bruce Boise 49:16
thoughts. I have to give kudos to my daughter, Michelle. Michelle is a media guru. That’s her wheelhouse. And Skype and, and zoom and and, uh, you know, websites and oh my gosh, you’re killing me Smalls. I mean, it is it is like, and she just goes yeah, we’ll do this. And I was like, Did did it and off she goes and and she really and she’s a writer and and she she really has done a great job of throwing this together and then making her dad look good, right?
Scott D Clary 49:52
Yeah, well, that’s what that’s what that’s a family’s for. So now you’re now you’re now you’re genius with all this stuff. Now you, you can understand how to build that’s my wheelhouse my wheel, building out a brand understanding social media. That’s what I do. Right?
Bruce Boise 50:09
Right. I don’t know about a job. Yeah, I don’t envy your job.
Scott D Clary 50:13
Yeah, it’s it. Listen, you have to stay on top of this stuff. This is the new media, you got to figure out how to how to reach those people. And they’re all on social media. That’s where they get news. That’s where they get bought, you know? That’s it. That’s another conversation, you know? Yeah, you know what I mean? Where people actually go to get news. And I think people trust, you know, that unbiased social media a little bit more from those third parties, as opposed to like those left leaning right leaning outlets. Right. That’s, that’s what that that those are the people that causes caused the issues in the first place.
Bruce Boise 50:46
And I think that I think that your genuineness that comes through, also helps people parse through some of the fog that goes on. You know, I think that people that are trying to help people that are genuine that really are, are in original in trying to move, move the ball forward. People recognize that, and eventually, I think, and that’s my optimistic side, I think, I think that saves the day, I think that finally will win the day. And hopefully, that’s what occurs with all this. So, and I’m optimistic with that. So
Scott D Clary 51:28
I agree. Okay, so a few a few closing questions did or tee up your experience? As you’ve gone through this, as you’ve gone through this journey in your life, what are you curious about now, in the world of medicine, in the world of pharmacology? What are you researching to be a certain group, like an advocacy group? You mentioned a few of them before, but what’s on top of your mind right now that sort of new that people should learn about?
Bruce Boise 52:02
Well, I think I think one of the fascinating things and this is just, and I’ll join you in this, this lay persons view, because this is I’m not a, you know, physician, and I’m not a pharmacist, you know, it’s just that I spent so many years and one of the fascinating things is that, you know, discoveries made by mistakes, and people learn from their failures, more than their successes. And I think that, especially in virology, and immunology, that everybody’s pushing so hard, I just have this really positive feeling that we’ll discover something maybe to help cancer patients as well. And I think that that’s if there’s something that you know, maybe people pay attention to what occurs in the area of immunology and and all that in medicine, I think it’s a fascinating, new new frontier that they’re pushing and hopefully, something is discovered that helps boost the immune system and in humans to to help in other medical conditions other than just the Coronavirus.
Scott D Clary 53:13
Who has the most influential or supportive people been during your journey and why?
Bruce Boise 53:20
Oh my gosh, obviously, my family, my kids, my brother, and and of all things, my action. She’s been really supportive. My friends, and in Ohio, as well as my friends that have lived, I live 10 years and Qs and so all my friends down there, I’ve been really supportive. And I actually find that that I get I get hate mail, I get crap, like everybody else does. The majority of people are really positive and really very supportive. And, you know, it’s been a really good feel good journey with that. That’s a wonderful thing. I can’t tell you how, you know, you know, most people my age would turn around and go, Oh, you’re gonna retire. No, I’m not. I’m just getting started again. Right.
Scott D Clary 54:14
I love it. Yeah, right. Yeah. Yeah. What are what are some of the resources that have helped you along the way things that could have kept you motivated, educated, you inspired you? I’m wondering if there’s like even like, books or people that you that you’ve tried to learn from or or consume during this journey.
Bruce Boise 54:43
There is a book that I read and it’s doors. Goodwin Kearns, I think is the author and its Team of Rivals. And just amazing it was during the Civil War, it was Lincoln’s cabinet. And they were they were enemies. They she, she talks. It’s a great book, and and all this strife and all this, these problems and he winds up picking people based on their ability, not on their political. But what their political side is he picked people for the cabinet that were like, really good at the certain spots in LA Times, the Cabinet members fought amongst themselves. And he would sit in on this, but it was an amazing book that that through all this strife in the Civil War, how they came through that it was, it was, you know, he gives you hope, doesn’t it?
Scott D Clary 55:46
I understand. Now, when when we started when we talk even more, you’re an incredible optimist. And I appreciate that. Because I don’t think I don’t think somebody who didn’t have that amount of optimism could have gone through what you did to be quite honest, and come out okay. Probably, right. Yeah, that’s gratulations on that seriously, it’s very impressive, because you you are by far the most glass half full person I’ve ever met, after all this. But it’s very good. And I think that, you know, hopefully another lesson, an underlying and unspoken lesson is, listen, it does end up being okay at the end of the day, and you should champion that and live that. It’s a lesson that you would tell your younger self after going through this.
Bruce Boise 56:34
Don’t give up. Never, ever give up. If there’s one thing, don’t give up, if you if you’re passionate about something, you love something, this is something that you feel that inside, this is a calling, this is what you need to do, whatever that is, if you’re a pipe fitter, if you’re a writer, if if whatever it is, if you have look at in yourself, first to look into yourself to see who you are, and find those passions. And when you find that passion, don’t give it up for anything.
Scott D Clary 57:12
I love that. And And last question, what does success mean to you?
Bruce Boise 57:20
Success earlier in life meant something completely different set of success now to me, it has a lot less in material items. Success now is relationships and loved ones. And how do you how do you put money in dividends in relationships to get those dividends and, and rewards back? And I think it has more to do with that in my life, and giving back to other people to help other people. And I and I think that it really, I’m defined more by that. And so I went through this whole transition that just changed my viewpoint of what’s really important in life. Yeah. And I think that’s and I based my success in that, that how can I how can I work with with different patient advocacy groups? And how can I? I can do that? You know, and I think that that has Michelle wrote previously healthy an article and a documentary on type one children with diabetes that wind up going into comments and, and and and she won a Webby Award with it. And you know, and she’ll say that her dad tells her just don’t give up. And through all that you wind up, you wind up just seeing that, you know, and one of the comments I made my son is that when you just don’t give up, and you and you follow those passions. When you break through when you finally break through, you’re over the fence. And you look around and you’re the only one there. You’re the only one because everybody else gave up? I think that’s wrong. Yeah.
Scott D Clary 59:17
Very good. And then most importantly, where can people connect with you online? Where can people find the book? What are those domains?
Bruce Boise 59:28
Sure. Bruce Boyce calm, and it’s voice is spelled boi se.com. And you go, that’s my website. And that pokes you right up to Amazon. And Amazon will take you to the book. And then I might add on the website. There’s all this other information about patient advocacy groups as well.
Scott D Clary 59:54
That’s all for today. Thanks again for joining me on another episode of the success story podcast. You can download us During this podcast wherever podcasts are available, including iTunes, Spotify, Google Stitcher, I heart, radio, and many others. You can also watch his podcasts on YouTube. If you haven’t already, please subscribe and share this podcast with your friends, family, coworkers and peers. Please leave us a rating on iTunes takes about 30 seconds, as it allows other people to find our podcasts and lets our amazing guests reach even more people with their message. And remember any rating is fine as long as it contains five stars. I’m Scott Clary from the success story podcast signing off