Dec 23, 2011
The full story can be found at Medcity News.
Cleveland Clinic owes much of its constant No. 1 ranking in heart care to Topol. His reputation during the 14 years he led the Clinic’s cardiology department, was built partly on his criticism of drug safety, particularly concerning the Merck painkiller Vioxx. He was among the first doctors to raise questions about the cardiovascular side effects of drugs in the so-called cox-2 class of painkillers. Topol’s biography credits him with pioneering the development of many medications that are routinely used in medical practice including t-PA, Plavix, Angiomax and ReoPro.
Topol’s exit from the Clinic happened in 2006, but it was paved by the 2004 decision to anoint Dr. Toby Cosgrove as the Clinic’s new CEO. Long regarded as rivals, Topol and Cosgrove clashed over financial arrangements between industry, each other and other Clinic doctors. Once Cosgrove got the nod in 2004, Topol’s fate with the Clinic was probably sealed.
Topol reinvented himself and further enhanced his global reputation since departing the Clinic. He now touts some of the most cutting-edge digital health initiatives in the country. “Instead of doctor-knows-best and this paternalistic type of thing — that is on the way out,” Topol said recently. “Doctors have to acknowledge that.”