Remembering GSK’s Cidra Disaster, Ian Mc Cubbin and Courageous Whistleblower Cheryl Eckard


GSK whistleblower Cheryl Eckard vs GSK’s Ian McCubbin on 60 Minutes

Back story here and here.

So. How does one defend the indefensible?

Here’s GSK’s Ian McCubbin’s (pic) attempt:

Ian McCubbin is a senior vice president from Glaxo headquarters in London.

“We regret what happened in Cidra. But we’ve worked really, really hard to resolve those issues. We spend $600 million every year on make sure that our plant and equipment is state of the art,” McCubbin said.

“Would you say that the company was chastened by all of this?” Pelley asked.

“No, I’d say the company was very disappointed that this occurred and that we regret that this occurred. But we’ve learned from it. And what you learn from, you become stronger,” McCubbin replied.

McCubbin told Pelley the company has about 80 plants around the world. When asked if any of them operate the way Cidra did, he said, “Absolutely not.”

“So how did Cidra go wrong?” Pelley asked.

“They all operated to the same standard, to the same quality system that we had in place. The difference between Cidra and all the rest of the plants is the effectiveness with which that quality system was implemented it was much weaker and that resulted in the compliance issues that occurred,” McCubbin said.

“Cheryl Eckard says that she was issuing warnings and no one was listening,” Pelley remarked.

“I don’t know Cheryl Eckard. And I don’t know all the details of her accusations. What I do know is that we were working with the FDA before Cheryl went to that plant,” McCubbin said.;contentBody

Nice try Ian!

But who is Ian McCubbin? And why did GSK have him speak on their behalf if he didn’t know Cheryl Eckard or all of the details of her accusations?

Ian is currently responsible for strategy development and execution within GSK’s Global Manufacturing & Supply organisation. In addition he holds responsibility for the Global Logistics organisation which delivers supply chain processes connecting the Manufacturing and Commercial organisation. Prior to rejoining GSK in July 2006 Ian undertook significant Global Operations roles in the generic Pharmaceutical sector with two of the top 10 Global generic companies. Ian is a pharmacy graduate with additional management qualifications.

Glaxo pleaded guilty to a felony. It admitted it distributed “adulterated drugs Paxil CR, Avandamet (a diabetes drug), Kytril (a drug given to cancer patients), and Bactroban.” All together, the company paid $750 million to settle the criminal conviction and Eckard’s suit.

“Can anything like this happen at Glaxo again?” Pelley asked Glaxo’s Ian McCubbin.

“I absolutely hope not. We will work really hard to resolve these issues and make sure that our quality management system is in place and robust,” he replied.;contentBody

Well done Ian!

Now – how many senior execs who ignored Cheryl Eckard’s pleas and tears still have jobs at GSK?

Posted by at 12:54 pm


Anonymous said…

According to The Guardian, there were still quite a few such execs there as late as Oct 2010: Not me!

4:25 pm

AJ said…

…Now – how many senior execs who ignored Cheryl Eckard’s pleas and tears still have jobs at GSK?…I detect a trick question.

9:42 pm

Bernard Carroll said…

Dr. Jerry Avorn also delivered a body blow to GSK’s obfuscations. In the piece that ran on 60 Minutes, he dismissed talk like “… We will work really hard to resolve these issues and make sure that our quality management system is in place and robust…” Dr. Avorn reminded viewers that in medicine the standard is we get it right, as in brain surgery. Glaxo’s lame excuse that drug manufacturing is a complicated process does not hold water.And then, as so often, the subsequent coverup deepened the ethical failure.

12:43 pm


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