Happy New Year!

As this year comes to a close I would like to thank my readers and commenters who made 2013 a very interesting year indeed. In many ways 2013 was a year of massive transformation and revelations- particularly in the digital universe. Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA and Glenn Greenwald’s reporting of Orwellian style espionage was a highlight for me. Another interesting digital trend was the performance of Bitcoin and other digital currencies and it seems that the internet is once again at the forefront of human evolution, social change and individual empowerment. GSK also had some major headlines due to their ongoing corruption scandal in China, more of which I will be reporting on next year.

We can’t save the world- all by ourselves- but together in our own small way – we can make a  big difference.

GSK Licence to (K)ill will continue to shine a light upon the unscrupulous behavior of pharmaceutical companies and psychiatry – to 2014- and beyond!

But because this is a one-man site- run entirely by me with no pay- donations will now be gratefully accepted!

In Bitcoin of course!

Happy New Year Folks ! 🙂

See You On The Other Side !

My Bit Coin Address (for those of you feeling generous) is :



Seroxat Trebles The Risk Of Suicide For Under 18’s


What’s the difference for over 18’s? Over 21’s? Under 25’s? Adults?How suicidal does it make those age-groups?

What is GSK still hiding from the public all these years later?

Maybe in 2014 we’ll find out?


What’s Really Behind GSK’s New Business Model? (From Mad in America Blog)


What’s Really Behind GSK’s New Business Model?


December 20, 2013

GSK has recently announced that it will cease paying doctors for promoting its drugs and sponsoring them to attend conferences and sever the link between pay for its sales representatives and the numbers of prescriptions physicians write.

Commentary from the critics of GSK have attributed the changes they are making to pressure from the government or the requirements of recently enacted legislation. My assessment of the situation is that this could not be further from the truth.

In my view, the key to GSK’s actions is in a small paragraph from the Chair of the Board in their most recent annual report which reads “Operating in a responsible and ethical way is essential for the commercial success of GSK.”
From a business perspective there are very clear reasons why GSK are doing this and why other pharmaceutical companies will follow suit. My reading of GSK’s annual report leaves me in no doubt that they are changing their business model because it is likely to increase their profitability – not because they are being forced to. I do not think GSK is concerned to any great extent about legislative change because it, along with the other players in the pharmaceutical industry, has considerable power not only to influence US legislation but to control the legislation of other countries.

Consider the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) currently being negotiated between eleven Asian and Pacific-rim countries, including the United States. Key to this agreement are
• the protection of patents by US pharmaceutical companies which would see member countries’ domestic legislation controlled or overturned

• provisions for pharma to sue governments for millions in damages for undermining the value of their investments by purchasing generic drugs; and
• compensation for drug companies if the market approval process for medicines extended beyond a drug’s patent term.

The proposed Article 15 of TPPA would specifically prevent countries enacting law that was unanimously agreed by all parties in their Parliaments.

Across the countries represented, the unprecedented secrecy under which these negotiations have taken place has been strongly criticized. This secrecy does not extend to the pharmaceutical industry however. The Dominion Post in New Zealand reports that a politician with top-level United States security clearance was barred from viewing the draft text as was US Senate finance subcommittee on trade chairman Ron Wyden who sits on the committee that oversees America’s intelligence agencies but that “more than 600 representatives of pharmaceutical and film corporations are given access because they are deemed to be US Government ‘advisers’’’

Surely, you may be thinking, if the pharmaceutical industry had this power the first thing it would do is to dismantle the regulatory process, removing the need to obtain very expensive approval before marketing its drugs. Not so. Strong regulation serves a very important function in any industry that of providing a strong barrier to entry for new competitors. Michael Porter of Harvard Business School, a world leading authority on company strategy and competitiveness, identifies barriers to entry for new companies as one of the keys to industry profitability.

The cost of the drug approval process is a significant barrier to the establishment of new drug companies and therefore a deterrent to the entry of new competitors to the market, something that works in the favour of pharmaceutical companies. Far better to control regulators like the FDA than to abolish them, and that’s exactly what Big Pharma have done. The regulatory process also serves the interests of pharmaceutical companies by giving the consumer a sense of security that drugs have been through an independent quality control process.

Removal of the regulatory regime could see a flood of new pharmaceutical companies enter the market, increasing competition and reducing profits. The goal of pharma is to control regulation, not to abolish it and there is ample evidence that they have been successful in achieving control of regulatory policy and practice internationally.

In my view, the key driver of GSK’s shift away from providing incentives to doctors and to their sales reps for influencing prescribing practice is that these practices threaten their profitability.
The only distribution channel (the path through which goods and services travel from the vendor to the consumer) for prescription drugs is the medical profession, and the actions of the pharmaceutical industry have undermined confidence in the honesty and integrity of this channel. Low levels of trust in the medical profession result in reduced profitability for Big Pharma.

Americans are turning to complementary and alternative medicine because they feel the current healthcare system is failing them for many reasons. These, according to an analysis of the CAM market include “cost prohibitive prescriptions, impersonal & dismissive physicians, a heavy reliance on drugs, misdiagnosis, and conflicting views regarding the maintenance of wellness. “

GSK’s recent prosecutions and fines have undermined their reputation but in practice this is unlikely to have much impact on sales. Governments not consumers are their customers and government purchasing agents are interested in the quality and price of drugs not in whether the company who produces them behaves ethically or not. While patients may question the class of drugs they are prescribed there is no evidence they are aware of who manufactures the particular brand of drug they are prescribed or reject prescriptions because of the manufacturers reputation.

More relevant to sales is the impact GSK’s actions may have had on public confidence in the medical profession who are the pharmaceutical company’s distribution channel. Prescribing behavior is the biggest driver of pharmaceutical sales. Loss of confidence in doctors represents a huge threat to profitability.
While in the past, increasing sales through providing incentives to doctors to prescribe has been a successful strategy, revelations about the prevalence and quantum of incentives to doctors has damaged public confidence in the integrity of the medical profession to the extent that GSK and its rivals have seriously harmed their own distribution channel.

We have seen this happen in other industries. A Deloitte survey of retirement advisers found that 20% of respondents didn’t trust advisors to provide objective advice and were concerned that they were motivated to guide them towards investments benefitting the provider rather than the client. The survey found that 83% of those who have a high level of trust in advisors sought their advice, compared with only 32% of those who have a low level of trust.

Given that doctors are the sole distribution channel for drugs, it is in the interests of pharma to ensure they are trusted by consumers and are not perceived as compromising their commitment to patient care as a result of their relationship with the pharmaceutical industry. Stopping payments to doctors and funding for medical conferences and severing the ties between sales rep remumeration and prescribing rates will be key to convincing consumers of the independence of doctors.

Marketing guru Kotler believes that strong brands are the only route to sustained, above-average profitability and that great brands present emotional benefits, not just rational benefits. Great brands work more on emotions than on product attributes and benefits and show social responsibility care and concern for people and society.
There is a niche in the market for a pharmaceutical company to become the leader in ethical practice. Branding is about perception rather than reality and it is not necessary for GSK to be ethical in reality but to create the perception of being so.

The recently announced changes in GSK’s business practices are, in my view, aimed at increasing confidence in the medical profession and positioning GSK as the ethical player in the pharmaceutical industry, they have nothing to do with requirements imposed by government.

GSK’s New PR Spin (Championed By Ben Goldacre) “Doctors Off The GSK Payroll”

Ben G


I think that some of the comments on this articulate my opinion better than I can myself today…

I’ll blog more on this later…

“Maybe I’m misreading this, but wasn’t this spurred by the fact that they got caught committing a crime in China?”

“Evidently we are supposed to applaud this news: one of the largest drug making companies, repeatedly caught in unethical and manipulative behavior designed to increase its already enormous market share, is now going to behave slightly better, without admitting in any way that it’s done anything wrong”

“As a former pharmaceutical sales representative, sales manager, marketing director and regional president of a pharmaceutical company I have observed the declining ethics in the industry in the last fifty years.
There were many companies,generally headed by a physician, offering a very wide range of products, both over the counter and prescription.
In my company, sales representatives were either pharmacists or had pre-med college backgrounds.
Marketing was educationally oriented. Before each two month sales program a meeting to update all research and published information was held.
Marketing information was given only to pharmacists and physicians.
As the companies were generally headed by a physician, they were very patient and service oriented.
Now there are a few, monopolistic companies. The range of products is limited by their potential sales volume.
Sales representatives preferred are “pom pom” girls because they have better “personalities” to react with the physicians. Especially when promoting erectile dysfunction products.
Marketing is to the consumer in TV, magazines, etc. emphasizing possible benefits in photos and large print and limiting possible dangerous side effect in microscopic volumes.
The advertising directly to the public is the most unethical of all. Instilling doubt, suggesting benefits and obscuring risks to a public which is not educated to evaluate is gross.”

  • slangpdx
  • portland oregon


Glaxo Says It Will Stop Paying Doctors to Promote Drugs

Glaxo is first among its peers to announce a plan to end paid-speaker programs, but it is not the only one considering such a move, said Pratap Khedkar, who oversees the pharmaceutical practice at ZS Associates, a global sales and marketing firm.

He said a handful of drug makers were weighing similar actions for several reasons, including concerns about the reaction to the required disclosure of such payments that will begin next fall under a provision of the health care law. Glaxo and several other major companies already report many such payments, but Mr. Khedkar said the new requirements may go farther than what some companies are reporting, and will be accessible on a searchable government website.

Previously, “It wasn’t really made public in some big, splashy way,” he said.

Jeff Francer, vice president and senior counsel at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the industry trade group, said many other companies were looking for ways to better reach increasingly busy doctors — who may not have time to travel to a conference in the first place — and Glaxo’s actions represent just one example.

“Of course all of our companies are looking for ways in which they can refine their relationship with physicians to make sure they’re making the best use of physicians’ time,” he said.

Beginning in 2015, Glaxo will also no longer compensate sales representatives based on the number of prescriptions doctors write, a standard practice that some have said pushed pharmaceutical sales officials to inappropriately promote drugs to doctors. In 2012, Glaxo paid a record $3 billion in fines to resolve charges that it had marketed drugs for unapproved uses. It is one of several major companies to have settled such cases in recent years.

Glaxo said its sales representatives worldwide would instead be paid based on their technical knowledge, the quality of service they provided to clients to improve patient care, and the company’s business performance. The company made such changes in the United States in 2011 — and is required to continue the new program under a corporate integrity agreement with the Justice Department — but will now extend the practices to its global business.

Mr. Khedkar said some other companies were also experimenting with ways to compensate sales representatives, but they must tread carefully.

“You remove the incentive to do anything inappropriate, but you also remove the incentive to do what is appropriate, which is to promote the on-label use of your product,” he said.

Mr. Witty said the experience in the United States had been positive and had improved relationships with doctors and medical institutions.

Dr. Raed Dweik, the new chairman of the innovation management and conflict of interest committee at the Cleveland Clinic, said he hoped other companies would follow suit.

“As a physician, I periodically meet with these sales reps and they usually come in armed with information about me that I don’t even know,” he said, like the number of prescriptions he writes for the drug company’s product. “I feel that’s not really a comfortable interaction to have.”

Ethics Blog Casts An Eye On GSK


August 19, 2013

GSK in China: A Game Changer in Compliance

I have published my first eBook-GSK in China: A Game Changer in Compliance. In this eBook, I review the information on the GlaxoSmithKline bribery and corruption allegations in China to-date, what you can do about it as a compliance practitioner and what it may all mean for international companies doing business in China.

I am sure that you will find it useful going forward to your compliance challenges. It is available through Kindle for only $4.99. You can download a copy here and start reading about it now.

GSK’s recent letter to agencies is not only crass, but the worst kind of blackmail, says Dominic Mills.



GSK’s recent letter to agencies is not only crass, but the worst kind of blackmail, says Dominic Mills.

GSK’s cunning cash-back plan: cock-up, not conspiracy

GSK's cunning cash-back plan: cock-up, not conspiracyGSK’s recent letter to agencies is not only crass, but the worst kind of blackmail, says Dominic Mills. However, it’s dangerous to stigmatise all procurement departments based on the behaviour of a few.

You probably will by now be familiar with the stories of GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK’s) outrageous smash-and-grab raid on agencies.

The drugs giant has written to hundreds of agencies asking not only for cash back from last year, but cash upfront in order to stay on the roster next year.

Here’s what it actually said: “If your agency has performed work for GSK in 2013, please provide a [percentage] rebate for the 2013 global annual spend by GSK. For all future GSK annual £ spend levels, please provide a percentage rebate. All agencies must complete this question.

“If selected to be a part of the GSK Global Digital Roster, please indicate a one-time sign-on bonus you will offer GlaxoSmithKline (in GBP).”

It’s utterly crass, of course, and sounds like the worst kind of blackmail. And part of it undoubtedly is a breach of contract – asking for money back from payments already received will not be part of any legal contract.

Both the IPA and the Marketing Agencies Association have been quick to condemn GSK.

Coming, as it does, off the back of the Premier Foods agency hi-jack earlier this year, there is the worrying possibility that such behaviour may take root at clients.

You can’t imagine GSK’s procurement department treating its lawyers or management consultancies the same way, and that’s because they have powerful friends and supporters at the top of the company”

The wider question, therefore, is whether this is an indication of the way procurement departments are riding roughshod over everything and, effectively, driving the value of non-commodity services into the ground.

Does it mean, for example, that clients are unable to understand the value that creativity can add to their business?

Well, no, I don’t think it does necessarily. Procurement departments are subject to their own pressures too.

In these circumstances it may be helpful go back to the 12th century and think of Henry II and Thomas a Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. Exasperated by the way his one-time friend had turned against him, Henry II said: “Will no-one rid me of this troublesome priest?”

What he didn’t mean was for a group of zealous courtiers to overhear him, and murder Becket, who immediately became a martyr and symbol of resistance.

As I say, cock-up, not conspiracy.

The equivalent, I suspect, may have happened at GSK.

It’s year-end: the squeeze is probably on, a dividend payment to be made and the share price to be maintained. The instruction goes down from the CFO to the procurement department. Find some more savings.

And some bright spark a few layers down in procurement (perhaps with experience in a supermarket, where they are masters at this sort of thing) decides it’s worth hitting on the agencies.

Certainly, if you read the GSK communication with agencies closely, the language is not very sophisticated. It’s clumsy and unsubtle, perhaps written in haste. It may even have been written without the knowledge of the author’s ultimate boss and almost certainly the marketing director or CMO.

It’s possible too that this is a standard letter, with variants going out to all suppliers, including those people who supply GSK’s labs with, say, white mice and Bunsen burners.

And it may be, heaven forbid, that in order for the procurement department to make its bonuses this year, it has unilaterally decided to squeeze suppliers. We don’t know how procurement departments are incentivised, but it sure as hell won’t be for paying the same or more for anything.

There is one other way for agencies to protect themselves: put the same preparation and effort into negotiating the contract as they do into the pitch.”

Nevertheless, it’s dangerous to stigmatise all procurement departments based on the behaviour of a few, or Premier and GSK in particular.

I know some senior agency people who swear procurement departments are actually their allies and supporters, although I suspect this is in client organisations that are marketing-focused rather than ones that behave as though they are buying everything by the ton.

The answer then must surely be for agencies to engage better with procurement and help them understand a) how the agency model works and b) the commercial impact a really good agency can have on the client’s business.

Agencies could also do with having a few more powerful allies client-side: finance, corporate affairs and so on – everyone with a C in their title. You can’t imagine GSK’s procurement department treating its lawyers or management consultancies the same way, and that’s because they have powerful friends and supporters at the top of the company.

Obviously, all this isn’t going to happen overnight, but the IPA President Ian Priest’sADAPT agenda can make a real difference in this area.

There is one other way for agencies to protect themselves, which is a tip I heard from one agency boss: put the same preparation and effort into negotiating the contract as they do into the pitch.


Remembering Seroxat Causing Aggression and Violent Urges: Mark Douglas-Hamilton (2003)



Last Updated: Thursday, 9 October, 2003, 05:06 GMT 06:06 UK

Anti-depressant doubts
Mark Hamilton

Mark says coming off Seroxat made him violent

The drug has been linked to a number of suicides and is currently under review.

But its makers – the drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline say that millions of patients around the world have taken it without suffering any ill-effects.

  • The Seroxat debate
    Dr Alastair Benbow

    Benbow: Seroxat doesn’t cause aggression, but depression can

    We put the questions raised by Mark’s case to Dr Alastair Benbow, The Head of European Clinical Psychiatry at the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.

    We also talked to Andrew Isaacs of the Seroxat Users Group (you’ll find a link for this group on the right hand side of this page).

    Dr Benbow, whose firm makes Seroxat, told us that he accepts the drug has some side effects, but the benefits clearly outweigh the risks.

    “Depression is a very serious condition, leading to 3,000 avoidable deaths every year.”

    He added: “We saw here a case of potential violence and aggression “All the data suggests that actually Seroxat does not cause violence, whereas depression does.

    “Depression often manifests itself in men in particular with irritability and depression, whereas in women it’s helplessness and hopelessness.”

    The makers of Seroxat say that one in four patients will experience problems when coming off the drug – but it isn’t addictive. If you do want to come off the drug, you should take it slowly

    “All people can get off by tapering gradually – working with the doctor to get off. And that’s the same with all anti depressants and agents which work on the mind.”

    The trouble with Seroxat: Breakfast’s Luisa Baldini investigates

    It was hailed as a miracle cure for anxiety and shyness.

    But Seroxat has left thousands of people with a bitter after-taste.

    There can be severe side-effects.

    Its prescription’s already been banned to under 18s when it was found they were more likely to harm themselves.

    And some say trying to withdraw from it is even worse.

    Thirty year-old Mark Hamilton was working and living in Oxford last year when he claims Seroxat turned him into a criminal.

    He says: “My personality changed so drastically I started to shop lift. I had violent thoughts towards other people – homicidal thoughts, suicidal thoughts.

    “On top of all this I was physically falling apart. All of this culminated in me robbing a local garage.”

    Mark was facing up to eight years in prison when his case was suddenly dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.

    It followed this medical report suggesting his behaviour could have been altered by trying to come off Seroxat.

    Pressed on whether he was just using this as an excuse, Mark says: “Violent is one thing I have never been – I’ve avoided violence all my life.”

    There are other cases similar to Mark’s.

    A woman in Scotland convicted of assault was spared a jail sentence after the judge told her:

    “you would not have done this if you had not been taking Seroxat…the behaviour of normally sensible people can become aggressive after taking the drug.”

    In Wales a police officer had assault charges against him dropped.

    The claims are given some credence by the case of Donald Schell in the United States. He killed his wife, daughter and granddaughter after just 2 days on the drug. The government is reviewing Seroxat, looking specifically at potential withdrawal reactions, and reported suicidal behaviour. The findings are due before the end of the year. 

    Have you had similar experiences with Seroxat or other forms of anti-depressants. Or has taking Seroxat saved your life? If you have a story to tell, let us know using this e-mail form

    Your E-mail address
    town or city

    Disclaimer: The BBC may edit your comments and cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published.

But doubts are beginning to surface about its effects on some patients – particularly when they try to come off the drug.

Taking Seroxat is increasingly being used as a defence for criminal behaviour. In one case, a man had charges dropped against him after claiming the drug turned him into a robber.

 My personality changed so drastically I started to shop lift. I had violent thoughts towards other people – homicidal thoughts, suicidal thoughts.. All of this culminated in me robbing a 

Kate Barry (Jane Birkin’s Daughter) Dead: ‘Anti-depressant’s found at scene’

If anti-depressants were so effective then why is it that almost every person who commits suicide has been on them?…

Details have yet to emerge about Kate Barry’s death.. but it’s looking like a typical anti-depressant induced suicide


Jane Birkin’s daughter Kate Barry dies after fall from Paris flat

Body of British-born photographer, 46, found on pavement outside her home in French capital on Wednesday evening
British-born photographer Kate Barry, daughter of the actor and singer Jane Birkin, has died after falling from the window of her fourth-floor Paris flat.

Her body was found around 6.30pm on Wednesday on the pavement outside her home in the 16th arrondissement.

Barry, 46, was Birkin’s eldest daughter and was born in London. Her father was the British composer John Barry, best known for his film music including the James Bond theme and Out of Africa. He died in 2011.

Her parents separated shortly after she was born in 1967, and Birkin moved to France where she brought up her daughter with the French singer Serge Gainsbourg, and later the film director Jacques Doillon.

Barry carved out a name for herself as a fashion photographer, but in France remained less famous than her actor half-sisters, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon. Barry once said she preferred to remain behind the scenes.

“At first, I was better known because of my family: my mother, my stepfather, my father, my sisters … now I hope I’m known a bit more for my own work,” Barry said.

She was thought to have been alone in the flat, where antidepressants were reportedly found by police, who have launched an inquiry into her death. The door to her flat was locked from the inside.

“The matter is under investigation, but we can confirm the death,” a police spokesperson said on Thursday.

Birkin has often spoken about her closeness to her daughters, saying not a week passed when she did not talk to all three.

“My eldest daughter, Kate, looks most like me. She’s a photographer. She had a Polaroid camera in her hand from a young age and photographed her sisters all the time,” Birkin, 66, said in an interview.

Barry spent many years battling drug and alcohol addiction and in 1994 set up a free centre for addicts in France.

Two years later she began her photography career, which took off with a major exhibition in Japan. Afterwards her images were published in several major publications, including British Vogue and Paris Match.

As well as her mother and half-sisters, she leaves a 26-year-old son, Roman de Kermadec.


Jane Birkin and John Barry’s daughter Kate Barry dies after falling from apartment in apparent suicide

  • DECEMBER 13, 2013 1:27AM


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Kate Barry apartment Paris

The building where British photographer Kate Barry was found dead after jumping from her Paris flat. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

Jane Birkin with Kate Barry

British actor and singer Jane Birkin with 7-month-old Kate Barry, her daughter by composer John Barry, on November 9, 1967. Picture: Getty Source: Getty Images

PHOTOGRAPHER Kate Barry, daughter of singer-actress Jane Birkin and famed Bond film composer John Barry, has died after falling from her fourth floor Paris flat in an apparent suicide.

The 46-year-old was found beneath her flat in the city’s wealthy 16th district on Wednesday evening.

Barry lived alone and anti-depressants were discovered inside her flat, which was locked from the inside, police said.

She was the daughter of British-born Birkin, best known as the muse and partner of late French singer Serge Gainsbourg, and British composer John Barry, famous for writing 11 James Bond movie themes includingGoldfinger and Diamonds Are Forever.

Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti paid rich tribute to Kate Barry, saying that her “loving and heartfelt thoughts” were with a “family we all love”.

Barry had studied fashion but turned to photography later. She had drug and alcohol problems which prompted her to open a centre for addicts near Paris.

“Her fragility touched us,” Mr Filippetti said, adding that Barry was an outstanding photographer whose “sense of light and composition was very pictorial”.

Kate Barry had said in an interview that she was fascinated by photography as a child, starting out with Gainsbourg’s Polaroid.

“For me it was something miraculous, the image appeared almost immediately,” she said.

Birkin and John Barry, who died in 2011, separated in 1967, the year of Kate Barry’s birth, and she was brought up until her teenage years by Birkin and Gainsbourg.

At the time, they were the most famous couple in France, as much for their bohemian and hedonistic lifestyle as for their work. Gainsbourg, a chronic alcoholic, died, aged 62, in 1991.

Kate Barry was also the half-sister of actresses Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon.

Her photographs had appeared in leading French magazines such as Paris MatchElle andLe Figaro and she had recently held an exhibition of her works entitled Point of View. Portraits. Still Life in Paris.

She had one son, Roman, who was born in 1987.

Readers in need of emotional support with depression can contact Beyond Blue or callLifeline‘s 24-hour crisis support line on 13 11 14.

Remembering Seroxat Causing Self-harm (2004)


just 16 but within a week of starting seroxat had began self harming.

October 9 2004, 4:59 PM 

Sarah Thompson says she
self harmed on Seroxat

Sarah Thompson was prescribed Seroxat for depression three years ago. She was just 16 at the time.

She had never had suicidal thoughts before taking the drug, but within a week had began self harming.

She told the programme: “I’d never thought about suicide before I took Seroxat and when I was taking it. I was obsessed about death it was part of my every day life.

“I would cut myself mainly and then I started to burn myself and found other methods, but it was mainly cutting myself to start with.

Three years on, she has strong views about the regulation of the drug: “Looking back at what happened to me because of Seroxat, and the great affect it has had on my life and to my relationships with my family and my future.

“I don’t think that the regulators are doing their job properly, because they allowed me to take a drug that has in effect taken away part of my childhood.”

Shanghai health official suspended following GSK scandal


Shanghai health official suspended following GSK scandal

  • Staff Reporter
  • 2013-12-09
  • 17:34 (GMT+8)
A man walks by a GSK branch in Tianjin. (Photo/Xinhua)A man walks by a GSK branch in Tianjin. (Photo/Xinhua)

Huang Fengping, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning, is said to have been suspended following an investigation into his alleged involvement in economic crimes related to British pharmaceutical and healthcare giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), reports the Guangzhou-based 21st Century Business Herald.

Huang, born in 1965, is a well-known expert in neurosurgery, and previously served as vice president of the Huashan Hospital affiliated to the Fudan University in Shanghai. Insiders claim that Huang was taken away by related investigators in mid-September, and was recently taken back to Shanghai.

His position within the commission had already been taken down from its official website on Dec. 6, while a commission spokesman declined to comment further on Huang and the ongoing case against him, the paper said.

Aside from his position at the commission, Huang is also vice chairman of the Shanghai Municipal Committee of Chinese Peasants and Workers Democratic Party, but the committee’s website has also deleted Huang from its leaders’ list.

Insiders claim that Huang is involved in the GSK bribery case via the Huashan Hospital, while one of his close relatives also works for the multinational.

GSK, meanwhile, is facing the biggest risk in China since it entered the nation in 1908 as police are investigating whether its executives are involved in alleged economic crimes, the Beijing-based Economic Observer reported in mid-July.

Executives of the British pharmaceutical giant are said to have bribed government officials, some medical associations and foundations, hospitals and doctors by inviting them to attend overseas academic seminars, covering their expenses during the trips, the Economic Observer said.

On July 11, a report from the Ministry of Public Security said that GSK, in order to establish the channel to sell its drugs, had used travel agencies to directly bribe or indirectly sponsor some pharmaceutical industry associations, hospitals and doctors.