Yesterday I posted a public document which gave a judgement from a judge presiding over part of the GSK whistleblower complaint (which led to a record breaking 3 Billion dollar fine for GSK in 2012, after a US dept of Justice investigation). The complaint itself goes back decades, and in this particular part of the legal case, one of the ‘whistleblowers’, Blair Hamrick, was recently denied compensation for his claim for ‘unfair dismissal’. I have no idea how much exactly Blair expected to receive with this part of the claim, but I gather it would likely be in the “few million” bracket. However, I’m sure Blair probably isn’t feeling overly hard-done-by considering the multiples of millions he has already received from his original whistleblower case.
I found this document interesting because, although the 3 billion dollar fine itself made headline news back in 2012, little is known about the whistleblowers themselves. The only whistleblower who seems to have made much media appearances, since GSK were fined, is Blair Hamrick, and the (now failed) unfair dismissal case (which I posted yesterday) was brought against GSK by Blair Hamrick. The other whistleblower Greg Thorpe seems to have been the first to instigate the case against GSK, therefore it would seem that it was Greg who blew the whistle initially. Greg has given just one interview, and is apparently still caught up in legal actions but is beginning to speak out. However, apparently there were at least another 4 whistleblowers who were part of this case- Thomas Gerahty and Matthew Burke, were both mentioned in news articles but nothing has been forthcoming in the media from those two men. Why?
The two other apparent ‘whistleblowers’, have surnames Graydon, and LaFauci, and they apparently filed suit much later than the others. Why are these two men not mentioned in news articles? (but they are mentioned in court documents here). What did they reveal? or was it just a rehash of the previous claims already filed? Furthermore, what has the dubious Dr. Piacentile (who seems to have made his living through whistleblowing and suing drug companies who once courted him) got do do with some of the later claims?
Stone & Magnanini, a firm with a history of representing whistleblowers in groundbreaking settlements, represented Dr. Joseph Piacentile, a physician who was the first to blow the whistle on Johnson & Johnson and Janssen’s fraudulent conduct back in 2001. Following Dr. Piacentile’s filing, five other whistleblowers filed actions against the companies, and relators and their counsel formed a team to assist Government lawyers in achieving this groundbreaking settlement.
I have always thought that the GSK 3 Billion fine was a slap on the wrist for GSK, and I have also thought that paying out whistleblowers such high amounts of cash was bordering on obscene, particularly considering some of these drugs (detailed in the court complaint) killed people, and most of them caused a lot of harm. I understand that some of the whistleblower’s took risks, and should be rewarded for loss of earnings etc, but I don’t believe that all these whistleblowers were genuine whistleblowers. It would be interesting to ask them what drugs did they prescribe off-label themselves? (if any?). Why, and when did they decide to come forward, was it before or after they realized they would get rewarded handsomely? These are important questions.
There is no money that can replace the loss of your life from a drug like Seroxat (Paxil), or the loss of your health, and anyhow most people can’t get GSK anywhere near a court to claim compensation for that, particularly in the UK and Europe. In my opinion compensation from GSK is blood money, plain and simple- it is money tainted with bad karma, unless the person receiving it was a victim, or a real whistleblower (with genuine intentions not just freeloading on the back of a potential payout)- then I think the money is seriously tainted… Think of it this way- any money GSK has, and any money it pays out, has been earned on the back of fraud and corporate murder. It’s blood money– no doubt about it. It’s money soaked from the blood of Seroxat teenage suicides, Avandia heart attacks, babies with defects…
Another intriguing aspect of all this is, what happened to the Paxil complaint? Why did the main part of the original fine allegations focus on Advair? Why not Avandia or Paxil (Seroxat)? It seems to me that GSK got off extremely lightly for their most dangerous and damaging drugs- Paxil and Avandia- and that the department of Justice allowed the least damaging complaint (Advair) to gain the most traction and attention- particularly in the media. Why are the whistleblowers not talking about the whitewash and the deal that GSK did with the justice department? It was obviously a good deal for GSK- 3 months profits for decades of damaging and killing tens of thousands of people? why are they not talking about the nitty gritty of what GSK did- corporate manslaughter and corporate murder? Why did the big executives walk away scot free? What really happened in the dubious Lauren Stevens trial? What was Witty’s involvement (pre CEO) with Wellbutrin? (one of the main fraudulent drugs mentioned in the original DOJ complaint?).
If anyone has any information on any of this, please contact me on my e-mail
Money: Pink Floyd
Money, get away
Get a good job with more pay and you’re okay
Money, it’s a gas
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash
New car, caviar, four star daydream
Think I’ll buy me a football team
Money, get back
I’m all right Jack keep your hands off of my stack
Money, it’s a hit
Don’t give me that do goody good bullshit
I’m in the high-fidelity first class traveling set
And I think I need a Lear jet
Money, it’s a crime
Share it fairly but don’t take a slice of my pie
Money, so they say
Is the root of all evil today
But if you ask for a raise it’s no surprise
That they’re giving none away
Away, away, way
Away, away, away