Andrew Witty was the recent CEO of GSK. He was at the helm of GSK when they were fined for the largest health care fraud investigation in US history (in 2012) and weathered several corruption investigations (including the 2014 China Bribe scandal) during his tenure. You would think that this kind of thing wouldn’t look good on his CV wouldn’t you? You’d think that presiding over a company that has one of the worst corporate reputations (and image problems) of the FTSE 500 would look bad for future roles and jobs wouldn’t you?
Not so- it seems- when it comes to the stomach churning revolving door of the British business and political class.
“….The U.K. government has announced that former GlaxoSmithKline chief Sir Andrew Witty is to head up its new pathway that aims to get a handful of drugs and medical technologies to patients quicker than ever before….”
The plans for the so-called Accelerated Access Review (AAR) will see Sir Andrew, once on the other side of the fence trying to get new drugs onto the market, decide which set of medications and devices can get through to U.K. patients at a much speedier rate. This also comes two months after he was hired by venture capital firm Hatteras Venture Partners; the firm tells me he will be staying on there, but did not answer questions about any potential conflicts of interest….”
So Sir Andrew Witty of the corporate pharmafioso outfit of GSK will now head the UK governments fast-track process for new drugs? Does that make you feel safe in the drug approval process?
You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried.
Amazingly also, on the same day that this news was reported, it was also reported that GSK have a new drug which the US regulators are designating as a ‘breakthrough’ drug.
“…LONDON (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline received a boost for its oncology research on Thursday when an experimental drug for blood cancer received a “breakthrough” designation from U.S. regulators…..”
“…The decision by the Food and Drug Administration paves the way for a speedy regulatory review of the BCMA drug for multiple myeloma. It follows similar priority treatment granted by the European Medicines Agency last month…”
Whilst Witty was swinging through his revolving door- from industry honcho to government insider- GSK’s Patrick Vallance just might be skipping through another one…
“….GlaxoSmithKline’s head of R&D Patrick Vallance could be en route to a UK government position as chief scientific advisor, according to reports.
Vallance has been leading the R&D operations of GSK for more nearly six years, and his departure comes in the midst of a shake-up of the UK big pharma group under new chief executive Emma Walmsley, who took over from previous CEO Sir Andrew Witty in April.
News of the departure – reported by the Financial Times – was previously covered on the Research Fortnight website, which said Vallance had been proposed by an independent panel of scientists along with another candidate with a background in the physical sciences…..”
Of course this kind of thing is all absolutely ethical, above board and not in the slightest bit worrying. It’s just another day, another dollar isn’t it, business as usual? nothing to see here, move along…
I feel much safer knowing that these two ex GSK executives will now have an even bigger role in deciding which drugs pass from industry into patients’ mouths.
I feel so safe and comfortable knowing that the top executives from the manufacturers of Myodil, Seroxat, Pandemrix, Tafenoquine, Lamictal, Wellbutrin, Cervarix, Zofran and Dexedrine (and other shoddy meds) will decide on which treatments and drugs will work best for the consumer…
The Foxes Own The Hen House Guys..
We’re all Fucked..