Tagged: corporate

Recap from 2012: America The BattleField: Big Pharma Criminality and Fraud No Longer a Conspiracy Theory

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Big Pharma Criminality and Fraud No Longer a Conspiracy Theory

This is for everyone who has been saying that I don’t know what I’m talking about and don’t have the facts regarding the healthcare, pharmaceutical, and vaccine industries. GlaxoSmithKline, one of the largest multinational pharmaceutical, biologics, and vaccine corporations in the world, has plead guilty to criminal fraud charges, and has been ordered to pay $3 billion in fines, the largest healthcare fraud settlement in U.S. history.
This is just one example of the decades-long conspiracy of criminal activity and deep collusion between government, big pharma, and the media. They have been lying, and the media has been supporting and covering for the illegal chemical and biological warfare of these drug companies.
Glaxo made $27.9 billion from the sale of Paxil, Wellbutrin, and Avandia. The fine was incurred due to hiding the dangers and inducing doctors to prescribe these drugs for off-label uses.
However, Glaxo had already set aside the $3 billion from their war chest of $27.9 billion, to pay the government fine. Glaxo said in a statement to the BBC that they will pay the fine out of existing cash resources. Some of the criminal charges GlaxoSmithKline plead guilty to:

  • Bribing doctors
  • Lying to the FDA
  • Fabricating drug safety data
  • Defrauding Medicare and Medicaid out of billions
  • Deceiving regulators about the effectiveness of its drugs
Among the many doctors bribed by GlaxoSmithKline was Dr. Drew Pinsky, who received $275,000.00 to promote Glaxo’s anti-depressant drug, Wellbutrin. Also, sales reps in the U.S. were encouraged to mis-sell Glaxo’s antidepressants. Where is the accountability?

“On behalf of (Glaxo), I want to express our regret and reiterate that we have learnt from the mistakes that were made. When necessary, we have removed employees who have engaged in misconduct.” – Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline “What we’re learning is that money doesn’t deter corporate malfeasance.” – Eliot Spitzer, former attorney general of New York “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.” – Marcia Angell, MD Similarly,

Bayer was caught shipping out Factor VIII hemophilia blood products that were knowingly infected with HIV and hepatitis C, to patients all over the country for over a decade. It is estimated that the resulting deaths from just those blood products number in the hundreds of thousands.

Government regulators are themselves corrupted from within. For instance, the former director of the CDC from 2002 through 2009, Dr. Julie Gerberding, landed a very lucrative job as president of the $5 billion vaccine division at Merck, one of the largest drug companies in the world. She was very likely cultivating a relationship with Merck all those years. The pharmaceutical industry has a giant “revolving door” through which corporations and government agencies frequently exchange key employees. And the bought-and-paid-for state run media is standing by to propagandize the masses about how great it is. “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” – Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister of Propaganda, Nazi Germany Relevant news articles:


300 years of Andrew Witty? What to buy with $3 billion

04 July 2012
John Hodgson

GlaxoSmithKline, part of what used to be called ‘the ethical pharmaceutical industry’ back in the days when Boy Scouts wore short pants, was docked a record $3 billion in state and federal fines and in liabilities in the US for misdemeanours violations concerning the marketing of antidepressants and its diabetes drug, Avandia (scripintelligence.com, 3 July 2012).

GSK’s stock price rise in London of 22 pence on the day was a collective investor sigh of relief that the dmage was as low as $3 billion. This was half the amount GSK had predicted (£4 billion – $6 billion).

But the company surely would have much rather determined itself how the money was spent.

So, on the day the Higgs boson first poked its mass-defining nosy signal above the parapet of subatomic noise, Scrip would like to take you on a trip to some alternative universes, universes in which an innocent (or undetected) GSK gets, Sinatra-like, to spend $3 billion its way.

What then, in the words of the Finance Director, is the opportunity cost of being naughty and getting caught?

Without the fine, for instance, GSK might have paid out an extra 60 cents a share in dividends to shareholders.

Or it could have spent the money on R&D, adding 50% again to its annual innovation budget.

Ot it could cornerstone a hundred regional venture capital funds around the globe (but probably still mainly in New England and California) and really stoke up early stage life science companies.

It could have bought more or its own shares. In 2011, GSK spent £2.2 billion ($3.45 billion) on auto-cannibalism, buying its own shares. It will probably make similarly narcissistic purchases in 2012. With a market capitalisation of around $110 billion, each $1 billion in stock repurchase by GSK increases its earnings-per-share by nearly 1% without the company having to do anything to change its business in any tangible way. A $3 billion bonus would have boosted GSK EPS 2.7%.

On the other hand, GSK could have made an irresistible offer for HGS, $5.6 billion rather the paltry $2.6 billion it currently has on the table now, gathering dust (scripintelligence, com, 11 June 2012).

[Mind you, with no other bidders in sight, no rumours of bidders from any investments banks, and no statistically significant evidence that icicles are forming in Hades, GSK probably doesn’t have to rush that one.]

It could have bought 60% of the BioMarin Pharmaceuticals rare disease business, for which GSK is rumoured to be offering $5 billion (scripintelligence.com, 13 June 2012).

Or the company could keep Andrew Witty on his 2011 salary for close to 300 years, although that seems an excessive period without a raise, even for a man who seems happy enough with a mere $10.6 million compensation, well below the 2011 Big Pharma average of $16.3 million (scripintelligence.com, 30 March 2012).

Alternatively, in order to flatten the GSK organisational structure still further, and to extend the R&D analogy of ‘shots on goal’ to management circles, $3 billion would buy the company ten years with an expanded management team of 30 CEOs with salary-linked egos. Then GSK really would run like a collection of biotechs.

Of course, there are lots of alternative universes outside GSK. Spent on a global initiative to tackle neglected tropical diseases, for instance, $3 billion might stretch further. At the launch of just such an initiative in January (scripintelligence.com, 31 January 2012) into which the Gates Foundation had committed $383 million, Andrew Witty, speaking for 13 pharma firms involved said: “Many companies and organisations have worked for decades to fight these horrific diseases. But no one company or organisation can do it alone.”

Hmmn, Andrew. Hate to be picky, but $3000 million probably might just cover it. Oh, no! Forgot! You don’t have it any more. Silly tropical diseases will just have stay neglected a bit longer.

$3 billion is a lot of money in India, too. There it buys three years worth of government-procured drugs (scripintelligence.com, 25 June 2012).

Part of case against GSK involved allegations that the company promoted paediatric use of its Paxil and Wellbutrin antidepressants despite studies that had failed to show efficacy. $3 billion worth of hindsight later, what is clear is that the company had rightly identified an unmet medical need but then addressed it in the wrong way.

Depressed juveniles? Yufaxil? Nothanksil! Get a Playstation 3 bundle from Amazon costing $299,99. Need extended release? Try the top of the range Microsoft Xbox 360 250 Gb consoles with Kinect at around $380.$3 billion gets around 10 million of them.

This is just the sort of imaginative social comparator that health technology agencies need to think about.

Or, if you want to keep any preventative solution within the care sector, GSK’s fine equals around 200 year’s running the UK suicide prevention charity, the Samaritans (at £10 million a year) or, by extrapolation, 2 years pro rata support for suicide prevention across the entire 7 billion human population.

But wait. There’s another way. A better way! Spend some of money (not all of it, obviously, just most) on better lawyers, smarter certainly than the ones who lost this case.

There’s a lot of billable hours in $3 billion!


GSK Versus The Public

GSK have been invested in social media for a while now, but despite efforts to curb criticism of the company -and the dodgy brands it peddles to an unsuspecting public -some critics of GSK just continue to chip away at the corporate facade.

The internet doesn’t forget.

Bravo Bob Fiddaman



GSK: Seroxat: Insight into how pharma manipulates research evidence: a case study


5 April 2012, 6.41am AEST
Insight into how pharma manipulates research evidence: a case study


Jon Jureidini
Professor of Psychiatry at University of Adelaide

Jon Jureidini receives funding from the ARC. He is affiliated with Healthy Skepticism.

The Conversation
The Conversation is an independent source of information, analysis and commentary from the university and research sector—written by acknowledged experts, curated by professional editors and delivered direct to the public. read more

2 February 2012
Time to go back to the drawing board on mental health reform
12 May 2011
You can work it out: shrinks aren’t always the best option

SKB knew eight adolescents self-harmed or reported emergent suicidal ideas compared to only one in the placebo group but hid this. Michael Valli
TRANSPARENCY AND MEDICINE – A series examining issues from ethics to the evidence in evidence-based medicine, the influence of medical journals to the role of Big Pharma in our present and future health.

Here Jon Jureidini explains what he encountered while examining internal documents as an expert witness in a case against a pharmaceutical company.

It’s well known that academic literature on medication in psychiatry is distorted by selective publication – failing to publish studies with negative results or selectively publishing only positive results from studies with mixed outcomes.

I had the unusual opportunity to see inside the process of how the marketing department of a pharmaceutical company controls and distorts information in the medical literature. This chance arose when I was provided with access to a huge number of internal documents because I acted as an expert witness for a US law firm.

Between 1993 and 1998, SmithKline Beecham (SKB, subsequently GlaxoSmithKline) provided $5 million to various academic institutions to fund research into paroxetine (also known as Aropax, Paxil (GSK) or Seroxat), led by Martin Keller. Keller was from Brown University and received $800,000 for participation in the project.

The results were published in 2001 by Keller et al. in the journal article, “Efficacy of paroxetine in the treatment of adolescent major depression: a randomized, controlled trial”, in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP). The article concluded that “paroxetine is generally well tolerated and effective for major depression in adolescents”.

This was a serious misrepresentation of both the effectiveness and safety of the drug. In fact, when SKB set out their methodology for their proposed study protocol, they had specified two primary and six secondary outcome measures. All eight proved negative, that is, on none of those measures did children on paroxetine do better than those on placebo.

HmanJp/ Wikimedia Commons

The published article misrepresented one of the primary outcomes so that it appeared positive, and deleted all six pre-specified secondary outcomes, replacing them with more favourable measures.

SKB papers also revealed that at least eight adolescents in the paroxetine group had self-harmed or reported emergent suicidal ideas compared to only one in the placebo group. But these adverse events were not properly reported in the published paper. Instead, some were described as “emotional liability” while others were left out altogether.

Although published in Keller’s name, the article was ghostwritten by agents of SKB, and the company maintained tight control of the article’s content throughout its development.

GlaxoSmithKline’s internal documents, disclosed in litigation, show that company staff were aware that the study didn’t support the claim of efficacy but decided it would be “unacceptable commercially” to reveal that.

According to a company position paper, the data were selectively reported in Keller et al.’s article, in order to “effectively manage the dissemination of these data in order to minimise any potential negative commercial impact”.

Ano Lobb/Flickr

As it turns out, the Keller et al. article was used by GlaxoSmithKline to ward off potential damage to the profile of paroxetine and to promote off-label prescribing to children and adolescents.

While problems with the study and the Keller et al paper have been thoroughly exposed in legal actions, the bioethical and medical literature, a book, and a BBC Panorama documentary, the paper continues to be cited uncritically as evidence of the efficacy of paroxetine for treatment of adolescent depression.

Repeated attempts to get JAACAP to retract the offending paper have been unsuccessful.

For paroxetine, the concern is that adolescents are being harmed because well-intentioned physicians have been misled about its safety and effectiveness.

But more broadly, the case raises questions about how widespread such dubious practice is in the academic community, and in the editorial practices of “scientific” journals.

This is the ninth part of Transparency and Medicine. You can read the previous instalment by clicking the link below


GSK : Corporate Psychopath ?

“it’s your job to be willing to step across the line … to take action… to say…
… this is wrong…”

“the problem… the organizations themselves, the systems are sociopathic… you can’t expect them to have a conscience , you cant expect them to have a heart…”

” somebody at the very top of the organization is making obscene amounts of money… It becomes a situation where money and the desire for money becomes limitless…it’a primitive state of human desire and appetite…”

Lack of empathy..
Without a conscience….
Lack of concern for other people…
Ability to look at people as mere objects…

Does that sound like psychiatry or pharmaceutical companies to you?…

Scroll up to around 31 mins for the segment on anti-depressants…


Why (Some) Psychopaths Make Great CEOs


British journalist Jon Ronson immersed himself in the world of mental health diagnosis and criminal profiling to understand what makes some people psychopaths — dangerous predators who lack the behavioral controls and tender feelings the rest of us take for granted. Among the things he learned while researching his new book, “The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry”: the incidence of psychopathy among CEOs is about 4 percent, four times what it is in the population at large. I spoke with him recently about what that means and its implications for the business world and wider society.

Are we really to understand that there’s some connection between what makes people psychopaths and what makes them CEO material?

At first I was really skeptical because it seemed like an easy thing to say, almost like a conspiracy theorist’s type of thing to say. I remember years and years ago a conspiracy theorist telling me the world was ruled by blood-drinking, baby-sacrificing lizards. These psychologists were essentially saying the same thing. Basically, when you get them talking, these people [ie. psychopaths] are different than human beings. They lack the things that make you human: empathy, remorse, loving kindness.

So at first I thought this might just be psychologists feeling full of themselves with their big ideological notions. But then I met Al Dunlap. [That would be “Chainsaw” Al Dunlap, former CEO of Sunbeam and notorious downsizer.] He effortlessly turns the psychopath checklist into “Who Moved My Cheese?” Many items on the checklist he redefines into a manual of how to do well in capitalism.

There was his reputation that he was a man who seemed to enjoy firing people, not to mention the stories from his first marriage — telling his first wife he wanted to know what human flesh tastes like, not going to his parents’ funerals. Then you realize that because of this dysfunctional capitalistic society we live in those things were positives. He was hailed and given high-powered jobs, and the more ruthlessly his administration behaved, the more his share price shot up.

So you can just go down the list of Fortune 500 CEOs and say, “psychopath, psychopath, psychopath…”

Well, no. Dunlap was an exceptional figure, wasn’t he? An extreme figure.

I think my book offers really good evidence that the way that capitalism is structured really is a physical manifestation of the brain anomaly known as psychopathy. However, I woudn’t say every Fortune 500 chief is a psychopath. That would turn me into an ideologue and I abhor ideologues.

Is it an either/or thing? It seems to me, thinking about it, that a lot of the traits on the checklist would be be useful in a corporate ladder-climbing situation. So maybe there are a lot of CEOs who simply have some psychopathic tendencies.

It is a spectrum, but there’s a cutoff point. If you’re going by the Hare checklist [the standard inventory used in law enforcement, devised by leading researcher Robert Hare], where the top score is 40, the average anxiety-ridden business failure like me — although the fact that my book just made the Times best sellers list makes it difficult to call myself that — would score a 4 or 5. Somebody you have to be wary of would be in early 20s and a really hard core damaged person, a really dangerous psychopath, would score around a 30. In law the cutoff is 29.

There are absolutes in psychopathy and the main absolute is a literal absence of empathy. It’s just not there. In higher-scoring psychopaths, what grows in the vacant field where that empathy should be is a joy in manipulating people, a lack of remorse, a lack of guilt. If you’ve got a little bit of empathy, you’re kind of not a psychopath.

GSK: Corporate manslaughter, fraud, corruption, defective drugs, damaging consumers, breeching ethics, intimidation of critics and general skullduggery… Why do they get away with it?

Perhaps it’s because they have an undue influence within the heart of the UK governmental system?… 





Did Osborne tip off GlaxoSmithKline about his plans?

Less than 24 hours after George Osborne confirmed in the Budget that the Government would bring in new tax measures to encourage investment in research and development in the UK, the pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline announced it would be building its first new manufacturing facility in the UK for almost 40 years and investing £500m to create 1,000 UK jobs.

Yesterday, Glaxo said its plans had been in the pipeline for some time and pointed out the tax changes had first been mooted back in 2009


But others pointed out that Glaxo’s CEO, Sir Andrew Witty, is in David Cameron’s Business Advisory Group – and has regular meetings with the Government. The move, they suggested, was very well choreographed with comments from Sir Andrew, Mr Cameron and Scottish Secretary Michael Moore all approved to go on Glaxo’s press release yesterday morning

GSK seeks to span digital divide with social/digital dragnet…


I wonder, would this new social media driven initiative on behalf of GSK have anything to do with staggering amount of web hits, key word searches and general popularity of blogs such as the “Seroxat Secrets” blog or Bob Fiddaman’s advocacy blog “Seroxat Sufferers” …

Seroxat Secrets just went over the half a million mark (500,000)..

That means it’s been majorly indexed by google web spiders and other web bots for search engines looking for keywords such as ‘Seroxat’ and ‘GSK’…

My own blog receives much of its direct traffic in this way..
It is difficult to counter act this kind of digital web trawling, particularly since blogs such as the ones mentioned, and my own, are firmly established and well connected..

We are webbed, inter-netted, multi-digitally connected, indexed and firmly rooted..

But I have a feeling, that contrary to what the article states.. GSK is doing this more for “web consumer monitoring’ and ‘damage control’ as opposed to authentic engagement with their consumers…

I could be proved wrong..

But I doubt it.. .

For GSK’s latest social media efforts..
See the link:


GlaxoSmithKline is souping up its social media monitoring with a digital strategy it says will create processes that are standard enough to streamline communications, but flexible enough to meet local requirements.

The company has hired digital agency Fabric Worldwide and IT and consulting firm Infosys to implement their Global Digital Platform. According to the partners, the strategy is one of agility: Infosys says the Global Digital Platform will “allow GSK to quickly build digital assets and listen to consumers across an array of digital platforms.” GSK noted that efficiency is part of the core business strategies the company identified in its 2011 annual report. Meanwhile, WPP techie shop Fabric Worldwide says the partnership will help GSK “consistently understand consumer signals from digital channels, across all brands and all markets.”

However, marketers say it is an attempt at something else: to break out of the industry’s traditional isolation.

“GSK’s decision of taking a more holistic, global, and strategic view of digital is extremely smart and, in my opinion, will yield them a terrific edge in the marketplace,” Fabio Gratton, founder and chief experience officer of Ignite Health told MM&M.

Jim Dayton, senior director of emerging media at the digital marketing agency Intouch Solutions, said he applauds GSK for having the “foresight to have integrated marketing systems that include social monitoring and engagement tools.”

The industry has struggled with balancing the desire to engage consumers without tripping over sketchily-defined regulatory boundaries, but companies can scarcely afford to shun social media altogether.

Gratton added that the move reinforces that digital isn’t about marketing, but about business as a whole, and that the GSK venture deserves credit, regardless of the results.

“Even if they fail, they will be failing forward sooner and faster than anyone else, and that itself is a competitive advantage,” he added.

Reuters : A Special Report: Prescription for Corruption

    See Link for the full reuters article on pharmaceutical corruption in developing countries.


Over the past year eight of the world’s top 10 drugmakers – Pfizer Inc, Novartis AG, Merck & Co Inc, Sanofi, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline Plc, Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly & Co – have all warned that they may face liabilities related to charges of corruption in numerous overseas markets.

Investigations into potential wrongdoing by pharmaceutical firms cover activities in countries including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia and Saudi Arabia, according to company filings. They also involve possible improper conduct of clinical trials, which are increasingly being run in lower-cost Asian or East European countries.

Are GSK really as loyal to Britain as they would like us to believe?….


GlaxoSmithKline criticised over tax as job loss rumours surface
Feb 4 2009 By Lucy Proctor

Brentford-based drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline has been accused of denying UK tax coffers a fair proportion of its profits by listing lucrative brands in foreign countries.

GSK has been named in a Guardian newspaper investigation as an example of a UK-based company listing intellectual property – which generates profits on royalties and trademarks – in tax-friendly countries to get around the full force of the UK’s 28 per cent rate of corporation tax on UK profits.

The firm, which employs 18,000 people in Britain and has the Brentford base listed as its global headquarters, faces questions on why it uses branches of the company in countries like Puerto Rico – which have lower tax rates – to list its more profitable assets such as big brands of drugs.
Twickenham MP and Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor Vince Cable backed the newspapers’ campaign to shed light on the way big business protects profits from the UK tax system, writing: “Companies should pay the government of their host country for the infrastructure and other tax-financed services they receive: education, health, transport systems, policing.”
However, GSK is also listed in America where around 50 per cent of its operations are carried out and claims to only conduct around five per cent of its business in Britain.
A GSK spokesman said: “Given that we are a global company with over 100,000 workers employed all over the world in many different countries we feel it’s perfectly appropriate to list our intellectual property in different places.
“We feel it is the nature of global business and routine to do that.
“What I would whole-heartedly deny is that it is some kind of tax avoidance. We meet all the UK standards which are detailed in our annual report and I would emphasis that we do pay the corporate tax rates.”
He added that GSK also contributes taxes through employees’ PAYE.
It has been reported that the group would announce 6,000 to 10,000 job losses, but a Glaxo spokesperson refused to confirm or deny the rumours, only saying the company is implementing an ongoing restructuring programme and are due to announce their fourth-quarter results today.


GSK’s Alleged $1.9 Billion Tax Dodge Went Against Its Own Ethics Code
By Jim Edwards | May 22, 2009

If you thought GlaxoSmithKline was a British company with a British corporate headquarters whose American Depositary Receipts traded on the New York Stock Exchange, you’re wrong! Turns out GSK is a Swiss company, and its U.S. unit is just a device to dodge taxes, according to the WSJ.

The U.S. government has taken GSK to court, demanding $1.9 billion in taxes owed. It alleges that in the merger of Glaxo-Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham, Glaxo became the U.S. unit of a Swiss-based parent. The newly merged U.S. GlaxoSmithKline then paid tax deductible compensation payments to its Swiss parent, thus reducing its tax bill.

The IRS — unsurprisingly — doesn’t quite understand how paying money to yourself makes it non-taxable. This battle comes after GSK lost a 2006 tax war and ended up paying $3.4 billion in unpaid taxes.


Andrew Witty, chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, rejects the idea of being a company that ‘floats around in Bermuda’. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian
The head of Britain’s biggest drugs manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, has delivered a stinging attack on companies that shift their headquarters abroad in search of lower taxes, declaring that it is “completely wrong” for businesses to view themselves as “mid-Atlantic floating entities” with no connection to society.

Speaking before the budget, in which George Osborne will be under pressure to create a growth agenda for business, GSK’s chief executive, Andrew Witty, said that banks, hedge funds and industrial companies that look only for lower tax regimes are contributing to a damaging destruction of trust between the public and the corporate world.

“One of the reasons why we’ve seen an erosion of trust broadly in big companies is they’ve allowed themselves to be seen as being detached from society and they will float in and out of societies according to what the tax regime is,” said Witty. “I think that’s completely wrong.”

GSK, based in Brentford, west London, employs 16,000 people in Britain out of a global workforce of 98,000. The company produces treatments for asthma, cancer and HIV, as well as brands including Horlicks, Aquafresh, Lucozade and Ribena.

In an interview with the Observer, Witty said: “While the chief executive of the company could move, maybe the top 20 directors could move, what about the 16,000 people who work for us? It’s completely wrong, I think, to play fast and loose with your connections with society in that way.”

HSBC, Diageo, Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser have all mooted the possibility of leaving Britain in search of lower rates of tax.

Witty scorned the possibility of being a company that “floats around in Bermuda”, saying that businesses should stick with their home country through bad times as well as good. “We could go, in theory, anywhere for a low tax rate. But first of all, how do you know that country isn’t going to change its tax rate in 10 minutes?

“Secondly, isn’t it better to be in a country and say: ‘Let’s try to work through the difficult times and get to the good times?'”

GSK paid £1.3bn of tax on profits of £4.5bn last year, although virtually all of this was levied on its operations overseas. The previous year, it paid £417m in corporation tax.

GlaxoSmithKline In The Dock Again!…

Old Corporate Bad Habits Die Hard …


Former Glaxo Lawyer Goes To Trial In February
Make a comment
By Ed Silverman // December 2nd, 2010 // 8:23 am

Lauren Stevens, the former GlaxoSmithKline attorney, appeared in federal court yesterday and pleaded not guilty to a bunch of charges that generated enormous publicity last month. That’s because her indictment marked a rare moment when the federal government decided to hold a relatively high-ranking pharma employee accountable for an alleged off-label marketing infraction. She now faces an estimated three-week trial beginning on Feb. 1 (see this).
Specifically, Stevens was charged with one count of obstructing an official proceeding, one count of concealing and falsifying documents to influence a federal agency, and five counts of making false statements to the FDA (read the indictment). The indictment states that in October 2002, the FDA asked for info about promotion of Wellbutrin XR, as part of an inquiry into off-label marketing (back story here).
The trial, which will be held in US District Court in Maryland, should be fascinating. You may recall that her attorney, Brien O’Connor of Ropes & Gray, declared last month that “everything she did in this case was consistent with ethical lawyering and the advice provided her by a nationally prominent law firm retained by her employer specifically because of its experience in working with FDA.”
What might this mean? The trial may offer up the spectacle of a former Glaxo attorney – who is now officially retired, by the way – pointing fingers at one or more attorneys who billed Glaxo and, most likely, other large drugmakers on a regular basis. And perhaps Stevens and O’Connor will also look to pin some blame on other Glaxo personnel in the general counsel’s office and elsewhere. But imagine a courtroom filled with pharma lawyers also shouting ‘J’accuse!’ at one another for three weeks? This has the makings of high drama, yes?

Hello Radian6 !!! ( I hope you are enlightened)

My dear readers, you are probably wondering who or what is Radian6 and why am I saying hello to it?…
Well, I shall tell you.. I noticed some views today on my blog and they came from a Radian6 dashboard. I had never heard of Radian6 myself- so with the magic power of Google-I discovered that Radian6 are not an elusive alien collective from a galaxy far away, nor are they a new indie rock band (as I had first ridiculously suspected), but they are of course- a corporate spying company! Yes folks, in this age of mass social media taking over the internet, companies like Radian6 are hired (or used) by big corporations to gather information on what you and I are posting about their products, their practices and their business. It all sounds very Sci-fi, but actually it’s unsurprising, because as Radian6 say in their corporate blurb :

Social media is changing business. A brand is now defined as the sum of all conversations taking place around it, and it’s happening regardless of whether or not we participate in the dialogue.

Facebook, Twitter and Blogs are changing everything and corporations want to get in on the action. Social media is sucking power away from the control of corporations and their marketing teams and into the hands of the individual, the net user and the public consumer. Think of it as similar to a mini cyber-revolution, it’s all happening online now and some people probably cannot imagine what life would be like without the internet. The internet itself has been a revolutionary force, but just imagine if that force could be harnessed by the public and used for the greater good. With the power of social media that could happen and that is happening. Personally, I would like to greet Radian6, but I would also like to direct them to some other blogs where I am sure they will find the information very impressive indeed. First of all though, I think they should congratulate the ‘Seroxat Sufferers‘ blog for speeding beyond 200,000 hits today! This is a great achievement, not just for Bob Fiddaman (the blog author) but also for all those whom have been harmed by
pharmaceutical drugs. Bob Fiddaman’s activism should be held as an example of the power of blogging and the courage of the lone blogger. Mr. Fiddaman, I salute you! … Radian6 … P*iss off and get a real job… But before you do… read up a bit on Paxil-Seroxat, you just might get enlightened…

Here’s 10,000 signatures and comments about Seroxat/Paxil suicides and side effects that you can stick into your algorithms and corporate databases.. Some of it is disturbing reading, but hey business as usual eh? … Oh, and I just thought It might be helpful if I posted some of these comments here, it might give your spy-bots and web-crawlers a well deserved rest after a hard days spying:

There’s roughly about 10,000 more but you guys get paid for doing your service so you can go find them yourselves…


I wasted my youth trying to deal with this horrible drug. Trying to stop Paxil not only increased my depression and anxiety but made suffering that much worse.

18 year old daughter violently killed herself after abruptly stopping and then restarting Paxil

was on Paxil for several years when I became pregnant. Due to lack of research on it’s possible adverse effects on Fetus’, my Doctor advised me to come off the Paxil while preganant…I agreed fully. Little did I know that decision would change my life indefinitely. Withdrawal and the long-term effects after being on Paxil started SEVERE Panic Attacks and Anxiety that I NEVER had BEFORE taking Paxil. My entire pregnancy was Hell on Earth, for myself and the baby. With daily anxiety, panic attacks and physical withdrawal symptoms similiar to a stomach flu, my baby was in distress the entire pregnancy. When she was born, she was covered/plastered in meconium. This is an indicator of severe distress to the baby during the prenancy. Born in a lg city hospital w/ a very busy labour & delivery ward, Doctors indicated they had NEVER seen a baby born with that much meconium literally coating her whole body. Once stabalized, she was rushed to Neonatal ICU where she remained for 10 days and where we came close to losing her on several occasions. She appears fine now…however, I have never been the same since coming off Paxil. I am FAR SICKER now, than I was before I was put on that horrific drug. I still suffer from severe anxiety and Horrifying Panic Attacks that have ruined my quality of life, in many, many ways. I think it’s a real crime that this drug was ever released and is still being Prescribed. The Product warning for Paxil should read “WITHDRAWAL FROM THIS DRUG COULD DRASTICALLY REDUCE YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE!!!”. If I knew then, what I know now, I would NEVER HAD BEEN ON PAXIL. The company that produces this drug should have to pay compensation to everyone who’s been adversely affected as a result of this drug. I not only lost significant quality of life, I’ve had to give up Years of lost wages as I can no longer work due to severe Panic Attacks. PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW ANYONE YOU LOVE TO BE PRESCRIBED PAXIL…if they ever have to come off it, it could literally RUIN THEIR LIFE!!!!

This drug makes you an emotional icebock Australia
10115. Damian I spent 15 years of my life on this drug believing that I had a serious mental illness. The side-effects were terrible, especially if I took my dose late. However, for the most part I guess I just took it on trust that it was helping me, and assumed I would be much worse without it. Yet frankly, I also didn’t really have a choice, because the side-effects of even very slow, incremental withdrawal were quite simply intolerable. I also had no idea what kind of person I would be even if I could come off it. What would Damian-without-Seroxat be like? I had no way of knowing, as I had been on it all of my adult life. Following years of constant “suicidal ideation” and a serious, failed suicide attempt (not the first), I then spent four weeks of sheer hell coming off it in hospital. This was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life (and I do not believe I have had an easy life). The constant electric-shock-like feelings in my head were nothing compared to the hellish hallucinatory nightmares I underwent every single night. I have now been off the drug for five weeks, and am happy to report that I have literally never felt better in all my life. The “depression” and suicidal thoughts have completely gone, and, apart from some remaining withdrawals symptoms (especially electric ‘zaps’, dizziness, poor balance, and nightmares, all of which have been lessening over time), I feel like a completely different person. I look at the world with new eyes, unclouded by the distortions of this drug, and have experienced real joy for the first time in a very very long time. And let me tell you, in spite of the fact that my Seroxat-induced suicide attempt cost me my job, I could not feel more happy to be alive. England
10114. Debi I am having T H E worst time getting off my 30 mgs of Paxil… USA
10113. Maryann L. deSteph It took me years to withdraw from Paxil and multiple attempts! USA
10111. seccia veronique effets recherchés (bien être) inexistants !!! france
10110. Anne Lyons Ireland
10108. Djobbi IL fait arrêter de préscrire des anti depresseur pour rien ,si vous aider une dizaine de gens à se sentire mieux en parraléle vus entrai de detruire des centaines et aussi pour les benzo c’est de la pure criminalité . Tunis
10107. Glenn Chugg This drug is usless after the first 3 months anyway! and the Withdrawals are to DIE for! Australia
10106. Jennifer A. Fordham U.S.A.
10105. Eddie Ford Jr. Eugenicists-what goes around,comes around-and yours is coming. US
10104. Adham Mohamed El Shami this drug is really dangerous when trying to quit it !!! VERY DANGEROUS !!! Egypt
10103. France Roy Canada
10102. BIEWER l’hopital /FRANCE
10101. Miranda Chivers Canada
10100. sannier-lowry France
10098. Ed Aylward paxil is a dangerous drug united states
10097. laxmi i been on since 3yrs,when ever i quit my withdrawl symptoms are worse than my anxiety symptoms.GSK should ban paxil and help people to come off paxil.and GSK should provide financial help to us(who wants to come off medicine) USA
10096. roslyn halperin usa
10095. Dr. D. Schnapp I have experienced severe paroxetine withdrawal symptoms as well as adverse reactions to the drug (mania) UK
10093. Caroline McCall Disgraceful drug made in hell Ireland
10092. John Neighbour I’m a 62 year old ex-fireman. For me, Seroxat didn’t help me at all; On the contrary, it provided the worst, most sickening and frightening experience of my life. Thanks a lot. Not. UK
10091. Simon Pannett UK
10090. Tracy Vanessa USA
10089. Melissa Young Being pregnant should of been a happy time but having to get off Paxil ruined not only that but months of my life. USA
10088. Dennis Stewart I was on this horrid drug for 13 years, had helped at first, but nearer the end I had feelings like I was going to go mad. Nobody had told me about the tapering thing, docs didn’t want me to stop. I am in month 15 of withdrawal, can’t work, can’t drive, my memory and concentration is poor, and I have burning issues in skin. This is a horrid drug to put on the market and hide clinical trial data,. USA
10087. Kathleen Brown Australia
10086. vandenbussche france
10084. Jennie Philpott i have been taking paxil since I was 13. I have attempted before to stop taking the drug due to the side effects, but the withdrawal symptoms are much worse. Canada
10083. John Downing Still have withdrawal effects after 8 years! UK
10082. Ahirrick Ghunlak pharmaslingers beware Canada
10081. Tiffany Bines This drug was prescribed to a loved one with no discussion or hesitation, and with no warning of withdrawl symptoms. He is going through a terrible time in life trying to taper off. It seems he will be suffering for a great deal of time before he’ll be rid of this poison for good. Canada
10079. faillet france
10078. Monique Piquet & Roeting france
10077. Chiesa Michel FRANCE
10076. Midenet Chantal FRANCE
10075. Kelly Lewis It is sad that I had to go to the internet to discover the effects of withdrawal from Paxil. I did decide to go off of Paxil cold turkey. It was a mixtake, but I am determined not to go back on it again, now that I know what a horrible medication it is. God will help me through the ups and downs of my life, not a pill. U.S.A.
10074. Matthew Hardy Get rid of this antidepressant, there are better ones. New Zealand
10072. Aukje Seroxat nearly killed me,and my familie with me,i became psychotic and i wanted to kill us all,thanks Seroxat! Netherlands
10071. C. Spalan USA
10070. Len Fischer I no longer believe anything the pharmacuetical industry has to say, I wish I could find a GP who hasn’t been indoctrinated Canada
10069. Dan my son when born had 60 blood clots and I’m told this might of been a reason. USA
10068. chavanis france
10067. Reem seroxat is ruining my life… UAE
10066. Ellie Jane Holbrook this evil drug has made me violent and a danger to my child during withdrawal United Kingdom
10065. Martin De Bellefeuille They ruined my life ! Canada
10064. Catherine J. Unger Vancouver, WA
10063. Lori Bolthouse Paxil has been a very rough medicine to get off from with many attempts due to horrible withdrawls. To date, I have been unsuccessful in getting off this horrible medication & fear I will never be the same after use of this drug USA
10062. Jasper Britton UK
10061. Michael Reed US
10060. Françoise Brassart I am Paxil (Aka Deroxat in France) free after a severe withdrawal. France
10059. Gianni USA
10058. Klaas Netherlands
10057. Louis Geri USA
10056. Shaun Thornton the withdrawals from this drug can be awful and prolonged over many years uk
10055. sara moghimi this drug must be banged, highly addictive wales
10054. Linda Johnson United States of America
10053. Kim Wolf USA
10052. Audra usa
10051. Ron Goodman USA
10050. Elvis Cek Paxil and Celexa can die. USA
10049. FOYART Christine france
10048. THIEBLEMONT france
10047. Laura Fargione USA
10046. Guillaume MARMET France
10045. Tracy Meyer I hate your product, its dangous! Lewis
10044. Pierre El-Hnoud I stopped taking Seroxat. I feel Electrical shocks going through my head every second and continuous nauzia. Lebanon
10043. Eugene Hogue J’essaie d’arrêter pour la deuxième fois. 6 jours sans prendre de Paxil jusqu’à maintenant. Conséquences : étourdissement lors des mouvements des yeux, nausées durant le jour, hyperactivité, douleurs musculaires, cauchemards. Pourtant, durant la prise du médicament je me sentais vraiment mieux. Canada
10042. Jade Pinkerton This drug has made my life a living hell. I’m one of the lucky ones to have survived two suicide attempts so that I could tell my story. This drug has caused severe stomach and head trauma New Zealand
10041. scott giacomin sorry for your loss, god bless usa
10040. Kylie Maxwell Wish I’d never started. Maximum rate of taper for sanity: 10mg reduction over one month, then 3 months rest. Side affects are unbelievable. My work and relationships suffer greatly. UK
10039. Jacob J. Roland Paxil lied. Paxil is very addictive. I have had horrible experiences with withdrawl experiences and side effects of taking it. I think paxil should be sued. I wish i could sue paxil for its effects on me. I can not find a lawyer who will. Shame on Paxil for lying and false advertising! We should join and make a class action lawsuit. Are there any lawyers out there? United States
10038. steve leclair hell medecine canada
10037. Kim Tierney damn withdraw with paxil drummondville, canada
10036. ayad_mullerHousni saling a drug that make it’s user dépendant without telling him that is damageable france
10035. Pieren Switzerland
10034. Christine Batt this is no wonder drug, it is poison australia
10033. Lyndal Brown Australia
10032. Jennifer Dymond New Zealand
10031. Robert Power 1 year taking the drug all’s fine i’ll stop now….. 8 years later attempting very slow taper expected to take 2 years plus. Fingers crossed. Evil stuff.