BMJ Editor Fiona Goldlee: “..Paid opinion leaders are a blot on medicine’s integrity, and we should make them a thing of the past…”


“…Fiona Godlee, editor in chief of The BMJ, who praised GSK’s move in 2013, said: “Sadly, this shows again that we can’t rely on industry to do the right thing. We need a Sunshine Act to ensure that payments from industry are publicly declared.

“We also need action from medicine’s leaders – the royal colleges. We don’t let judges or journalists take money from the people they are judging or reporting on: we shouldn’t let doctors do this either. Paid opinion leaders are a blot on medicine’s integrity, and we should make them a thing of the past….”

https://pharmaphorum.com/news/calls-for-sunshine-act-as-gsk-pays-doctors-to-promote-drugs-again/


Ethical psychiatrist Peter Gordon has been calling for a UK Sunshine act for years, however Royal College Head- Wendy Burn- doesn’t want to have any contact with him, despite all the work he has done to clean the swamp of UK psychiatry from conflicts of interest. Wendy- it seems- doesn’t see conflicts of interest, and drug company money- sloshing around UK medicine and psychiatrist’s coffers, as a problem at all. That’s a serious problem.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and psychiatry has been infected from its head to its gills for decades with Pharmaceutical influence through legalized bribery of academics and researchers. It’s arguable that this nefarious corrupting influence has cost some psych drug users their lives, and health. When key opinion leaders shill drugs like Seroxat, and help Pharma to play down side effects at product launches, people can die from misinformed consent.

That’s an even bigger problem.

 

https://pharmaphorum.com/news/calls-for-sunshine-act-as-gsk-pays-doctors-to-promote-drugs-again/

 

Calls for ‘Sunshine Act’ as GSK pays doctors to promote drugs again

Calls for ‘Sunshine Act’ as GSK pays doctors to promote drugs again

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will pay some doctors for promoting its drugs reversing its previous policy, sparking new calls for a US-style “Sunshine Act” requiring doctors to declare all payments from pharma.

It is five years since GSK ceased paying doctors to sell the benefits of its drugs to other physicians.

Following a bribery investigation in China in 2013, GSK had hoped to set a transparency precedent that would be followed by other drugmakers, but this did not happen, leaving GSK at a competitive disadvantage.

The UK-based pharma giant said: “We are updating our policy on working with healthcare professionals (HCPs). This policy update is being made to ensure we continue to operate responsibly and improve how we help prescribers to understand new data and clinical experience with our innovative products, so they can deliver better outcomes for patients.

“These changes are being made for a select number of innovative products in a limited number of countries and apply to restricted time periods in a product’s lifecycle.”

It went on to explain that it, in certain circumstances, it will pay global expert practitioners who speak about the new science behind GSK’s innovative products, their associated diseases and clinical practice in promotional settings.

Also, it will pay certain travel costs and expenses, but will not sponsor HCPs to travel to conferences.

GSK pledged to expand its reporting of payments to HCPs and will, starting from next year, disclose individual level payments annually in the US, Japan and other major developed markets in Europe, North America and Asia, where legally permitted.

However, some saw the move as regressive. Fiona Godlee, editor in chief of The BMJ, who praised GSK’s move in 2013, said: “Sadly, this shows again that we can’t rely on industry to do the right thing. We need a Sunshine Act to ensure that payments from industry are publicly declared.

“We also need action from medicine’s leaders – the royal colleges. We don’t let judges or journalists take money from the people they are judging or reporting on: we shouldn’t let doctors do this either. Paid opinion leaders are a blot on medicine’s integrity, and we should make them a thing of the past.”

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What Became Of The FBI’s Investigation Of GSK In Poland?


http://www.ceeinsight.net/2014/04/16/fbi-assist-polish-gsk-case/

The FBI will assist Poland’s Central Anticorruption Office (CBA) in the case of UK pharmaceuticals company GlaxoSmithKline, which is suspected of bribing Polish doctors, the Polish business daily Puls Biznesu wrote April 16.

“The GKS corruption case, which has been under investigation by the CBA and Lodz prosecutor’s office since 2012 and currently includes 13 suspects, will receive assistance from the FBI,” said Pawel Wojtunik, head of the CBA.

US regulations oblige the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to initiate proceedings when suspicions of corruption arise at companies listed on US stock exchanges. This may play an important role as the case develops, especially if GSK were found to have breached the Foreign and Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

As reported by CEE Inisght, GSK sales reps had offered bribes to doctors from Lodz in return for prescriptions for GSK drugs between 2010 and 2012.

GSK CEO, Andrew Witty Says: “Occassionally We Make Mistakes”…


Pharm

“…Then you’ve got actually, we do occasionally make mistakes. Things go wrong. We have inevitably of course, we go through all the processes with the regulators to get a drug to be as safe and effective as it can possibly be. But the reality is, every time a human takes a drug, it’s like a clinical trial. You don’t really know what’s going to happen. Everybody can react a different way…”

I’m sure most people would be familiar with the film ‘The Devils Advocate’ with Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves. In the movie, Reeves is groomed into his dark corporate role by the Machiavellian Pacino- his boss and mentor. Unfortunately for Reeves his deal with the devil turns out to be just that.

‘The Devils Advocate’ is of course, a work of fiction, however, if you read though the stories and scandals of GSK over the past decade you could be forgiven for thinking you were reading a work of fiction; such is the scale and depth of GSK’s nefarious and suspect activities.

From tax evasion, dodgy factories spewing out defective and contaminated products, to bribery, fraud, prostitutes in China (and that’s not just the doctors on the payroll), corruption, suppression of side effects of their meds – resulting in killing of consumers, Serious Fraud Office investigations, Department of Justice investigations, pay for delay deals, etc etc.

The list goes on… and on… and on….

GSK are as insidiously and (dare I say it)- as evil – as you would imagine any multi-billion dollar international corporation to be…

But scarily- for you (and for me, and for the public)- GSK are real, they are not fiction and they make your toothpaste such as sensodyne, and your kids drinks like Ribena and Lucozade, as well some some really dodgy drugs like Seroxat, Avandia, Imitrex and Pandemrix…

And lets not forget the barbaric Myodil.

https://truthman30.wordpress.com/tag/splinters/

GSK is recalling dozens of lots–3,977,252 tubes–made up of different varieties of Biotene and Sensodyne toothpaste, from the U.S., Puerto Rico and Taiwan. According to the FDA‘s most recent Enforcement Report, “fragments of wood were found when the product was extruded onto a toothbrush.” The toothpaste was actually manufactured for GSK by Oratech, a Utah-based contractor.


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/lucozade-and-irn-bru-to-carry-hyperactivity-warnings-2034324.html

“….The makers of two of Britain’s best-selling soft drinks, Lucozade and Irn-Bru, have been forced to warn parents that the drinks may cause hyperactivity. A newly introduced EU law compels both drinks to display a warning that they contain artificial colours linked to behavioural problems in young children..”


https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/sep/16/seroxat-study-harmful-effects-young-people

“…An influential study which claimed that an antidepressant drug was safe for children and adolescents failed to report the true numbers of young people who thought of killing themselves while on it, re-analysis of the trial has found

Study 329, into the effects of GlaxoSmithKline’s drug paroxetine on under-18s, was published in 2001 and later found to be flawed. In 2003, the UK drug regulator instructed doctors not to prescribe paroxetine – sold as Seroxat in the UK and Paxil in the US – to adolescents…”


http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2013/05/23/steven-nissen-the-hidden-agenda-behind-the-fdas-avandia-hearings/#67f26f5717a3

“..The most likely explanation: the leadership of the division of the FDA responsible for drug regulation, the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), is seeking to avoid accountability for its role in the Avandia tragedy. In 2005 and 2006, GSK secretly conducted an analysis of the cardiovascular safety of Avandia and concluded that the drug increased the risk of heart attacks and related events by about 30%. This observation had grave implications: two thirds of diabetics, the intended recipients of the drug, eventually die of cardiovascular complications. Initially, GSK withheld the internal analysis from the FDA, but in 2006, the company informed CDER of the findings. FDA statisticians confirmed the risks, but, incredibly, CDER and GSK agreed privately to conceal this hazard from patients and practitioners…”

So be very careful when you ingest a GSK product because GSK are notoriously known for not telling you the truth about the products they sell you…

And even if the GSK label says the side effects are blah, blah, blah… don’t rely on them to be honest in the PIL either..  they often omit a lot of the truth..  they are notorious for lying and deceiving, often adding side effects (for years later) to their products’ information leaflets- long after millions of people have ingested them…

It’s easy to say, GSK are greedy, sociopathic, evil and callous, and they are (because most multi-billion dollar corporations are- they have to be because capitalism encourages them to be). However, it’s also easy to forget that GSK are a corporation run by people making the decisions for the company.

So could we then apply the same characteristics of greedy, sociopathic, evil and callous to the people running GSK?

Perhaps, in some cases, justifiably we can..

Take for example  (outgoing) GSK CEO Andrew Witty…

Before he was crowned CEO of GSK, Witty had worked in a number of roles in the company- many of them high level.

Witty once promoted the highly controversial Zyban (an anti-smoking drug)-  (also known as  Wellbutrin and promoted as an anti-depressant):

LONDON, UK — January 16, 2007

“Wellbutrin XR is an important new medicine for doctors and patients in Europe,” comments Andrew Witty, president, GSK Pharmaceuticals, Europe.

“Depression can be a crippling condition that is often difficult to treat.

With its unique mode of action, Wellbutrin XR offers a real alternative to the depressed patient.

We hope its profile will help patients stay on their therapy, which would address a significant unmet need in the area of antidepressants.”

http://www.theguardian.com/business/nils-pratley-on-finance/2016/mar/17/glaxosmithkline-gsk-andrew-witty-neil-woodford-break-up

“…It is even hard to say who is the leading candidate within the core pharmaceutical business. Is it Abbas Hussain, head of the division, or Patrick Vallance, head of research and development? And perhaps Emma Walmsley, boss of consumer healthcare, a bigger unit after being beefed via a shuffle of assets with Novartis, is a decent outside bet….”

So how much did JP Garnier and Andrew Witty know about GSK’s bad behavior over the years they spent crawling up the greasy ladder within the company?

I’d say they knew a lot..

There is a rumor that that the next head of GSK might be Emma Walmsley..

I wonder what price you have to put on your soul to become CEO of a company like GSK?

“John Milton:..You sharpen the human appetite to the point where it can split atoms with its desire; you build egos the size of cathedrals; fiber-optically connect the world to every eager impulse; grease even the dullest dreams with these dollar-green, gold-plated fantasies, until every human becomes an aspiring emperor, becomes his own God… and where can you go from there? As we’re scrambling from one deal to the next, who’s got his eye on the planet? As the air thickens, the water sours, even bees’ honey takes on the metallic taste of radioactivity… and it just keeps coming, faster and faster. There’s no chance to think, to prepare; it’s buy futures, sell futures… when there is no future. We got a runaway train, boy. We got a billion Eddie Barzoons all jogging into the future. Every one of them is getting ready to fistfuck God’s ex-planet, lick their fingers clean, as they reach out toward their pristine, cybernetic keyboards to tote up their fucking billable hours. And then it hits home. You got to pay your own way”..

 

(Al Pacino/John Milton- “The Devils Advocate”)

Emma-Walmsley

CH7YOanVAAANoD3

http://fortune.com/most-powerful-women-europe-middle-east-africa/emma-walmsley-24/

The London-based pharma exec runs the world’s leading over-the-counter pharma company—a $9.5 billion joint venture between GSK and its Swiss competitor Novartis, officially launched in March. Walmsley led the integration of the businesses, which resulted from a complex deal struck in April 2014. The company’s products are sold in 160 countries, with 42% of sales coming from emerging markets. In July, Walmsley, a lover of Italian red wine and Bikram yoga, was appointed to the board of Diageo. —Erika Fry

GSK, Save The Children, Yemen, And How Glaxo Behaves In Developing Countries…


“…..Teaming up with Save the Children to market a product could boost your sales, profile and customer base’ – Save the Children’s assurance to potential corporate partners….”

http://newint.org/features/2014/12/01/charities-and-transnationals/

GSK yemen

“….In Yemen and across the developing world, GSK is committed to finding new and innovative ways to ensure access to medicines,” said Mr Omar Mulhi, Country Manager, GSK Yemen. “We are collaborating with government, NGOs and other private-sector companies to improve people’s health and well-being no matter where they live, while continuing to expand our business and invest in research.”

Over the past five years, GSK has made fundamental changes to its business model including re-investing 20 per cent of all profits in the least developed countries to help communities strengthen their local health infrastructure.

For example, in cooperation with Save the Children, GSK is funding the building of a Health and Nutrition Workforce for vulnerable communities in Yemen. The programme will benefit 45,000 children under the age of five; 30,000 children aged six and over; and 30,000 women of child bearing age….”

For full article see here

Over the last few months I have been in correspondence with a whistle-blower from Yemen who claims that GSK  have been involved in various unethical shenanigans there (see here). I have in my possession some pretty damning information however I cannot publish yet, but I will hopefully be able to- by the end of the month (so stay tuned).

Allegations of corruption by GSK are nothing new- back in 2012 they paid the biggest healthcare settlement fine in US history (a staggering 3 Billion dollars) and as recently as 2014 they paid half a million dollars to settle a big corruption case in China.

So what’s the big deal if GSK are behaving badly, or unethically, in Yemen -or other countries?

Well, in a developing country like Yemen, perhaps it’s fair to say that GSK can get away with a little more than they would in say- the US or UK?

Personally, I think that the GSK culture is riddled with corruption, and despite claims by GSK Andrew Witty that this kind of behavior is from another ‘era’ and not current GSK policy, the corruption in GSK doesn’t seem to be stamped out, and it’s arguable that it is more widespread globally..

Why is this?

GSK have built their business model on corruption, it’s how they have generated their vast profits. Without lying and deceiving they wouldn’t have had a blockbuster like Seroxat/Paxil for example. If they had told the truth about that drug- they wouldn’t have made billions on it. You could say the same for Avandia- another controversial GSK drug- or even how they marketed Advair (their asthma drug at the center of the GSK department of Justice investigation- see Greg Thorpe’s complaint here).

Their profits generate profits.

They have infiltrated, and leveraged influence- on- governments, academia, universities, NGO’s, healthcare policy, regulation etc.

Even the legal bribery that goes on is dodgy. When GSK sponsors a charity, or a prize, or an academic department or a university, this causes undue influence. It curry’s favor…

Corruption and bribery (both legal and illegal) is rampant wherever GSK goes because that’s a successful business model that evidently works for them.

But perhaps the most disturbing aspect of GSK’s ‘influence’ is upon charities such as ‘Save The Children’

If the Yemen whistle-blowers allegations are true then it seems that Save the Children should be concerned also about off label prescribing of GSK owned drugs in Yemen to- (you guessed it)- children..

However,  the ‘Save The Children’ organization are already aware of Seroxat study 329 and the off label prescribing of Seroxat/Paxil to children and they don’t seem that bothered about it so maybe they won’t see much of a problem with any future allegations either?…

Only time will tell..

http://newint.org/features/2014/12/01/charities-and-transnationals/

“…….No mention on Save the Children’s website, however, of one of GSK’s less child-friendly products – the antidepressant Paxil (Seroxat/paroxetine). In 2012 the company was fined $3 billion by the US government after pleading guilty to criminal charges, including bribing doctors and encouraging the prescription of Paxil to children, even though the drug was unsuitable and unapproved for this use.2

‘We would never refrain from speaking out on an issue because we had a partnership with a particular company. That would clearly compromise our values,’ claims Save the Children.

When contacted for a response, it admitted it was ‘aware of reports on the historic issues relating to Paxil… but our belief is that the risks are outweighed by the benefits of the partnership.’3….”

..Dear Bob,

Many thanks for getting in touch with Save the Children about our partnership with GlaxoSmithKline. I believe you have contacted us before on this, and we thank you for your interest.

Save the Children is aware of the reports on the historical issue of Paxil. As an organisation we take our reputation and our role to protect children very seriously and assess all our partnerships within this context.  We acknowledge there are risks associated in working with a pharmaceutical company such as GSK, but our belief is that these risks are outweighed by the benefits of the partnership in helping us achieve our ambitions for children.

As part of our partnership we continue to have open dialogue with GSK and monitor their business practices, in order that we respond appropriately should future issues arise.

Private sector partnerships are instrumental in enabling Save the Children to realise our vision and our partnership with GSK will have a lasting impact on global mortality rates. The focus of the partnership is to help to save a million children’s lives in the developing world and it combines GSK’s relevant skills, expertise and resources across its business with the funding of healthcare programmes for the poorest children in developing worlds.

For further information on our partnership, please visit: http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/about-us/who-we-work-with/corporate-partnerships/our-partners/gsk

Kind regards…”

(Bob Fiddaman Blog 2015)

http://fiddaman.blogspot.ie/2015/10/save-children-respond-re-partnership.html

Does Mark Reilly Still Work For GlaxoSmithKline?


“…Herve Gisserot replaces Mark Reilly, who left China after four executives were detained in the nation last month. Gisserot was the senior vice-president of Glaxo’s European business.

Reilly will become part of the drugmaker’s senior executive team in London, said Simon Steel, a company spokesman….”

Regular readers of this blog, and followers of GSK news, would be aware of GSK’s Mark Reilly and his appalling role in GSK’s vast bribery network in China. Reilly got off with a suspended sentence, and was deported back to the UK. However, his behavior, was nothing short of sociopathic and criminal.
Considering Mark Reilly’s involvement in the biggest bribery scandal of recent times in China, and considering that he disgraced British business in general I found it quite disturbing to learn that GSK have kept him on as an employee…
His Linked in is still active also, and it seems he has been kept as a consultant or some such similar role perhaps…
GSK..
Pharmafia…

MR1

MR5MR3

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/sex-bribes-and-videotapes-see-glaxosmithklein-ex-boss-mark-reilly-deported-9745465.html

“….GSK was ordered to pay the £297m fine – the largest the Chinese Government has ever handed out. It published an apology to “the Chinese government and the Chinese people” on its website, saying it had “reflected deeply and learned from its mistakes”.

GSK’s China boss, Mark Reilly was given a three-year suspended prison sentence with a four-year probation period. He is to be deported from the country, although the drug maker said he remained in the country as he waited to hear if he had to spend his probation period in China.

Mr Reilly and his Chinese girlfriend featured in a sex tape that was emailed to several senior executives of the drug maker last March. GSK then hired Peter Humphrey, a British investigator based in China, to look into the origin of the video. Mr Humphrey was jailed for two and a half years in August for illegally acquiring the personal information of citizens….’

HG

Blackmail, a sex tape and the fatal error that’s left a top British executive facing 20 years inside a hell-hole Chinese jail

  • Mark Reilly, 52, was a high-flying businessman with GlaxoSmithKline
  • Police raided GSK’s offices and questioned him amid bribery claims
  • In May he was formally accused of presiding over ‘massive bribery network’
  • It’s emerged that investigation was triggered by sex tape featuring Mr Reilly
  • ‘Regardless of facts, Mark Reilly will be found guilty,’ said one legal expert

At first sight, it looks like any other casual family portrait: a middle-aged man, with grey hair and a square jaw poses proudly next to his two grown-up daughters.

The fetching ‘selfie’ was uploaded to image-sharing website Instagram a fortnight ago by the girl standing at its centre, an 18-year-old student from Hertfordshire called Louise Reilly.

‘A bit late, but happy Father’s Day to my wonderful daddy,’ she wrote in the accompanying blurb. ‘I love and miss you every day.’

Daddy's girls: Mark Reilly with daughters Louise (centre) and Jessica. Last summer he was cast into the epicentre of a scandal which would quickly and systematically destroy his picture-perfect existence

Daddy’s girls: Mark Reilly with daughters Louise (centre) and Jessica. Last summer he was cast into the epicentre of a scandal which would quickly and systematically destroy his picture-perfect existence

Louise took the picture at a cocktail party in December 2012, shortly after winning a place to study geography at Oxford University.

Her elder sister, Jessica, who is 21, and studies history at Cambridge University, is standing to her left. Yet, as the statement she chose to accompany it hints, an air of sadness now surrounds this seemingly happy photograph.

That’s because the middle-aged father so proudly showing off his high-achieving daughters is one Mark Reilly — a senior executive with British drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

Mr Reilly, 52, was until recently a high-flying businessman with the world at his feet. A glittering 25-year career at GSK had left him dividing time between the Far East — where he ran the £76 billion firm’s Chinese operations — and the exclusive commuter town of Sawbridgeworth in Hertfordshire, where he lived with his wife Jill in a £1.2 million Grade II-listed 17th-century house.

His daughters had been educated at Bishop’s Stortford College, a prestigious £25,000-a-year private school, where they excelled at sport, music, and drama, each achieving ten A* grades at GCSE, four A* grades at A-level and sailing into Oxbridge.

Last summer, however, Mr Reilly was cast into the epicentre of a scandal which would quickly and systematically destroy his picture-perfect existence.

It became public on June 27, when police in China organised a high-profile raid on GSK’s offices, amid claims that staff were illegally bribing doctors and healthcare officials to prescribe pharmaceutical products.

A few weeks afterwards, they called Mr Reilly in for questioning. He was promptly banned from leaving the country, and has since spent most of his time in various forms of detention.

Sadly, like anyone facing legal problems in autocratic China, Mr Reilly’s human rights have since been blithely disregarded by the authorities.

High-powered: Mark Reilly's wife Jill, who also has a job at GSK. He faces 20 years inside a Chinese jail if found guilty

High-powered: Mark Reilly’s wife Jill, who also has a job at GSK. He faces 20 years inside a Chinese jail if found guilty

For months, he had only limited means to communicate with friends, family, and legal representatives, and was unable to see Louise, Jessica or Jill.

Then, in May, this already perilous situation took a turn for the worse. At a police press conference in Changsha, a 90-minute flight west of Shanghai, Mr Reilly was formally accused of presiding over a ‘massive bribery network’ in which doctors and health officials were illegally paid £320 million over several years.

In scenes reminiscent of a Soviet-era show trial, detectives aggressively dubbed him a criminal ‘Godfather’, who they claimed had greased palms with cash and free holidays, and arranged for associates to be given sexual favours from prostitutes.

They refused to take sceptical questions from assembled reporters, instead reading a pre-prepared statement recommending that this supposed ‘criminal’ be prosecuted on multiple counts of bribery and fraud.

The news conference deepened a scandal which had already knocked billions of pounds off shares in GSK, a leading FTSE-100 blue-chip firm held by many pension funds, and damaged Anglo-Chinese diplomatic relations in the process.

In the cold light of day, it also represented a serious affront to justice, compromising a universal principle of fairness: that Mr Reilly should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

In China an astonishing 98 per cent of court proceedings end in conviction, and this father-of-two now faces the likelihood of a criminal trial.

‘This is a politically charged case, and China’s politicians control the judiciary.

‘So regardless of the facts, Mark Reilly will be found guilty,’ says Professor Willy Lam, a leading expert on China’s justice system. ‘The question of whether he actually committed a crime will not really be considered. The government will also dictate how long the judges will imprison him for.’

The British Consulate in China says it is following Mr Reilly’s case. Yet despite this, Professor Lam, a scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, says that he will be effectively tried in secret.

‘There will be no jury. Just a judge and his assistants who decide the verdict.

‘There will be no media allowed in court, and no scrutiny of evidence. He may be allowed a few relatives and close colleagues present, and perhaps a UK diplomat. That is all.’

As to his eventual fate, Professor Lam adds: ‘Given the amount of money involved, this is a very serious case, and Mr Reilly could easily be sentenced to life. I expect him to get around 20 years.’

In any normal country, that would be bad enough. But this is China, home to one of the world’s most punitive penal systems.

Indeed, the vast Tilanqiao Prison in Shanghai, where Reilly is likely to end up if convicted, is known locally as the ‘city of death’.

Former inmates at the facility have told how guards carry cattle prods and force errant inmates to submerge their heads in buckets full of excrement and urine.

In the notorious ‘punishment wing’, beatings are rife. Human rights groups have published lengthy critiques of torture methods practised there.

So far, so ugly. But last weekend, this father-of-two’s plight became darker still.

In an extraordinary development, it emerged that China’s police investigation into GSK had been triggered by the circulation of a covertly recorded sex tape, in which Mr Reilly featured.

The video was secretly shot at the British businessman’s Shanghai apartment during 2012 and appeared to show him having extra-marital sex with a young Chinese woman.

It was emailed to a range of senior figures at the drug company last January, as part of what appeared to be a bid to threaten or blackmail them.

In a dramatic twist, I can reveal that the woman it depicted was a secretary who worked at a travel agency accused of helping GSK execute its ‘bribery’ scheme.

Family man: Mark Reilly with daughter Louise. One legal expert said that, regardless of the facts, Mr Reilly will be found guilty because it is a ‘politically charged’ case

Even without that tricky fact, the addition of a sex tape to an already snowballing corporate scandal was hugely embarrassing for GSK (which says it is ‘co-operating fully’ with the Chinese investigation), and deeply upsetting for Mr Reilly and his family.

Yet its existence also, surely, suggests that someone, somewhere, is going to very great — not to mention underhand — lengths to bring him and the company down.

Mr Reilly’s nearest and dearest certainly suspect so. Louise and Jessica are (on the advice of the Foreign Office) maintaining a dignified silence, for fear of further provoking the Chinese authorities.

So too are Mark’s mother, brother and sister. However, close friends tell me they are increasingly convinced that Mr Reilly is the hapless victim of an organised sting. ‘Mark has certainly made mistakes,’ says a source with intimate knowledge of the case.

‘He has made bad decisions in his personal life, particularly this sexual indiscretion, and done the odd thing he regrets in business.

‘But is he some sort of master criminal? Of course he isn’t. Does he deserve to spend 20 years in jail? Absolutely not. It’s a terrible stitch-up.’

The source said Reilly has been ‘in and out of detention’ for the past year, sometimes in formal custody, more often in hotels with police officers stationed outside his room.

He remains an employee of GSK, but is able to have only ‘very limited conversations’ with either the firm, his lawyers, or even his daughters, who in an effort to lighten their mood have taken to calling themselves  ‘Team Reilly’.

Dedicated: Mr Reilly was a company 'lifer' who joined the firm in 1989, shortly after leaving university. He and Jill had previously worked in the U.S. and Singapore before he was offered his role in China

Dedicated: Mr Reilly was a company ‘lifer’ who joined the firm in 1989, shortly after leaving university. He and Jill had previously worked in the U.S. and Singapore before he was offered his role in China

‘The family’s first and only priority is to secure Mark’s safe return,’ the source said.

‘But this is China we are dealing with, so things don’t look good. For a man who had so much, it’s very, very sad.’

Mr Reilly’s ill-fated Chinese adventure began in 2009, when he was offered a promotion to become general manager of GSK’s pharmaceuticals division there.

A company ‘lifer’ who joined the firm in 1989, shortly after leaving university, he and Jill (who also has a high-powered executive job at GSK) had previously worked in the U.S, where Louise was born, and Singapore.

With their then-teenage girls in secondary school, Reilly was reluctant once more to uproot his family, however. So he decided to move alone to Shanghai, where Jill and the children would join him in school holidays. On paper, the move represented a fantastic career opportunity.

Though GSK is one of the world’s largest drug companies, its footprint in China is relatively tiny. Indeed, although the country boasts more than 1.3 billion citizens, and is growing dramatically wealthier, it still represents just 3.5 per cent of the firm’s global sales.

Reilly duly set about dramatically increasing the firm’s revenues, setting ambitious sales targets for his mostly Chinese staff. But his eagerness to pursue those goals sparked friction with local authorities.

‘Like most companies in its field, Glaxo has a highly aggressive sales culture,’ says a Shanghai-based source with knowledge of the company’s operations.

‘Sometimes, that has got it in trouble with regulators.’

‘In China, it doesn’t work like that. Get caught, and you’ll go to prison’ – A Shanghai-based source

A few years ago, for example, the firm was ordered to pay a record $3 billion (£1.7 billion) fine in the U.S. after being caught illegally paying doctors to prescribe dangerous drugs. ‘Mark was steeped in this culture, where you push the rules to the limit in order to succeed.

‘Sometimes, you overstep the mark, and the company has to row back, apologise, or even pay a fine,’ adds the source.

‘In China, it doesn’t work like that. Get caught, and you’ll go to prison.’

Trouble began in 2012, when an anonymous whistleblower, thought to be a disgruntled GSK employee, began sending emails to China’s healthcare regulator, making wild allegations about sales practices.

A total of 23 messages were sent, alleging that GSK staff were routinely bribing doctors and healthcare professionals with the authorisation of senior managers. However they were short on details. In January last year, the stakes were raised, significantly.

An 11-page email was dispatched from the address ‘gskwhistleblower@gmail.com’. In its subject line it claimed to contain a ‘notification of bribery by GSK in China’.

The email — a copy of which has been passed to the Daily Mail — alleged that the firm ‘has engaged in illegal marketing and large-scale bribery to sell its products to Chinese hospitals and doctors’.

It claimed, among other things, that sales staff were wired £1,000 each month from a Citibank account to wine, dine, buy prostitutes for, and pay cash bribes to ‘key decision-makers’ in the purchasing departments of hospitals.

The email named names and gave dates. It told how attempts were made to conceal payments, and accused the firm of doing little to prevent endemic bribery.

It would later end up in the hands of the police, who appeared to quote it (at times verbatim) in May this year, while outlining potential charges against not just Mr Reilly, but 45 of his Chinese colleagues.

‘Is what the email alleges true? I have no idea,’ says the Shanghai source. ‘Even if it is, Mark didn’t know every detail of what went on. He hardly spoke Chinese, for starters.

How could he have known? Shanghai is a very fast city. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that everyone’s a bit dodgy and you have to do dodgy things to get along. If the allegations are true, I could see how it could have happened. But he’s no crook.’

Unfortunately, for Reilly, his case nonetheless struck a potent political chord. The Beijing government is attempting to crack down on a ‘backhander culture’ traditional in Chinese business circles, and GSK, as a wealthy multinational, makes an ideal target.

‘By coming down hard on someone like Reilly,’ says Prof Lam, ‘the authorities can show people that bribery is something they are taking seriously.’

If that was indeed their aim, they were handed a further gift in March last year, when a second email was sent, from the same address, to a separate group of senior staff.

This added details to corruption claims, claiming that doctors and their families were given free holidays in India, Brazil and Japan by GSK, under the guise of attending conference. Agencies were hired to organise luxury travel, and hand them thousands of dollars in cash as ‘speaking fees’, it said.

Attached to the email was large computer file. It contained the tape of Reilly and his mistress. The video was shown to Reilly soon afterwards, during a visit to GSK’s headquarters in London.

He promptly returned to Shanghai and hired a fellow British national, private investigator Peter Humphrey, to establish who had leaked it.

That investigation was still ongoing in late June last year when police carried out their high-profile raid on GSK’s offices. Mr Reilly promptly flew to the UK, on a scheduled holiday.

However several weeks later, he bizarrely decided to return to China to (as GSK put it) ‘help police with their inquiries’.

That move, which of course led to his detention, has until now been shrouded in mystery, since it seems inconceivable a right-thinking British citizen facing any prospect of prosecution in a country such as China should freely travel there.

However, I understand that Reilly was at least partly motivated to return in an ill-fated effort to suppress the sex tape.

‘At the time, you have to remember that Mark was a married man,’ says a close friend. ‘His wife did not know that he had committed any indiscretion.

Posted on Monday 30 June 2014

A year ago, we first began to hear about a GSK bribery scandal in China [an irreducible conflict…]. Pharmagossip has kept us up on the developments. Now this:
Daily Mail
By Hugo Gye
29 June 2014

A covert sex tape involving a senior executive and his Chinese lover was the trigger for a major investigation into corruption at British drugs giant GlaxoSmith-Kline, it was revealed yesterday. The video of married Mark Reilly and his girlfriend was filmed by secret camera and emailed anonymously to board members of the pharmaceutical firm. It led to an investigation that has rocked the £76billion company – which stands accused of bribing doctors and other health officials in China with £320million of gifts, including sexual favours from prostitutes, to persuade them to prescribe its drugs.

Mr Reilly, who ran the company’s Chinese business, was charged six weeks ago with running a ‘massive bribery network’ involving £90million of illegal sales and banned from leaving the country. It was the culmination of a year-long corruption investigation into the FTSE 100 firm. But yesterday, it was revealed the scandal first erupted after the sex tape was emailed by ‘GSK whistleblower’ to board members, including chief executive Andrew Witty, in March 2013, in what was believed to be a threat or blackmail attempt. The footage showed father-of-two Mr Reilly, who is separated from his wife, having sex with his Chinese girlfriend.

He was given permission to hire investigator Peter Humphrey, 58, to find out who had hidden the camera in his Shanghai flat and who had sent two separate emails making serious fraud allegations. The £20,000 probe, codenamed Project Scorpion, focused on disgruntled former employee Vivien Shi, 49, a prominent businesswoman whose family is part of Shanghai’s communist elite. But a few months after starting to investigate Miss Shi, Mr Humphrey was arrested along with his wife Yu Yingzeng, a US citizen and daughter of one of China’s most eminent atomic weapons scientists. According to the Sunday Times, Mr Humphrey’s arrest and detention in July was at around the same time that China began a police probe into GSK’s alleged bribery.

Mr Reilly, 52, of Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, stepped down from his post as China manager soon after Mr Humphrey’s arrest but remains a GSK employee. He returned to Britain around the same time but voluntarily went back to China within days to assist police with their inquiries. He was charged in May this year and accused by police of presiding over a web of corruption and pressing his sales teams to bribe health officials to meet targets…
hat tip to pharmagossip…  
It feels odd reporting a story that seems like it belongs in a check-out line tabloid rather than a medical blog, but that’s where you end up if you follow the pharmaceutical industry. I reckon Reilly’s sex life is actually his business, but hundreds of millions in bribes is everybody’s business. And in this case, the charge is directed against an actual person:
If found guilty, Mr Reilly, who has a PhD in pharmacology and neurosciences from University College London, could face life in prison. Mr Reilly joined GSK in 1989 and has worked in Singapore, Hong Kong and China. He is separated from Jill, 49, with whom he has two teenage daughters, and has moved out of their £1.2million home. It is understood he met Mrs Reilly at university, where she was studying psychology. Like her husband, she took up a post at GSK, working as a director of capital planning…
Two things. First, it has long been the opinion of people watching the misbehavior of the pharmaceutical industry that until the executives in charge start heading off to jail, the corruption will continue under the cost of doing business rule. And so far, Reilly seems to be pretty vulnerable to Chinese justice and jail. Second, it’s inconceivable to me that payoffs of this magnitude could be made without being known all the way up the chain of command. These companies roll through money as if they’re small countries, but the numbers involved here are a good deal more than petty cash.

In with no echo…, I was hypothesizing that by settling out of civil and criminal suits, the pharmaceutical companies avoid any verdict, and invariably quickly say “we admit to no wrongdoing” implying that they settled for who-knows-what reason [like admitting to the least ignoble of the charges]. In doing that, they dampen the incriminating story which then fades quickly – the anechoic effect [see echo echo echo echo echo echo…]. The most obscene version was GSK settling a $3B suit and signing this agreement – then writing a response in a letter to the Chronicle of Higher Education that denies admission of guilt [see the only enduring contract…]. The way this China-gate story is going, it doesn’t at this point look like that’s going to be an option. This is just plain old crime, and one that has the Chinese up in arms [as it should].

And there’s more:
Last month, Britain’s Serious Fraud Office announced it is to investigate the company’s ‘commercial practices’.

Is GSK’s CEO-Andrew Witty’s- Chancellorship Of The University Of Nottingham A Paradigm Of Institutional Hypocrisy?


big-corruption-big-pharma

AWItty

Sir-Andrew-Witty_DSC9994-reducedUniversity of N

GSK

“…Peter C Gøtzsche, MD exposes the pharmaceutical industries and their charade of fraudulent behavior, both in research and marketing where the morally repugnant disregard for human lives is the norm….”

“The main reason we take so many drugs is that drug companies don’t sell drugs, they sell lies about drugs. This is what makes drugs so different from anything else in life”

(May 13th 2015)


Impact caught up with the University’s Chancellor, Sir Andrew Witty, to discuss his appointment, being CEO of GlaxoSmithKline and the £12m donation made to the University.

Witty accepted his position as UoN’s seventh Chancellor at the official inauguration ceremony on 12th March. Witty said he enjoyed the ceremony, although he was glad when it was finished. “It’s not something that I am particularly used to but it was very enjoyable. It’s important for institutions like this to have some history and tradition.”

Witty has maintained close ties with the University since graduating with a BA in Economics in 1985.

In 2012 GlaxoSmithKline, of which Witty is CEO, donated £12,000,000 towards the construction of new research laboratories at the University, raising questions about whether the donation was, in part, responsible for his appointment.

Witty also addressed concerns that the ethical scandals in which GSK have been implicated in recent years, including last year’s £1.9 billion fraud case, would compromise the emphasis that Vice-Chancellor David Greenaway places on ‘social responsibility’.

(May 31st 2013)

“This company has been investigated for bribery allegations in many countries. From our investigation, bribery is part of the strategy of this company. This is why they have bribery activities in China,” said Gao Feng, the head of the economic crimes investigation unit at the Ministry of Public Security.”…

(15 Jul 2013)

“Today’s multibillion-dollar settlement is unprecedented in both size and scope,” Deputy Attorney General James Cole said at Monday’s news conference. “We are determined to stop practices that jeopardize patients’ health, harm taxpayers, and violate the public trust.”

(Wall Street Journal July 2012)

I have been documenting GSK (and Seroxat) for almost nine years now, and the sheer scale of unscrupulous, dishonest, corrupt and sociopathic behavior, which this massively powerful and wealthy pharmaceutical company engages in, on a yearly (or perhaps monthly, weekly, and daily) basis, never ceases to amaze me.

(Read GSK Whistleblower Greg Thorpe’s Department Of Justice Complaint which resulted in GSK’s 3 Billion dollar fine in 2012 for hundreds of examples of systemic fraud and corruption).

GSK seem to get away with this systemic corruption because they operate above the law. Despite the immense harm they have done to consumers for decades now, and despite billions of dollars in fines, department of justice,  serious fraud office- and regulatory- investigations, the top brass remains largely unaccountable.

It’s easy to blame the weakness of the law, and GSK’s influence on government and the regulators. These are undoubtedly factors, but what about GSK’s influence on institutions such as major Universities? What about GSK CEO Andrew Witty’s chancellorship of Nottingham University? Is this not an unethical appointment? Should this University not be embarrassed and ashamed that their chancellor is also the CEO of one of the most  devious, corrupt and fraudulent corporations on the planet?

In January 2013 the University of Nottingham appointed Andrew Witty as its chancellor. The previous year GSK had donated 12 million to the university. That same year of the donation (2012) GSK were fined 3 billion US dollars (the largest health care fraud settlement in US history) after an intensive department of Justice investigation into the company. Furthermore, the year that Witty was made chancellor (2013) was also the year that GSK were caught operating a massive bribery operation in China. In 2014 they were fined 297 million pounds by the Chinese government, and their head of operations there, Mark Reilly, was expelled from the country with a suspended sentence. They are currently under investigation by the UK’s serious fraud office, and are weathering allegations of bribery/fraud networks in several other countries.

However these breeches of ethics (thoroughly disgraceful though they are) don’t reveal in any way the (very real) human damage to patients.

The human destruction behind GSK’s various fraudulent acts are harrowing.

For example, it is estimated that millions of kids were exposed to GSK’s Seroxat drug for many years, despite a recent study revealing that Seroxat is ineffective and extremely harmful in under 18’s. There are potentially tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of cases of child self harm, suicide, and attempted suicide linked to this one GSK drug alone (and the damage to the adult population is similar).

Seroxat should not have been encouraged in this age group, yet GSK promoted it directly to kids (off label): Is this not utterly reprehensible behavior by GSK?

How does the University of Nottingham reconcile its close ties with GSK, and Andrew Witty, in light of these disturbing facts about GSK’s systemic unethical behavior over the years?

In 2012 (the year that GSK paid the US 3 Billion for killing and harming kids and adults with their fraudulent medications) the University of Nottingham began a 7.9 million pounds anti-corruption project, which aimed to :

“…investigate the causes of corruption; how corruption can be measured; and the impact of corruption on different aspects of human wellbeing..”

Quite how the University of Nottingham reconciles this huge anti-corruption study in the college with GSK’s Andrew Witty as head of one of the most (documented as) corrupt corporations in the world, and also as chancellor of the University of Nottingham itself- is beyond me.

This type of thing goes beyond hypocrisy and irony… it’s diabolically absurd. The causes of corruption are quite obvious and GSK is a paradigm of institutional corruption (right on Nottingham university’s doorstep).

Money, individual self interest, institutional self interest,  bribery, greed, and sociopathic, unscrupulous behavior. These are the factors that eventually embed corruption into the core of the culture of companies like GSK. The impact of this corruption is also obvious: it leads to discontent and distrust, and of course immense harm to human well being; particularly if you are a child, or a parent of a child- not warned about the dangers of a medication like Seroxat.

“A DISTRAUGHT mother has called for changes in the law after her teenage daughter hanged herself while taking a controversial anti-depressant.

Sharise Gatchell, 18, underwent a complete personality change when she took Seroxat, which hit the headlines just two weeks after the teenager’s death.

Sharise’s mum Stephanie said the drug ‘scared her’ and she asked the teenager not to take it again. But the Newhaven teenager secretly went back on the anti-depressant — and just weeks later she hanged herself while her parents were away for the weekend”..

(Monday 29 September 2003)

David Healy, professor of psychiatry at Bangor University in Wales, said it was hard to see how so many suicidal children could have been overlooked. “We think if you were to go in and look at this data, anyone without training will find there are at least of the order of 12 children becoming suicidal on this drug out of about 93 [who were given it],” he said.

“This is a very high rate of kids going on to become suicidal. It doesn’t take expertise to find this. It takes extraordinary expertise to avoid finding it.”

In an article published with the re-analysis, Peter Doshi, associate editor of the BMJ, said the new paper “has reignited calls for retraction of the original study, putting additional pressure on academic and professional institutions to publicly address the many allegations of wrongdoing.”

In that same year, more than two million prescriptions for paroxetine were written for adolescents and children in the United States, on the back of an advertising campaign which claimed the trial had shown “remarkable efficacy and safety”. GSK was fined $3bn in 2012 for fraudulently promoting the drug”..

(September 16th 2015)


Does the University of Nottingham care about ethics? Do the academic staff care about human rights? If so- then why do they tolerate having GSK’s CEO, Andrew Witty, as their chancellor, surely this is a blatant breach of the college charter? Is the appointment of Andrew Witty as chancellor not a blatant devaluing of the college’s ethical code? Is it not an insult to the students themselves?

What do academics such as Nottingham’s Professor David Harris think of this? (Dr Harris is a renowned human rights scholar).

DH


Are GSK’s history of flagrant patient/consumer abuses (with drugs such as Seroxat, Avandia and Pandemrix, and encouraging prescribing off label of many of their other drugs)  also considered human rights abuses? or do they not qualify? Is suppressing data leading to the deaths of children a human rights issue? Is hiding side effects, denying the effects of dependence, and not reporting withdrawal symptoms an infringement of a prescription drug users rights?

What does Nottingham’s Professor Paul Heywood think of GSK’s corrupt shenanigans in the US and China? (and the various other probes into corruption by GSK elsewhere). Heywood is an academic who specializes in many aspects of global corruption, and is involved in many studies into corruption.

Is he aware, for example, that recently- it seems- GSK might have broken their corporate integrity agreement with the US Dept Of Justice? What does he think of that?

How can the University of Nottingham claim to be serious about tackling corruption (both academically and institutionally) when it has the CEO of one of the most corrupt corporations in the world as its chancellor?

Prof Heywood corruotion

“Professor Heywood is author, co-author or editor of sixteen books and more than eighty journal articles and book chapters. His research focuses on political corruption, institutional design and state capacity in contemporary Europe. Current funded research includes an ESRC/Hong Kong project on Integrity Management in the UK, HK and China, and an EU FP7 project, ANTICORRP, on anti-corruption policies. He is also currently the UK Local Research Correspondent on Corruption (2012-14) for the European Commission’s DG Home Affairs, helping to produce an EU Anti-Corruption Report.”

corruption

Paul Heywood appointed Programme Leader of anti-corruption research partnership

The School of Politics and International Relations is delighted to announce that Paul Heywood has been appointed Programme Leader of a £3.6 million BA/DfID initiative to fund international research to identify the most successful ways of addressing corruption in developing countries. To support him in the role, Paul has been awarded a grant of £117.5k that will allow for partial buy-out from his duties at Nottingham until June 2018.

The British Academy (BA) and the Department for International Development (DFID) evidence partnership aims to support world-leading multi-disciplinary research towards effective policy making and interventions. The partnership will address evidence gaps in what works in reducing corruption.

The initiative forms one component of a wider DfID Anti-Corruption Evidence (ACE) programme, that will run for three years and will also involve a new Anti-Corruption Research Partnership Consortium focussing on two themes: (i) the inter-dependencies between anti-corruption interventions and their impact on corruption; (ii) the private sector and economic growth.

Paul’s success is indicative of the high regard in which his research on corruption and governance is held.

Posted on Monday 5th October 2015

I started this blog in 2007, and i thought by documenting GSK (and in particular their dangerous Seroxat/Aropax/Paxil drug) something would eventually be done about their behavior. I imagined that someone in power, either in the US or the UK, would stop them from being so unethical. I hoped that someone, somewhere, would see that the damage to patients from a drug like Seroxat is just unacceptable. There are many of us (me included) who have been damaged because of GSK’s corrupt behavior. I’m just one individual damaged by one GSK medication (and their failure to warn me of side effects) but there there are countless consumers of GSK products damaged and harmed on a global scale

I thought, by raising awareness of GSK’s misdeeds, someone would put a stop to this unethical and immoral abuse of patient and consumer rights? This hasn’t happened yet.

GSK get away with abuse of patients and consumers, bribery, fraud and corruption, because not enough doctors, academics, or government personnel, dare to speak out against them.

Maybe the academics at the University of Nottingham will be different?

Only time will tell..

(for the University of Nottingham’s code of ethics see here)


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https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/news/pressreleases/2015/august/collaboration-may-encourage-corporate-corruption.aspx

Collaboration may encourage corporate corruption

20 Aug 2015 14:56:03.197
While the benefits of cooperation in human society are clear, new research from The University of Nottingham suggests it also has a dark side – one that encourages corrupt behaviour.
“Collaborative settings, not just greed, can provide fertile ground for corruption, as typified by recent scandals in the football and banking worlds. But while much is known about individual immoral behaviour, little is known about the collaborative roots of corruption,” explains lead author Dr Ori Weisel from the School of Economics at the University.
The study, The Collaborative Roots of Corruption, published in PNAS journal, focused on cases where working together meant violating moral rules, by lying, at a possible cost to the larger group, or the organization to which they belong.

Sir-Andrew-Witty-for-enewsletter

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AAAS

A1
UNINOTGSK
NGL
 Dabvid Greenway
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A Few More Things .. Before I Take a Long Break From Blogging…


What the hell were these idiot psychiatrists thinking?

“…A man with a history of mental illness killed his landlord and consumed part of his body two days after he came off his medication under the direction of a psychiatrist in Dublin..”

The Central Criminal Court has been told the medical professionals treating Saverio Bellante (36) in his native Italy believed he should remain on the medication for life.

After the dose of his anti-psychotic medication Olanzapine had been gradually lowered when he came to live in Ireland, the medication was stopped on the advice of a consultant psychiatrist on January 9th, 2014.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/courts/criminal-court/landlord-killer-had-been-advised-to-stop-taking-medication-1.2302699

“…I have estimated in my book, ‘Deadly Medicine and Organized Crime’, that just one of the many preparations, Zyprexa (olanzapine), has killed 200,000 patients worldwide.”

-Peter Gøtzsche (Internationally respected Danish Professor of the renowned Cochrane research group in Denmark).

Is it no wonder that this guy had a complete psychotic break-down? Did the psychiatrist not realize that Zyprexa (Olanzapine) is one of THE most horrific psychiatric medications out there? I’d go as far as to say it’s just as bad as Seroxat.

In fact, it might even be worse.

I worked with a woman who was prescribed it and I witnessed her literally change into a shell of herself before my very eyes over a period of a few months. She turned into a zombie, her tongue would dart out of her mouth like a lizard, she looked like she was startled all the time, her face would contort, and spasm when she tried to do facial expressions, and her eyes were like pins, she was hallucinating half the time, half asleep the other half of the time and basically out of her head all the time on that disgusting drug. Long term psychiatric patients get worse from this type of psychiatric treatment because the drugs turn them into zombies, I saw it with my own eyes, and I was on Seroxat too, so I understand these drugs. I know the damage they cause. They are lethal! Absolutely lethal!

Robert Whitaker has written extensively about psychiatric meds literally killing patients every goddam day, when is the mainstream media going to wake up to this fact!

http://www.thejournal.ie/tom-ogorman-saverio-bellante-murder-trial-2243523-Jul2015/

“The jury were told that two days before the murder he had attended an out-patient appointment at a Dublin clinic where the anti-psychotic medication Olanzapine he had been on was stopped. The psychiatrist for the prosecution Dr Stephen Monks said Mr Ballante had told him he had attended the clinic since arriving in Ireland in 2011. He attended every two months. Mr Bellante said he had been told that he would have to remain on medication for the rest of his life by doctors in Italy. However, medical records show that between January 2012 and January 2014 Mr Ballante’s anti-psychotic medication was gradually reduced in 2.5 milogramme steps up until 9 January 2014 when it was reduced to zero. Mr Ballante was also on a second medication: a mood stabiliser, sodium valproate. Following blood tests after the murder this was found to be lower than the therapeutic measure generally given. However, Dr Conor O’Neill, psychiatrist for the defence, told the court that one or more doses had perhaps been missed and this medication isn’t the one that keeps psychotic symptoms in check.

Secondly, what the hell was he being prescribed an Epilepsy drug for on top of his Zyprexa withdrawal? Sodium Valporate doesn’t stabilize moods (like it says in the article). The brand name is Epilim, the chemical name is Sodium Valporate- I know this because my younger brother was prescribed it when he was a child. My mother had the good sense to get him off it because he was having fits of rage on it, and mood swings. He was like a demon, and we were all actually terrified of him even though he was just a small child! He would go nuts on EpliIm and it made his fits worse! Now he’s ultra healthy, eats only a very specific healthy diet of whole foods and he goes to the gym most days, and guess what? he doesn’t need meds anymore and has no Epileptic fits anymore.

It seems to me that psychiatry is hell bent on using people for their sick agenda of human experimentation. We’re all just lab rats to them, and the result is- murders, suicides, murder-suicides, and life long psychiatric patients on drug merry go rounds, who never ever get better. Why? Because these drugs are toxic poisons that’s why!

The cure for all ‘psychiatric illnesses’ is not psychiatry, psychiatry compounds the traumas through psychotropic drugs and creates customers for life, and in many cases those customers have a short life, because these meds are killers.

All so called ‘psychiatric disorders’ come from trauma, and you cannot medicate trauma away with mind bending, health damaging, psychotropics! If you could then we’d all be on them and we would be getting better wouldn’t we? but guess what? Nobody ever gets better on long term psychiatric drug treatment. In what other medical specialty would you find that people actually get worse the longer their treatment goes on!

Only in psychiatry do you find that, because psychiatry is a fraud.

Some notes on the horrific Zyprexa drug…

Like Seroxat- Zyprexa causes similar symptoms- and like Seroxat- the withdrawal syndrome is horrendous, cruel and inhuman…

Zyprexa Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

Below is a list of symtpoms that you may experience when coming off of Zyprexa. Keep in mind that not everyone will experience every single symptom listed below. You may experience a few of the symptoms or many and the severity of withdrawal will be influenced by individual factors.

 
  • Anxiety: Many people report very extreme anxiety when they quit Zyprexa. This is a drug that many people find calming and when taken away, a person can feel extremely anxious. Do your best to practice relaxation exercises and recognize that the anxiety is part of withdrawal.
  • Appetite changes: While on Zyprexa, many people experience significant increases in appetite. A person may feel as if they are never full and/or are transforming into Hulk as a result of the food that they eat. When coming off of Zyprexa, most people experience decreased appetite.
  • Bipolar symptoms: Some people may experience a reemergence of Bipolar symptoms (e.g. mania) when they quit taking this drug. If you have Bipolar disorder and are on this medication, proceed slowly and with caution when withdrawing.
  • Concentration problems: If you find it very difficult to concentrate on tasks such as reading, writing, and/or work, you are not alone. Many people have major difficulties with focusing when they are going through withdrawal. This symptom tends to improve over time as your brain adapts to functioning without the drug.
  • Confusion: When you experience a bunch of uncomfortable physical symptoms accompanied by foggy thinking, concentration problems, and emotional disturbances, this can result in a state of confusion. If you feel confused often, just know that this will improve over time.
  • Crying spells: The depression that people experience when quitting an antipsychotic like Zyprexa can be very tough to deal with. This may result in a person crying excessively because they feel so down in the dumps.
  • Depersonalization: Do you feel unlike your old “normal” self? This is because your neurotransmitters are out of balance and have changed since you took the medication. It will likely take your brain some time to reset its homeostatic functioning.
  • Depression: Many people report extreme depression when they stop taking this drug. The depression is thought to be a result of lowered levels of dopamine and serotonin. You should eventually experience some lift in mood after some time off of the medication.
  • Diarrhea: Some people experience diarrhea when they discontinue this medication. This isn’t an extremely common symptom, but one that has been reported. If this is the case, you may want to consider some over the counter Imodium.
  • Dizziness: Among the most common withdrawal symptoms from any psychiatric medication is that of dizziness. It is common for people to feel very dizzy, especially if the tapering was done too quickly. Dizziness will eventually lessen over time as the brain functioning readjusts.
  • Fatigue: Most people report excessive tiredness and general fatigue when they come off of Zyprexa. You may have a difficult time performing everyday tasks because your energy level is so low. Just know that your energy level will eventually return as time passes.
  • Hallucinations: There is evidence pointing to the fact that some people experience psychotic symptoms as a result of withdrawal. This is thought to be a result of changes in dopamine receptor functioning and dopamine levels.
  • Headaches: Some people experience splitting severe headaches when they come off of this medication. Having headaches accompanied by dizziness can be a very difficult one-two punch. Just know that these should subside after your body restores proper functioning.
  • Insomnia: This drug tends to calm people down and in many cases makes them sleepy. When coming off of it, the opposite can be true. Some people report such intense anxiety and an inability to fall asleep.  Insomnia may persist for quite some time after your last dose.  It should improve as you make some lifestyle changes and your neurotransmitter levels change.
  • Irritability: Do you notice yourself becoming increasingly irritable? If you feel more irritable than normal and little things set you off, it may be a result of withdrawal. Neurotransmitter levels are in fluctuation, which is thought to lead to people feeling irritable.
  • Memory problems: It is very common to experience poor memory functioning upon drug discontinuation. It isn’t well known as to why these drugs can lead to memory problems. With that said, most people do experience improvements in memory with time off of the drug.
  • Mood swings: Some people experience pretty severe mood swings upon discontinuation. One minute you may feel as though the withdrawal is over, the next you may feel swamped in a state of deep depression. For this I’m not referring to “bipolar” mood swings, rather just unexpected changes in mood.
  • Muscle cramps: Those who have taken this medication over the long term may experience muscle cramps and/or weakness during the withdrawal process.
  • Nausea: Many people report intense nausea during the time in which they discontinue their medication. The nausea can be severe to the point that a person also vomits. In general, the nausea after the last dose shouldn’t last more than a couple weeks.
  • Panic attacks: Some individuals report experiencing heightened anxiety to the point of panic attacks. In other words, a person experiences such high arousal that everyday activities lead to intense feelings of panic.
  • Psychosis: It has been documented that withdrawal from antipsychotics can cause psychosis. It is not very common to experience this upon withdrawal, but it does happen. Obviously this may signify the reemergence of schizophrenia, but in those without schizophrenia, it can be part of withdrawal.
  • Restlessness: If you feel especially restless for no apparent reason, it is likely due to the withdrawal that you are experiencing. The changes in neurotransmitters, elevated level of arousal, and anxious thinking can make a person restless.
  • Suicidal thinking: It is extremely common to feel suicidal during your withdrawal. You may experience suicidal thoughts that seem as if they will never subside. Over time, these should gradually subside. If you feel suicidal and cannot cope with these thoughts, please seek professional help.
  • Sweating: Many people sweat intensely when they withdraw from psychiatric drugs – this antipsychotic is no exception. If you notice that you are sweating profusely throughout the day and wake up sweating in the middle of the night, just know it’s part of the process.
  • Vomiting: Feel flu-like to the point that you are nauseous and keep vomiting? Some people have reported intense vomiting spells during the first week or two when they initially quit this medication. To reduce this symptom, be sure to wean off of Zyprexa as gradually as possible
  • Weight loss: Taking this drug is known to increase appetite and slow metabolism, which leads to many people gaining weight. Zyprexa is one of the worst drugs for trying to keep weight off – most people eat way too much food on this drug in particular. When you stop taking it and stay off of it for awhile, you should also lose the weight that you gained.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/almost-all-psych-drug-use-is-unnecessary-study/5463456

More than half a million people age 65 years or older die every year in the West from psychiatric drug use, and the worst part is that these death pills aren’t even effective at treating either mental illness or depression. Researchers from Denmark’s Nordic Cochrane Centre found that the benefits of psych drugs are minimal at best, and that most people who currently use them would be better off just ditching them entirely.

Published in The BMJ (British Medical Journal), an eye-opening paper by Professor Peter Gotzsche reveals that most antidepressants and dementia drugs are generally useless when it comes to providing tangible relief. The drugs are also vastly overprescribed, he says, and they come with such a high risk of adverse effects that it isn’t even worth it for the average person to try them.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people are dying every year from the normal and prescribed use of psych meds like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are linked to causing extreme depression and provoking users towards suicide or even homicide. Add to this the fact that most psych meds have never been shown effective, matching or not even reaching placebo in terms of their efficacy, and there’s no legitimate reason for their continued use.


The other thing I wanted to blog about before I take a rest is GSK’s latest corruption scandal in Romania which is just hitting the headlines.

This article from Reuters sums it up nicely:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/29/us-gsk-romania-corruption-exclusive-idUSKCN0Q32A920150729

Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, which was fined a record 3 billion yuan ($483 million) for corruption in China last year and is examining possible staff misconduct elsewhere, faces new allegations of bribery in Romania.

GSK confirmed it was looking into the latest claims of improper payments set out in a whistleblower’s email sent to its top management on Monday. A copy of the email was seen by Reuters.

The company is already probing alleged bribery in Poland, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Iraq.

The latest allegations say GSK paid Romanian doctors hundreds, and in one cases thousands, of euros between 2009 and 2012 for prescribing its medicines, including prostate treatments Avodart and Duodart and Parkinson’s disease drug Requip.

According to the email, the doctors were notionally paid for speaking engagements, but in three out of six cases, including the most highly paid one, they did not give any speech. The other three medics gave only one speech each, despite receiving multiple payments.

GSK also provided doctors with many international trips and made payments to them under the guise of participation in advisory boards, the email said.

The company said it would look “very thoroughly” into the claims, which cover a period before its pledge in December 2013 to stop paying doctors to speak on its behalf or to attend international conferences.

“We do receive letters of this sort from time to time. We welcome and support the opportunity for people to speak up if they have any concerns,” GSK said in a statement. “Sometimes we do find things and we act on it; sometimes our findings do not substantiate the matters being raised.”

The China scandal, which involved alleged bribes totaling hundreds of millions of dollars, hit GSK’s sales in the country, although Chief Executive Andrew Witty, reporting quarterly results on Wednesday, said its Chinese business was stabilizing.

The sender of the Romania email said its contents would be passed on to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which are investigating GSK for possible breaches of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

An SEC program provides cash incentives for whistleblowers to report corporate malpractice.


Now why is the media not mentioning the fact that GSK are operating under a so called corporate integrity agreement since 2012; a pact which was originally initiated by the US department of Justice because of GSK’s record breaking 3 Billion dollar fine for fraud (you can read the hundreds of pages of fraud and corruption in the Dept of Justice complaint here).

And you can read through the 122 page corporate integrity agreement here.

I haven’t read though all of it, but I’d be pretty damn sure than the gist of the agreement was that GSK would agree that they would stop being a corrupt, sociopathic, fraudulent company, and start to behave themselves. I reckon that’s reasonable considering they just don’t seem to be able to police themselves, and they also have a knack of destroying patient’s lives with dodgy drugs. It’s only right that they should be forced to comply isn’t it?

So did they behave? No of course not, because GSK are systemically corrupt as all these multiple corruption scandals over several years clearly illustrate.

Corruption IS their business model!

They’ve been doing it for decades, and these fines are just the cost of doing business!

They don’t give a rats ass about patient health, fines, corporate integrity, ethics, or anything else..

They care only for profit!

I expect more GSK scandals over the coming months (they are never ending), but I am taking a break for while. I just wish that more people would speak out, and maybe some journalists would grow some balls and take this rat infested corrupt cartel to task and not leave it to us bloggers to do all the hard work all the time!

So, did GSK break its corporate integrity agreement?

The following articles are worth reading in regards to a possible answer to that question:

http://richardbistrong.com/bribery-business-strategy-and-plausible-deniability/

Bribery, Business Strategy and Plausible Deniability

Can business strategy in itself be a red-flag of corporate corruption?
In one word,  yes, and I discuss how in a recent guest blog (May 19, 2014) in Ethic Intelligence’s “Experts Corner.” 
I ask, if strategy is pulled back at the C-Suite, does it expose an executive message of strict anti-bribery compliance, while the economics of the sales forecast and corresponding personal incentive packages speak to a “win over everything else” mentality?

A gap in the debate As I shared in the Q and A, I am concerned about the lack of discussion with respect to the corruption risk that front line international sales and marketing personnel face. Specifically, I draw attention to how corporate business strategy can directly contradict, through sales growth plans and incentive compensation packages, the messages of anti-bribery compliance. Such a situation leaves the sales force to decide “what does management really want, compliance or sales?”  While in past  writings I have discussed “compliance as bonus prevention” in the context of  incentive compensation, in the Q and A with Ethic Intelligence, I discuss the role of business strategy as a stand alone red-flag, of which compensation is a sub-set.

I am not alone While I might have thought I was alone in expressing this concern, I recently came across an article by Professor Mak Yuen Teen, published in the Singapore Business Times on May 21, 2014, but also on his blog Governance for Stakeholders, titled “Plausible deniability and graft by MNCs.” By way of background, Professor Mak is an Associate Professor of Accounting at the NUS Business School, Singapore. For his full (and impressive) CV, see here.

In his article, Professor Mak first calls attention to  the recent reports of GSK bribery in China, and GSK’s public reaction as calling the conduct “outside of our processes and controls…” (The Guardian, July 22, 2013). However, Professor Mak goes onto demonstrate the  reporting relationship between Mark Reilly, former head of GSK China (and subsequently charged by Chinese officials), and his supervisor, Abbas Hussain, President of Europe, Emerging Markets and Asia Pacific, who is part of the “corporate executive team of GSK.

As Professor Mak states, with this relationship “direct involvement in the scandal has moved up the chain of command of GSK.” However, notwithstanding the discussion and relevancy of  the “rouge employee” GSK script, there is a far more interesting element to Professor Mak’s writing as relating to corporate strategy.

“Did you wake up from a 10-year nap?” Professor Mak references an on-line comment to the GSK allegations as above, and asks “whether he (GSK CEO Andrew Witty) and the board ought to have at least asked some probing questions when GSK China was reporting strong sales growth over the years proceeding the scandal.” And that is where compliance gets separated from the reality of international sales growth.  Clearly, GSK executives were aware of two basic facts:

  • There was a robust anti-bribery program in place at GSK, as referenced in  public statements. Professor Mak makes reference to a 29 page anti-corruption document, and Tom Fox discusses the GSK Corporate Integrity Agreement (here).
  • There was high sales growth in China.

Therefore, was it in fact what I have called a “zero-sum” game of compliance and sales?  Could those two factors have co-existed?  In other words, and I don’t think is unique at all to GSK, “was it a case of don’t ask, don’t tell,” at the C-Suite, as Professor Mak remarks. When the regional sales numbers were reported into management was it all “high fives,” or did someone ask “hey, how did you get there?” I would ask the same of those who read this, who have been in those rooms, when the sales figures are shared.  What is the message?

Professor Mak focuses on complex multinational corporations (MNCs), where corporate executives are separated from the front line of sales by a deep and wide organizational chart. He asks, “should only executives such as Reilly take the fall while senior management and the board escape accountability…” and “can they really claim that they did not know what was going on…?”  I completely agree with Professor Mak, in that it is a long way from the C-Suite, where compliance programs commence, to the front line of international sales and marketing; however, does that distance justify the escape from accountability in not challenging the “reporting of strong growth in markets well known for corruption.”

Professor Mak thinks not, and makes a compelling case, which is reflective of my own view.  I repeat his conclusion in  its entirety and in bold (just to make sure you get the message):

“It is time for senior management and boards of MNCs to stop hiding behind business conduct codes and anti-corruption and compliance programs, and a “plausible deniability” defense, and address more fundamental questions about the benefits and costs of doing business in highly corrupt countries, their business practices, and how they reward, retain and promote their employees.” From my perspective, it would appear that the “default” for compliance and sales growth in low integrity countries, remains “zero-sum.” Maybe it is time that GSK listen to its own Chief Medical Officer James Shannon whom I referenced in a prior post, when he stated (in an interview with Reuters) that “sometimes you have to step backwards to move forward..” and that it is time for “an entire rethink about our business practice.”


http://www.pharmexec.com/comply-or-die-introducing-gsks-new-corporate-integrity-agreement

Friday, November 4, 2011

GlaxoSmithKline: Born Again Ethically?

GlaxoSmithKline, a drug company based in the E.U., agreed in 2011 to pay $3 billion to settle the U.S. Government’s civil and criminal investigations into the company’s Medicaid pricing practices and sales practices, including illegal marketing of Avandia, the diabetes drug linked to coronary problems. The settlement amount surpassed the previous record of $2.3 billion paid by Pfizer in 2009. Even so, it is doubtful that $3 billion proffered enough of a punch to motivate either Glaxo’s board or CEO to do what would be necessary to extirpate a corporate culture perhaps too comfortable with cutting corners.

Although $3 billion is a lot of money, the settlement removed “legal uncertainty”—something particularly important to investors. Les Funtleyder, a health-care strategist at a brokerage firm, explains. “I know $3 billion sounds like an astronomical number, but when you live in the world of worst-case scenarios, like investors do, $3 billion is a welcome relief. At least you have certainty.” Accordingly, the drug company’s stock rose 2.96% on the day of the announcement (November 3, 2011) to $44.55 (near its 52-week high) amid a broader market advance of about 2 percent, according to the New York Times.

The market’s verdict may give one pause in believing the statement of the company’s CEO, Andrew Witty. He said that the matters that had been under investigation no longer “reflect the company that we are today.” He went on to say, “In recent years, we have fundamentally changed our procedures for compliance, marketing and selling in the U.S. to ensure that we operate with high standards of integrity and that we conduct our business openly and transparently.” So why did a spokeswoman for the company say on the very same day that negotiations were continuing with the government over whether to include a corporate integrity agreement in a separate case regarding complaints about manufacturing quality at a plant in Cidra, P.R. that had since closed? To be sure, the agreement could provide further penalties for other violations in manufacturing, but prime facie, why should a company’s management that had come to see the light on the importance of business ethics not also see the importance (from at the very least a PR standpoint!) of embracing an integrity agreement?

Just one year before that of the $3 billion settlement announcement, the U.S. Justice Department had accused Lauren Stevens, vice president and associate general counsel of the company, of obstruction of justice and making false statements. To be sure, Stevens was subsequently acquitted of all six charges, but the charges alone point to the possibility of a corporate culture existing that disvalues business ethics. It is very unlikely that such a noxious culture can be eviscerated and replaced wholesale in a year without an extensive replacement of executives on down.

Suggesting that the company’s management would not have had sufficient incentive to radically challenge the operative values at the company, Patrick Burns, the spokesman for Taxpayers Against Fraud, asked, “Who at Glaxo is going to jail as a part of this settlement? Who in management is being excluded from doing future business with the U.S. Government?” For a company with a market value of more than $110 billion and sales of $43 billion in the year ending September 30, 2011, $3 billion with “legal certainty” does not proffer the sort of disincentive that is necessary to get major stockholders on the backs of a board to clean house in terms of a new management. To expect an existing staff (including upper echelons) to suddenly value integrity contradicts the nature of the human personality; replacing the managers wholesale would be necessary. So rather than settling for “legal certainty” on one of the legal matters then facing the company (questions of whether Glaxo violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act were still at issue), investors should have taken note of whether Glaxo’s board had demanded a corporate cleaning of management or simply taken the CEO’s words of least resistance at face value, as if adding procedures and announcing a newly discovered interest in integrity were sufficient.

How often do corporate boards prioritize, much less even mention the need to do what is necessary to radically change a sordid corporate culture? Given that the financial benefits of an ethical climate can be fuzzy while the costs of unethical practices can be discounted mentally due to their apparent low probability (which hides the high risk, which includes bankruptcy), a real kick is typically needed to commence real change sufficient to shift a corporate culture to a new ethical equilibrium. Typically, this requires a transfusion of new blood in and old blood out. Merely adding new blood while retaining even just some of the old can enable the stygian infection to spread to the new. Given what is required to expunge a squalid culture, it is indeed much easier to simply accept at face value the PR-ready asseverations of a seemingly-contrite “born-again” CEO and be done with the matter.

Click to add a question or comment on GlaxoSmithKline regarding its legal settlement and corporate culture with respect to business ethics.

Source: Duff Wilson, “Glaxo Settles Cases with U.S. for $3 Billion,” The New York Times, November 4, 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/04/business/glaxo-to-pay-3-billion-in-avandia-settlement.html Additional Info on the Cidra plant settlement: http://www.whistleblowerfirm.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Pink-Sheet.pdf


And one last thing..

What do former US Attorney General Eric Holder, GSK, and the firm- Covington & Burling- have in common?

One big huge stinking- revolving-door- syndrome, that’s what!

More on this when I return..


He was one of President Obama’s longest-serving cabinet members. Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will return as a partner at the law firm he had left to become the nation’s top law enforcement official, his new employer said in a statement.

Holder, who led the Justice Department from 2009 to 2015 and was one of President Barack Obama’s longest-serving cabinet members, will return to Covington & Burling, where he was previously a partner from 2001 to 2009, the law firm said.

At Covington & Burling’s Washington, D.C., office, Holder will focus on complex cases “including matters that are international in scope and raise significant regulatory enforcement issues,” the law firm said.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/she-the-people/post/eric-holders-record-health-fraud-case/2012/07/03/gJQAW0dFLW_blog.html

Justice Department scores victory for health consumers

July 3, 2012
British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline didn’t have much to cheer about this week with its guilty plea to criminal charges of illegally marketing drugs and withholding safety data from U.S. regulators.

But Glaxo didn’t have to endure a lot of gloating from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, whose Justice Department extracted the record settlement. Just as his staff was settling the record-breaking fraud case, Holder became the first Attorney General in U.S. history to be held in contempt of Congress. Holder was taken to task by a congressional committee for withholding documents relating to a botched gun trafficking operation known as “Fast and Furious.’’ On Monday, Holder said the contempt charge was a sham, claiming Republicans have made him a “proxy” for President Obama as the election year heats up.

As The Washington Post reported, Holder said the congressional panel was seeking “retribution against the Justice Department for its policies on a host of issues, including immigration, voting rights and gay marriage. He said the chairman of the committee leading the inquiry, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), is engaging in political theater as the Justice Department tries to focus on public safety.’’

Whatever the views on those hot-button issues, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that Holder’s Justice Department has been consistently aggressive in pursuing cases against Big Pharma.

“In 2009, Pfizer Inc. agreed to pay $2.3 billion to settle a federal investigation into whether it promoted the painkiller Bextra off-label,’’ the Wall Street Journal reported. Eli Lilly & Co. agreed to pay $1.4 billion to settle similar charges involving its antipsychotic medicine Zyprexa.’’ And this week’s Glaxo settlement, which still needs judicial approval, was the company’s fourth settlement in the past few years.

Glaxo officials said “we have learned from the mistakes that were made.”

The settlement amounts to another victory for health-care consumers after last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the Obama administration’s landmark health-care reform act.


http://amlawdaily.typepad.com/amlawdaily/2010/10/gsk-settlement.html http://cafepharma.com/boards/threads/gsk-outside-counsel-eric-holder-now-attorney-general.357111/

October 26, 2010 6:48 PM
Covington Advises GlaxoSmithKline on $750 Million FCA Settlement

Posted by Brian Baxter

GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to pay $750 million to settle criminal and civil complaints accusing the company of selling tainted drugs from a shuttered Puerto Rican factory, The New York Times reported Tuesday afternoon. The settlement, which is the fourth-largest ever paid by a pharmaceutical company in U.S. history, calls for GSK to pay $600 million in civil penalties and $150 million in criminal fines as a result of quality control problems at the plant between 2001 and 2005.

Covington & Burling litigation partners Geoffrey Hobart and Matthew O’Connor and special counsel Mona Patel represented GSK in the matter. The firm is longtime outside counsel to the company, having advised GSK on its $253 million acquisition of Laboratorios Phoenix this past June.

The federal government began its own investigation of GSK in 2004 after Cheryl Eckard, a former global quality assurance manager at GSK, filed a qui tam (whistle-blower) suit under the False Claims Act against her employer in U.S. district court in Boston.

“She came to our law firm after having heard about our success in other qui tam lawsuits,” says Neil Getnick, Eckard’s lawyer and a managing partner of New York’s Getnick & Getnick. One of those suits was the $257 million Medicaid settlement Getnick helped extract from Bayer Pharmaceuticals in 2003.

Getnick, who advised Eckard along with partner Lesley Skillen, says that Eckard’s case against GSK stands on its own. While previous whistle-blower settlements against large pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer and Novartis focused on the pricing and marketing of drugs, Eckard’s suit involved claims of how those drugs were made. (Scott Tucker of Boston’s Tucker, Heifetz & Saltzman served as local counsel to Eckard.)

“This is the first whistle-blower recovery for pharmaceutical manufacturing violations,” Getnick says. “This case is far more serious because it focuses on the quality of the drugs that were being produced, and specifically says that what was once the largest plant in the world for GSK was producing and releasing adulterated product. So this is not only a case of financial concern, but also one of patient safety, and that’s what separates it from every one up until now.”
Eckard stands to receive $96 million from the settlement paid by GSK, according to a Justice Department statement. Skillen notes that that GSK’s factory in Cidra, Puerto Rico, produced about $5.5 billion in pharmaceutical products annually for the London-based drug giant.

The GSK subsidiary pleading guilty to the charges, SB Pharmco Puerto Rico, entered a guilty plea on Tuesday. Getnick says that the state governments and the District of Columbia covered under the settlement will now execute their own 51 agreements, which could add to the whistle-blower windfall Eckard stands to receive.

The Justice Department filed its notice of intervention in the case on Tuesday, adopting the complaint filed by Eckard’s lawyers.

“This is one of the rare, if not unique, situations in a case of this size and dimension that the government did not feel the need or desire to substitute their complaint on top of the one that the relator and relator’s counsel filed,” Getnick says.
Covington’s Hobart did not respond to a request for comment.

GSK outside Counsel Eric Holder- now Attorney General ?

Discussion in ‘GlaxoSmithKline‘ started by Anonymous, Feb 3, 2009 at 11:18 AM.

  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous Guest
    OK, GSK– thought you were wise asses, getting Daniel Troy formerly Cheif Counsel for the FDA, who pissed on patients rights on the governments dime. Now you rold attorney, Eric Holder comes from defending you to go to the AG office. Sources close to Holder say that even though he may have prostituted himself for big Pharma, including also Merck and Pfizer…that he now knows the ins and outs of how you do business. It does not look good for you hopefully under Holder as AG. He has seen the corruption, knows what you do and how you do it. If you are being investigated as alleged by the Department of Justice, he will be watched by all groups interested in cleaning up the industry.
    The fraud and corruption….and yes murder for big bucks and market share will come to a halt. If it does not and he goes easy on the crooks like GSK…it will be a rough road for him. Many Senators know what he did in private practice and all are pushing for criminal as well as civil punishments that finally fit the crimes. WE will see if the small multimillion dollar fines continue and then companies go about business as usual, making money and showing that crime does pay. Hopefully some Senior Executives responsible for gross unethical, illegal and immoral conduct will be jailed and the “death sentence” given to companies who have defrauded Medicare and other Federal programs for billions of dollars.
    Only time will tell what Eric Holder will do, but look out, he seems to be honest and follows the letter of the law. If he does that, patients and payors alike will be well served… and you, GSK should be up the proverbial creek. There is not a single drug that you sell that this country cannot do without, period.

https://www.cov.com/en/news/2002/03/former-general-counsel-of-glaxosmithkline-joins-covington-and-burling-as-senior-of-counsel

Former General Counsel of GlaxoSmithKline Joins Covington & Burling as Senior Of Counsel

3/6/2002

March 6, 2002 – LONDON, U.K.- International law firm Covington & Burling is pleased to announce that James Beery, who recently retired as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world and the UK’s second largest company, will join the firm as Senior Of Counsel from 18 March.
    Mr. Beery practiced law in London, New York and Tokyo for more than twenty years before joining SmithKline Beecham plc (SB) as General Counsel in 1994. Following SB’s £114bn merger with Glaxo Wellcome in 2000, he served as General Counsel of the combined company, with more than 500 legal staff and global responsibility. GSK operates in more than 100 countries.
    Mr. Beery, a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Law School and a former US Marine, says “Covington attracted me as a firm with a strong academic tradition and an unmatched life sciences practice.” During his break following retirement from GSK, Mr. Beery helped teach a course at Stanford Law School, and he intends to continue his relationship with Stanford while at Covington. “As a general counsel, one gains a different perspective regarding both business and the practice of law. I hope that my industry experience will bring value to Covington and its clients.”
   “Jim’s arrival is wonderful news for our clients and the firm. He would have been a great asset at any international firm, particularly one like ours which focuses on Life Sciences” says Stuart Stock, managing partner, “ We are delighted Jim chose Covington.” “Jim is joining our London office as it enters a new stage of growth and development. Our expanding corporate and regulatory Life Sciences lawyers will enjoy calling on his industry expertise”. says Kurt Wimmer, Managing Partner of the London office.

GSK Bribery Scandal In China Is The “Tip Of The Iceberg”… (2013)


Published on Sep 25, 2013

China has publically cracked down on its pharmaceutical sector after officials revealed that four China-based senior executives at British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline channelled millions of pounds in bribes through travel agencies and consultancies.

The Ministry of Public Security (PSB) said that the unnamed GSK executives routed 3bn yuan (£324m, €375m, $489m) in bribes to doctors through travel agencies and consultancies to illegally boost sales and to raise the price of its medicines in China.

While GSK has provided several statements about these are isolated allegations, a number of other firms have also fallen into the China regulatory spotlight. AstraZeneca, among a number of other foreign drug makers, are being probed by police.

However, experts have gleaned that this doesn’t come as a shock to them as China’s pharmaceutical industry is rife with bribery and fraud and that the repercussions from the scandal will echo back to the US.

Reuben Guttman is one of the world’s most prominent whistleblower attorneys and is a director at Grant & Eisenhofer. He has served as counsel in some of the largest recoveries under the False Claims Act and has recovered billions of dollars for the government from fraudulent mortgage assignments and a number of pharmaceutical firms.

In 2012, he represented one of the four main whistleblowers in a case against GSK that returned over $3bn to the government and here he speaks with IBTimes UK exclusively.

Revisiting The GSK Chinese Corruption Scandal…


Taken From:

GAB | The Global Anticorruption Blog

Law, Social Science, and Policy

http://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2015/02/04/prosecuting-gsk-how-to-deal-with-being-second-in-line/

Prosecuting GSK: How to Deal with Being Second in Line

As followers of the anticorruption blogosphere know, China recently fined British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (“GSK”) $490 million for bribing Chinese doctors and hospital administrators. There is no need rehash here what many others have already said: this case is likely a watershed moment marking China’s emergence as a force in the global fight against corruption.

But there is another aspect of the story that has gone unnoticed: With rare exceptions, the U.S. Government’s corporate FCPA settlements have either preceded any foreign enforcement action (e.g., Total) or been announced as part of a coordinated global settlement (e.g., Siemens). But China’s prosecution of GSK has put U.S. regulators in a relatively unfamiliar position: that of the second mover. And in doing so, China has forced the Department of Justice to confront a difficult question: Should it care that China has already fined GSK for the same conduct that DOJ is investigating.

Because the United States does not recognize international double jeopardy, China’s action poses no legal obstacle to an FCPA prosecution. In fact, the only legal obligation imposed on U.S. authorities as a result of China’s prosecution derives not from domestic law but from the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) art. 42(5) and OECD Anti-Bribery Convention art. 4.3. But these sections only require the United States to consult with China regarding the two nations’ overlapping investigations, and even then, only “as appropriate.”

Nevertheless, it’s a safe bet that when it comes time to resolve the GSK matter, DOJ will (1) consider the impact of the prior Chinese penalty and (2) soften its settlement terms as a result. How do we know that? Well, to start, the U.S. Attorney’s Manual — in two relevant provisions (here and here) — advises federal prosecutors to consider the effect of another jurisdiction’s (realized or potential) prosecution when deciding whether it is necessary to charge a particular target. More importantly, though, whether we are speaking of the rare FCPA case where DOJ was the second mover (e.g., Statoil or Alcatel-Lucent) or the many instances where DOJ resolved an investigation as part of a global settlement (e.g., Siemens), on several occasions DOJ seems to have adjusted its settlement demands in order to accommodate penalties exacted by foreign enforcers.

But even if DOJ has done this sort of thing in the past, it’s worth considering why it makes sense to do it again here. After all, the GSK case is a world apart from the Statoil or Alcatel-Lucent resolutions, which followed foreign settlements totaling only a few million dollars. And unlike massive global settlements like Siemens, there was — perhaps unsurprisingly — no coordination here between U.S. and Chinese enforcers.

Stepping back, there are a few reasons to believe DOJ both will and should stick to its past practice and lower its settlement demands even in a case like GSK:

  1. Doing so may encourage additional demand-side prosecutions:  For years, the anticorruption world has decried the lack of demand-side enforcement. (This blog being no exception.) The good news is that a policy of accommodating foreign penalties may help address the problem, even if only marginally and only in the long term. This practice shows respect for a demand-side nation’s sovereignty and its interest in redressing harm caused to it by the defendant’s bribery. Furthermore, a regular and open practice of deference to foreign actions will encourage goodwill between demand- and supply-side authorities, possibly leading to greater coordination of future investigations. (If demand-side officials believe they’ll be afforded their due at the bargaining table, they may be more willing to cooperate with foreign authorities in the future.) Lastly, companies are more likely to cooperative with demand-side investigations when they know that any associated penalty will be taken into account in future supply-side settlement negotiations.
  2. Such reductions may be necessary to avoid overdeterrence:  While many of us would like to stamp out transnational bribery, there is a theoretical point at which enforcement penalties become so high as to pressure companies into taking inefficient precautions (or avoiding certain high-risk markets altogether). To the extent we care about cost-effective responses to corruption, the prospect of overdeterrence is worrisome. Keeping that concern in mind, one could argue that over the past few decades — an era in which U.S. enforcement was the only big game in town — FCPA penalties were inflated to account for harm done to both supply- and demand-side countries. If that’s true, then it makes sense to reduce penalties in FCPA cases that follow (e.g., GSK) or foreseeably precede (e.g., Akzo Nobel) demand-side prosecutions in order to avoid cumulative penalties disproportionate to the underlying conduct.
  3. In some cases, DOJ won’t have a choice:  At the end of the day, there are going to be some companies (e.g., Innospec) who would fold under the financial pressure of successive penalties for the same underlying bribery conduct. It’s not a stretch to say that in a post-Arthur Andersen world, that is an outcome rarely desired by prosecutors. Sure, there are closely-held corporations who will not survive FCPA prosecutions (e.g., Nexus), but more often DOJ officials will treat the policy requirement that they weigh the collateral consequences of initiating a corporate prosecution as reason not to push the boundaries of the defendant’s financial well-being. And even with a company as large as GSK, half of a billion dollars may be a penalty large enough to make DOJ officials worry about not pushing the business too far towards the financial breaking point.

At the end of the day, I wouldn’t be surprised if DOJ’s FCPA prosecutors never quite adjust to the prospect of being second-in-line. But for the health of the global effort to combat transnational bribery — and the reasons given above — it might be best for DOJ to get used to that position. I’ve got my fingers crossed, after all, that GSK is just the latest sign of a growing phenomenon: that of demand-side countries charging forward with their own enforcement actions, even before supply-side countries can do the same.

  • Interesting arguments. Is the Chinese subsidiary of GSK actually registered and trading on the US stock exchange, or is it the parent company; and is this or should it be relevant to the possibility of the same action being taken in multiple jurisdictions? In the case of this British company, what, if anything, would inhibit the UK from filing against this company for the same events pursuant to the UK Antibribery law? In this same line of thought, we have not only the risk of multinational companies being fined in two, but three or as many countries as may have similar antibribery laws and registered stock, which may or may not take such multiple fines into consideration depending upon their particular laws, jurisprudence and customs. Perhaps the time is coming near for a review of the reach of the FCPA.

    • I believe the US is asserting FCPA jurisdiction over GSK on the basis of its status as an issuer on a US exchange. I also believe that you are correct that, under the UK Bribery Act, the UK would also have jurisdiction, though the UK (unlike the US) recognizes the principle of international double jeopardy (ne bis in idem), and so wouldn’t be able to bring a prosecution after a US settlement, and is probably already barred from doing so by the Chinese settlement. (It’s possible I’m wrong, as I’m not an expert in this feature of British law, but I think that’s the case.)

      Your more general observation seems to me to be correct: We’re moving into a world in which multiple sovereigns may have jurisdiction to bring corruption charges against the same entities for the same underlying conduct: If a Korean subsidiary of a British company listed on the New York Stock Exchange pays bribes in China, then four country’s laws have been simultaneously violated, and in principle any of the four, or some combination, might be able to pursue criminal enforcement actions.

      I’m not sure I agree with your last sentence, though. I think it would be a mistake to narrow the reach of the FCPA, both because it remains by far the most robust and effective law against transnational bribery, and because if a foreign company avails itself of US securities markets or territory, than the US has every right to impose and enforce legal restrictions on that firm’s conduct. Rather than narrowing the scope of the law, I’d be more inclined to deal with the problem — as Jordan suggests — through formal or informal agreements between the DOJ/SEC and other countries’ law enforcement agencies about which country or countries should take the lead in which prosecutions, and how they should coordinate.

  • Great analysis (and comment). I’m going beyond the scope of your post here but, to pick up on something you touched upon briefly, one way for DOJ prosecutors to avoid being second-in-line is to coordinate investigations. There are obvious benefits to global coordination on actions against cross-border crime like bribery and a number of law firms have flagged the huge growth potential for such cooperation. In the GSK case, for instance, the SFO worked closely with Chinese authorities for the first time.

    For a variety of reasons, collaborating with demand-side jurisdictions seems markedly different from working alongside other supply-side authorities (although, if the Chinese government is serious about its anti-corruption campaign, maybe not as different as it first appears). At any rate, I don’t see Chinese and U.S. prosecutors cozying up to each other anytime soon.

    But, particularly given the likelihood that Chinese enforcement is on the rise, what do you think of the prospects for increased investigation and settlement coordination between the U.S. and China?

    • Absolutely, coordinated enforcement is the way to go in most of these cases. The cooperation between the US and German authorities in the Siemens case is a great example.

      The problem, as I understand it, in the GSK case is precisely the lack of coordination — due in part to lack of familiarity and lack of trust — between the Chinese and US authorities. (I don’t have a public source for this, but I’ve had informal conversations with lawyers on both the US and Chinese side about this, and they all made more or less that claim.) That’s not to say that this issue is unique to China, but I think it’s likely to be especially acute in that case. But your note about the degree of cooperation between the Chinese authorities and the SFO — which is something I wasn’t aware of — is perhaps encouraging.

  • This is a pretty basic question–just informational–but in relation to your first point and your references to fostering good will and demonstrating respect, is there a sense among demand-side countries that they would prefer the U.S. NOT prosecute for conduct for which the demand-side country has already secured a conviction? Assuming they’ve already received the fine they’ve assessed/been able to enact the punishment they’ve decided on, do they care what the U.S. does? If so, why? From their perspective, is it a matter of being afraid that the U.S. will (as you allude to in your third point) assess a penalty that causes the company to fold and not be able to pay the demand-side country? Just a philosophical matter of it seeming that the U.S. doesn’t view their legal decision as “real” enough to prevent further prosecution (i.e., basically objecting to the U.S. choice not to recognize international double jeopardy)?

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