Reuters is reporting that virtually all who wrote in favour of GlaxoSmithKline's diabetes drug Avandia had financial ties to drug makers.
Julie Steenhuysen writes:
"A team at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, pored through more than 200 scientific studies and commentaries that offered positive opinions about the drug after a May 2007 study suggested Avandia significantly increased the risk of heart attacks.
They found that 94 percent of the authors who defended the drug, known generically as rosiglitazone, had ties to drug companies, and nearly half had financial ties that presented a conflict of interest."
Glaxo spokeswoman Mary Anne Rhyne defended the drug.
"Of the 202 publications reviewed by the authors, only 10 were original scientific research," she said in a statement.
"Many of the articles reviewed were opinion pieces -- editorials, commentaries or letters. It is important to note that the authors' conclusions do not impugn the validity of the scientific data," she said.
It was Mary Anne Rhyne who also once said in 2002:
"Obviously doctors are very busy people, and their day is packed with patients. The question is how do doctors get information about medicines and new research into treatments and disease, and one of the easiest ways is this kind of presentation [”dine and dash”]. We think this is a benefit to both physicians and patients.”
More worryingly, in 2005, Mary Anne Rhyne had this to say about Paxil/Seroxat withdrawal:
"If ‘discontinuation reactions’ occur in patients stopping [Paxil], the majority will experience symptoms that are mild to moderate in intensity, and are usually limited to two weeks."
The full Avandia story can be read here
There's also a bloggers account of this breaking news here
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