Well, well, well, wonders will never cease with this company.
You may recall from a previous post that GlaxoSmithKline associate general counsel, Lauren Stevens, has been indicted with making false statements and obstructing a federal investigation into illegal marketing of the a 'drug' for weight loss.
The indictment, due, I believe, to press restrictions, did not mention the name of the drug Stevens was making false statements about. However, in an exclusive from the New York Times, we can now see that Stevens was duping the FDA regarding Glaxo's multi - functional antidepressant, Wellbutrin.
Wellbutrin has been re-badged as Zyban, an apparent smoking cessation drug and now it appears to be crystal clear that Stevens was 'bigging it up' as some sort of dietary pill!
This from the NYT:
The indictment accuses the Glaxo official, Lauren C. Stevens of Durham, N.C., of lying to the Food and Drug Administration in 2003, by writing letters, as associate general counsel, denying that doctors speaking at company events had promoted Wellbutrin for uses not approved by the agency. Ms. Stevens “made false statements and withheld documents she recognized as incriminating,” including slides the F.D.A. had sought during its investigation, the indictment stated.
So, not only was Wellbutrin an antidepressant and a smoking cessation drug...Glaxo also wanted it to be a pill for weight loss!
I can just see the promotional ad for this particular product.
"Are you depressed about your weight and yellow stained teeth from smoking? - Ask your doctor for Wellbutrin, the Swiss Army knife of all drugs from GlaxoSmithKline."
Mary Anne Rhyne, Glaxo's spokesperson, said, "...the company was cooperating fully with a federal investigation into allegations of illegal sales and marketing of Wellbutrin. Last year, it set aside $400 million to resolve the case, which is still pending."
Resolve the case?
You mean, throw money at it doncha Mary?
Honestly, this company are amazing, they think they can throw money in the direction of every single claim made against them. They are a walking, talking psychopath with no remorse whatsoever. When was the last time you ever heard any sort of apology from the likes of Mary Anne Rhyne? This is the same woman who said in 2005, "If ‘discontinuation reactions’ occur in patients stopping [Seroxat], the majority will experience symptoms that are mild to moderate in intensity, and are usually limited to two weeks."
Rhyne is the Director US Media Relations at GlaxoSmithKline.
Be interesting to see what Glaxo CEO, Andrew Witty, has to say about recent events regarding his company.
September saw the European regulators finally pull Glaxo's Avandia...something they should have done many years ago. This coming hot on the heels of the BBC expose of their drug. Maybe the regulators should have listened to the hardened advocates that were writing about Avandia many years ago, Evie Pringle being one such person. [LINK]
October saw Glaxo plead guilty to a number of charges regarding the appalling state of their factory in Puerto Rico - a fine of $750 million and the customary slap on the wrists ensued. [LINK]
Sees GlaxoSmithKline denying that their once best selling antidepressant, Paxil [Seroxat in UK] had anything to do with Anna Blyth being born with a narrowing of the aorta leading from the heart. [LINK]
Your move Witty. Don't you think some sort of apology is in order or are you going to send your Muppets out as spokespersons?
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'THE EVIDENCE, HOWEVER, IS CLEAR...THE SEROXAT SCANDAL' By Bob Fiddaman
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