Last week I wrote about the promotion of Aropax and the 'a plus project', a scheme that rolled out starter packs for Australian patients back in 2002. Aropax is the Australian brand name for Seroxat, known as Paxil in the US and Canada.
Glaxo, back then, offered patients free counselling...on the proviso that they remained on Aropax.
Today saw GlaxoSmithKline Australia reveal that, last year, 2010, they paid more than $2 million to Australian healthcare professionals and organisations in sponsorships, grants and fees for speaking engagements and consulting services.
It's good to see a smidgen of transparency from Glaxo, even if they have only gone back a year or so.
With this in mind, I have sent off the following Freedom of Information request to GSK Australia.
1. How many patients were enrolled in the a plus project?
2. How many of the patients were under the age of 18?
3. Did the starter packs just contain packets of Aropax with 20mg tablets or were there starter packs with lower doses?
4. What were the qualifications and training of the counsellors on the a plus project?
5. What were the sales trends of Aropax in Australia before, during and after the a plus project?
6.How much did GlaxoSmithKline pay individual key opinion leaders, including (but not limited to) Professor Graham Burrows and Professor Bruce Singh? What were the services for which each was paid?
7. What were the goals of the a plus project?
8. How long did the a plus project run for?
9. How many adverse reactions were reported for Aropax during the project?
10. Were participants on the a plus project ever followed up or did GlaxoSmithKline Australia lose touch with the participants once the project had finished?
11. Why was the project ended?
12. Was the a plus project deemed a success by GlaxoSmithKline?
13. Has GlaxoSmithKline or its subsidiaries ever offered similar counselling sessions to patients taking other drugs manufactured by the company?
14. How much did GlaxoSmithKline pay for sponsorship of the Depression Awareness Journal around the time of the a plus project?
I will let you know if GlaxoSmithKline Australia choose to be transparent with me.
**Update July 20 2012 - GlaxoSmithKline Australia chose not to be transparent.
Back story: GSK Australia and the Aropax Promotion
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'THE EVIDENCE, HOWEVER, IS CLEAR...THE SEROXAT SCANDAL' By Bob Fiddaman
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