Scientists at GlaxoSmithKline have teamed up with the World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA] to investigate medicines that could having performance enhancing potential in sport.
I just love seeing the word doping in the same sentence as GlaxoSmithKline.
It amazes me that a sporting event, which brings nations together, would opt for help from a pharmaceutical company who have, let's just say, a rather tainted history when it comes to helping people.
Paxil and Avandia are just two of their products that spring to mind, not to mention their best selling fruit drink, Ribena, the drink that wasn't really full of the vitamin C that they proclaimed.
The Mirror mobile writes:
GSK will supply WADA with confidential information about medicines in early stage development that could be abused by athletes once they are licensed for use.
Excuse me while I change my underwear...I've just pissed myself laughing.
GSK providing confidential information about drugs in early stage development?
Have I awoken this morning in another dimension?
Would it be ethical for a depressed athlete, who is taking Seroxat [Paxil in US] to enter the archery competition? Look out spectators, that arrow may just be coming in your direction [see Tobin v GSK]
Maybe an advantage will be gained by Pole Vaulters if they are taking Paxil? If memory serves me correct [difficult when you've been on Paxil for a number of years] Paxil keeps the wolf from the door but the blood in the pole...if you catch my drift. **Winks.
Maybe Glaxo can provide WADA with information on beta blocker type drugs, those types that slow the heart rate down and give an advantage to sports men and women? Speaking of matters of the heart, maybe WADA are comfortable working alongside a company whose own suppression of information regarding their diabetes drug, Avandia, put lives at risk of those taking it. [U.S. Senate Investigation of Avandia]
Or maybe WADA are perfectly happy working hand in hand with a company who were fined for code violations in regard to three doctors' conferences sponsored by the company? [Medicines Australia Code of Conduct Violations]
Perhaps Glaxo could provide the soft drinks to the athletes. The gruelling marathon runs can be testing for the long distance runners - Never fear, they can always refresh themselves with Glaxo's Ribena, the nutritional drink that is full of vitamin C... or so we thought?
Two New Zealand schoolgirls humbled one of the world's biggest food and drugs companies after their school science experiment found that their ready-to-drink Ribena contained almost no trace of vitamin C.
Students Anna Devathasan and Jenny Suo tested the blackcurrant cordial against rival brands to test their hypothesis that cheaper brands were less healthy.
Instead, their tests found that the Ribena contained a tiny amount of vitamin C, while another brand's orange juice drink contained almost four times more.
The outcome of this saw Glaxo fined [New Zealand fines GlaxoSmithKline for misleading ads]
If Ribena isn't on the agenda for the athletes then maybe Glaxo could branch out into the bottled water market...then again, maybe not. In 2008 Glaxo were one of three companies who were each fined for system failures that led to the release of trichloroethylene, TCE, into the public drinking water system in Scottsdale, Arizona. Trichloroethylene is a colorless liquid which is used as a solvent for cleaning metal parts, should come in handy for the javelin throwers.
In fact GSK have a history of pollution.
According to the Factory Watch website, GSK’s chemical plant in Ulverston is one of the most carcinogenic polluters in the UK. Factory Watch’s information, compiled from Environment agency data, looked at over 1,500 factories nation-wide. The Ulverston site was ranked number three on Factory Watch’s list, emitting 773 tonnes of carcinogens in 2001, 10 per cent of the national total.
In September 1992 the Ulverston site (then owned by Glaxo Wellcome) dumped several toxic chemicals in the river Leven, without authorisation. The chemicals included trichloroethylene [again], chloroform, and chlorobenzene. [Friends of the Earth, Factory Watch press release, 8 February, 1999]
Also, in May 1994, the Ulverston site discharged, again without authorisation, 1,350m3 of “ineffectively treated effluent” into M. The company was required by law to notify the authorities within 24 hours, but they didn’t until six days later.[ENDS Report 292, May 1999, pp. 33-34]
I'm sure the Olympic Committee must be delighted to have on board a company who were fined back in 2006 for tax evasion too. GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay approximately $3.4 billion to settle charges by the IRS that the company under-reported profits to avoid paying U.S. taxes. The Internal Revenue Service accused GSK of a practice called "transfer pricing," by which a company claims most of its earnings belong in a country where taxes are low. The transactions at issue, which concerned the way GSK priced drugs for sale through its U.S. subsidiary, occurred between the years 1989 and 2005. [Underreporting Profits]
Yes, I, for one, am so happy that Glaxo are part of the breath-taking spectacle that is the Olympic Games.
Memo to the Olympic committee: Perhaps you could entice some bank robbing prisoners from Wormwood Scrubs to work in your financial department.
Good old Glaxo - flying under the radar yet again.
I have asked WADA to comment on this article. I shall let readers know if they decide to answer.