Glaxo boss, Andrew Witty, has been knighted.
Disclaimer - This is not a parody post.
Yup, it seems that any old Tom, Dick or Harry can be knighted these days, it doesn't seem to matter if those selected have a criminal record or run companies that knowingly put human life at risk.
Today's Telegraph reports that Andrew Witty, the CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, the company that paid out settlements totaling almost $6billion with regard to their diabetes drug Avandia and antidepressant Seroxat [Paxil] has received a knighthood from Her Maj.
One is not amused.
Last year I reported on how Andrew Witty had snubbed consumers suffering at the hands of his company's drug, Seroxat.
Janice Simmons, who operates the Seroxat User Group, last year requested a meeting with Witty, she wanted to discuss how he could help consumers who had become addicted to Seroxat. She was vehemently told by GSK’s UK medical director, Dr Pim Kon, that neither Witty or GSK could discuss or give advice to consumers, Kon added that consumers should talk to their doctors.
A few weeks ago it came to light that the doctor's Kon was recommending had been approached by the British drug regulator, the MHRA, with a new SSRi Learning Module. The MHRA had recommended to UK doctor's that anyone suffering severe withdrawal from Seroxat and other SSRi's should be sent to "specialists".
On asking the MHRA exactly who these specialists were, they could not provide me with an answer. In fact, to date, I have seen no evidence that any such SSRi withdrawal specialist exists, other than Prof David Healy, who met with the MHRA to tell them of this withdrawal problem.
I'm surprised Her Maj hasn't offered the CEO of the MHRA, Kent Woods a knighthood, or maybe the MHRA Chairman, Alasdair Breckenridge who has gone on record claiming there is no problem with Seroxat...for those that don't know, Breckenridge is a former employee of GlaxoSmithKline [then SmithKline Beecham] as is the Head of Licensing at the MHRA, Dr Ian Hudson. I'm also suproised that Hudson hasn't received a Knighthood.
Glaxo's history paints a pretty bad picture, tax evasion, suppression of clinical trial results...the list is endless.
Some pertinent viewing for Her Maj below.
Whatever next eh? Maybe a posthumous Knighthood for Dr Harold Shipman?
Maybe the monarchy could drag JP Garnier from France and give him one too.
Safe to assume then that any act of criminality or putting human beings at risk may just put you on the new year's honours list. Then again, maybe Witty sees suppression of clinical trial evidence as one of the perks of the job?
Congratulations to the monarchy, you have given a whole new meaning to the word 'perverse'.
Any chance of a Seroxat withdrawal protocol from Buckingham Palace?
ORDER THE PAPERBACK 'THE EVIDENCE, HOWEVER, IS CLEAR...THE SEROXAT SCANDAL' By Bob Fiddaman US and CANADA HERE OR UK HERE
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