The GSK Facebook page is proudly boasting the following message:
"We're supporting London 2012 to help ensure the Olympic and Paralympic Games are the cleanest possible. To see the journey of an athlete's sample watch this video"
The GSK Facebook posse then highlight a video in which they basically blow their own trumpet about how good they are at what they do.
What GSK fail to tell its 49,761 Facebook followers is that they have just been implicated in a lawsuit in the US for their part in distributing doses of thalidomide to physicians for human trial, along with Sanofi Aventis.
The complaint alleges GSK's predecessor Smith Kline & French conducted a clinical trial on at least 875 people, which including pregnant women, in 1956 and 1957 in the U.S. as it pondered over a licensing agreement for the drug with Gruenenthal, which made thalidomide.
Sanofi predecessor Richardson-Merrell are alleged to have distributed more than 2.5 million thalidomide tablets to about 20,000 patients.
Research suggests that a pregnant woman participating in the Smith Kline & French trial delivered a malformed baby. Smith Kline decided not to market the thalidomide drug but, at the same time, never let the public know about its clinical trial results.
One can only assume that if Smith Kline did release information from its thalidomide clinical trial then maybe, just maybe, it would have rang alarm bells and the distribution of the drug may have been slowed, or better still, halted in its tracks.
Kevin Colgan, a spokesperson for GSK stated:
“GSK intends to vigorously defend itself against this lawsuit and the others filed previously.
“This lawsuit involves events dating back over 50 years by a predecessor company, Smith Kline French, that no longer exists. Moreover, the plaintiffs’ complaint is replete with scientific inaccuracies and factual misstatements.”
The case, Valerie Spence et al. v. Avantor Performance Materials, case number 120800665, was filed August 9, 2012 in the Pennsylvania Eastern District Court.
Meantime, GSK's Facebook page continues to cover itself in garlands, one striking comment sums them up:
As with the Olympic Games, antidoping testing will also be carried out at our laboratory for the Paralympic Games with every athlete that wins a medal and up to 50% of all competitors being tested. Approximately 5000 tests were carried out during the Olympic Games and a further 1250 will be conducted during the Paralympic Games.
No problem in releasing these test results then, huh?