|Maria Bradshaw given the runaround by pharmaceutical giant, Mylan.|
Following on from my last article, "Mylan NZ, a Lawyer, Causality and U-Turn", today I reveal the emails sent to a grieving mother from a pharmaceutical company here in New Zealand that ask for proof of 'personal representation'.
Last week I wrote about the broken promises made by Mylan's then lawyer, Dr Luigi Palombi.
Palombi had telephoned Maria Bradshaw, who lost her son to suicide following his brief time ingesting Mylan's Fluox, a generic form of Prozac.
I'd wrote to Palombi and asked him why he had failed to get back to Bradshaw after he had promised to send her documents she had requested from Mylan and why he had reneged on his promise to meet with her in Auckland.
Palombi told me that he no longer worked for Mylan and, well, that was that. He saw no need to contact Bradshaw anymore.
After sending Palombi my article for comment Mylan's CEO, Lloyd Price, contacted Bradshaw and told her that they had never suggested she prove she was her son's 'legal representative', she need only prove that she was his mother.
Emails sent to Bradshaw in 2011 show that either Price is lying or that he has never seen the correspondence between one of his staff and Maria Bradshaw. If it's the latter then one has to ask why a CEO of a pharmaceutical company isn't kept abreast of legal matters.
Questions need to be raised with regard to the way Mylan handled the adverse reaction reporting of Toran Henry's death.
1. On completion of their assessment CARM found that Mylan's Fluox was the probable cause of death. What did Mylan do about this?
2. On filing an adverse reaction to CARM, what medical notes did Mylan use of Toran's?
3. Why did Mylan write Maria Bradshaw the following emails when, as their CEO, Lloyd Price, suggests that evidence has never been needed from Bradshaw to prove that she is Toran's legal representative?
Here's the emails that clearly indicate what Mylan wanted as evidence, contrary to what Lloyd Price has noted, before they released any documents to a mother whose son suicided as a result of taking their product, Fluox. 
On the 6th October 2011 Maria Bradshaw wrote to Mylan and asked for All documents they held relating to her son, Toran Henry. Here's the reply from Mylan's Virginia Hazard, APAC Regional General Counsel.
You'll note that Mylan's initial response [bottom paragraph] was to refuse Maria access to their own suspect adverse reaction report they filed to CARM, they cite it as being "confidential in nature"
Bradshaw wrote back to Mylan's Virginia Hazard on the 20th October 2011. Bradshaw points out legislation that Mylan appeared to have overlooked with:
"My right to obtain the health information you hold in relation to my child is clearly set out in s22(f) of the Health Act 1956 and rule 6 of the New Zealand’s Health Privacy Code 1994 which you will be aware covers health information held by pharmaceutical companies.
"I do not consider your statement that “Mylan’s CIOMS is confidential” is sufficient grounds on which to deny me access to this or any other information you hold in relation to my son."
On the 14th November 2011, almost a month later, Hazard wrote back to Bradshaw asking for proof that she was her son's 'personal representative' and asking for 'formal evidence of this - for example a certified copy of the letters of administration.' This has recently been denied by Mylan CEO, Lloyd Price, who claimed that Mylan only ever asked Maria Bradshaw to prove that she was Toran's mother. For those that don't know a certified copy of letter of administration means the High Court appoints a person, usually a close surviving relative, as the "administrator". A certified copy of letter of administration is usually asked for if the deceased, in this case a 17 year old boy with a single parent, had assests. Technically, to ascertain whether a deceased person has left a Will, a solicitor will need to make enquiries of family members and advertise in the Law News (placed through their local branch of the Law Society) as to whether a Will is held by any other law firm in the country.
The above process costs in the region of $900, at least it did back in 2011 when Mylan requested it from Maria Bradshaw.
This request from Mylan clearly shows that they were not asking Maria Bradshaw to prove that she was just Toran's mother. Furthermore, it shows how cold and callous a pharmaceutical company can be when it comes to handling requests from parents who have lost their child.
Here's Mylan's Counsel responding to Bradshaw for a second time.
Here's the most recent email from Mylan NZ CEO, Lloyd Price. You'll note his line, "consistent to our previous correspondence with you".
Here, Price is not asking for certified copy of the letters of administration, he's merely asking for Maria Bradshaw to prove that she is Toran Henry's mother. Not very consistent at all.
General Counsel for Mylan, Virginia Hazard, is now General Counsel for Aspen Pharmacare Australia, severing ties with Mylan in December 2011.
Mylan's other lawyer, Luigi Palombi, who is featured in my last article, "Mylan NZ, a Lawyer, Causality and U-Turn", also left the company after a brief spell with them.
 CARM assessment for Toran Henry - Fluox listed as probable cause of death. [LINK]
When it comes to seeking the truth about the death of a child one would expect mountains would be moved in order to make the pathway to the truth so much easier to find, particularly for a mother whose only child killed himself because he ingested a product that was, apparently, supposed to make him feel better... even though he was never diagnosed as feeling bad.
When mourning the loss of a child, particularly to suicide, a mother has to deal with that loss whilst people point, stare and avoid because, hey, she must have been a bad mother for her only child to kill himself, right?
On top of the finger pointing, avoidance and whispering ignorance comes a company responsible for the death of that same child. How do we know they were responsible? Because they manufactured and marketed a drug that, according to CARM, an organisation contracted to the Ministry of Health and funded by the government of New Zealand, said so.
What is striking about the correspondence between Mylan and Maria Bradshaw is the complete lack of empathy shown by Virginia Hazard and Lloyd Price. No apology, no message of condolence, just a PR machine backed by a huge compliance legal department that, well, don't really comply at all. The only one person who offered an apology was Luigi Palombi, a lawyer representing Mylan who offered condolences over the phone along with a promise of a meeting. His tenure was brief, from the time he made the phone call to Bradshaw to the time he left Mylan [reason unknown] - Even with his departure he could have, at the very least, contacted Maria Bradshaw to inform her that no meeting with herself and Mylan would ever take place.
The Mylan US website boasts the following:
We understand that "it's not about us" – it's about helping others – and we believe there's no situation we can't handle. We would do whatever it takes, work 'round the clock, cross any river and spare no effort – all to meet someone’s need.
Where, during the past year or so have Mylan helped Maria Bradshaw, where have they met Maria Bradshaw's need?
Mylan's CEO, Lloyd Price, claims that his company have only ever asked Maria Bradshaw to prove she is the mother of Toran Henry. The emails above show otherwise. As a CEO of a corporate company Price should have done his homework before further adding to the woes of a grieving mother. To be faced with the prospect of obtaining a certified copy of letter of administration when Toran Henry had just $7 in his bank account when he died is just another example of the lack of empathy shown by this particular pharmaceutical company.
Maria closed down Toran's bank account shortly after he died - she was never asked to jump through hoops, his bank showed humanity and common sense.
A public apology from Mylan would be nice. An apology for giving Maria Bradshaw the runaround, an apology for not offering any condolence, an apology for asking for two forms of proof when all along only one was needed, an apology for manufacturing an antidepressant that induced a young teenager to kill himself, an apology for not warning the consumer that their product could in fact induce suicide.
It would be nice if they wrote to the Minister of Health in New Zealand to relay to him that their product, Fluox, had recently been flagged as causing the death of a teen and for them to express wishes that healthcare professionals and psychiatrists be informed of this.
It would also be a wonderful show of gesture if they informed the chief coroner of New Zealand about their product and its propensity to induce suicide.
Whilst on the subject of coroners and inquests it would be most welcome that they acknowledged their regret at Maria Bradshaw having to fork out $70,000 at her son's inquest, resulting in the loss of her house, car and job.
Mylan owe Maria Bradshaw a huge apology for all of the above but they also owe the New Zealand public the right to informed consent when deciding whether or not to ingest their product, Fluox.
A warning that it can probably induce suicide would be a start as would an acknowledgement that Fluox caused Toran Henry to kill himself.
This has been something that Maria Bradshaw has had to ingest since her only child died.
Mylan's reluctance to release documents to Maria Bradshaw has nothing to do with legal requirements, the sole purpose is to give someone the runaround, make them jump through hoops before they grow tired and weary and fade into the distance.
Maria Bradshaw is neither tired or weary. Neither am I.