Sunday, August 25, 2013
Andrew Witty... I know narrrrrrrrthing
Like a script from the 70's classic Fawlty Towers, GSK Head, Andrew Witty, has recently claimed that GSK HQ in London knew nothing about the fraud occurring in China [back stories here, here, here]
If Witty is telling the truth one has to ask why he knew nothing. He's the head of the company and surely this means keeping his fingers on the pulse at GSK, both at home and globally.
Witty, who last year, blamed Glaxo's history of fraudulent promotion on "part of an era", is, in essence, deflecting blame on his own poor performance as a Chief Executive.
Glaxo were found guilty and fined a record breaking $3 billion for that particular crime and Witty spun his company's dirty deeds by blaming an era that he, allegedly, had nothing to do with. So, he was, it can be argued, blaming his predecessor Jean Pierre Garnier.
Nothing changes. Now, it appears, Witty is, once again, deflecting blame.
Digging through the archives we can see that this isn't the first time Glaxo have been embroiled in controversy regarding payments made to doctors.
In 2003, admittedly before Witty was in charge, the Finance Police in Veneto, Italy, charged 72 Italian doctors and Glaxo employees with bribery and corruption, charging that Glaxo employees showered cash, gifts and trips on doctors to encourage them to prescribe more Glaxo products. 
Déjà vu anyone?
Just like the Chinese allegations Glaxo were accused back in 2003 of wining and dining doctors and sending them on lavish trips in an effort to get them to prescribe more of it's products.
How did Glaxo's then medical director, Giuseppe Recchia, react to news of the illegal activities?
“We think we acted according to the standards fixed by the law.”
Marvelous isn't it.
During the 2003 investigation it was learned that 26 chiefs and assistant chiefs of hospital departments, five university professors, and four heads of hospital pharmacies were invited to “medical tours” to places such as Monte Carlo in the days of the Formula 1 Grand Prix or to Sharm el Sheik or Damascus, or they received tens of thousands of pounds cash with fictitious justifications.
The current Chinese investigation alleges pretty much the same although we can throw prostitution into the pot as well.
I wonder if Witty's predecessor knew nothing about what was going on in Italy - that seems to be the standard these days. Run a large corporate company, cover oneself in garlands with praise received, deny any knowledge of any wrong-doing when criticism is aimed and fired.
Witty claims that London HQ had no knowledge of what was going on in China. His London HQ have known for years that thousands of people have found Seroxat withdrawal problematic... they still did nothing to help these consumers.
If Witty had any gumption about him, if he really wanted to practice what he preached then maybe it's time for him to sit down with Seroxat victims, maybe he could write directly to Secure Law, the UK law firm representing claimants who became addicted to Glaxo's wonder pill.
Then again, I'm guessing even Witty would find it difficult to face victims or even their representatives... he'd have to get past his own lawyers first who would gently advise him that meeting with Seroxat victims/representatives would be an admission of guilt... and we can't have GSK looking guilty can we?
What happened in China "I know nothing"
What happened in Italy? I know nothing"
Ignorance is bliss eh.
This one's for you Mr Witty.
 Italians Link Glaxo to Illegal Doctor Gifts
About the Author :
Bob Fiddaman has been writing about the dangers of antidepressants since 2006. In 2011 he was presented with two human rights awards from the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.
Labels: Andrew Witty, Bribery, China, Fraud, GLAXOSMITHKLINE, gsk, Huang Hong, Italy Bribery, kickbacks, Liang Hong, Whistleblower, Zhang Guowei, Zhao Hongyan