Monday, October 14, 2013
The GSK Comedy Club
I've just witnessed one of the best stand-up comedy routines of all time, so funny that it puts the likes of Billy Connolly and George Carlin to shame.
GlaxoSmithKline's CEO and knight, Sir Andrew "All part of an era" Witty, certainly lives up to his surname in this side-splitting look at transparency and clinical trial data.
Witty was interviewed by Fox News, the 5 minute video can be seen here.
Witty's performance reminds me of fellow British stand-up comedian Jack Dee in as much that both Dee and Witty have the uncanny ability to keep a straight face [dead-pan] when delivering the punchlines.
Witty's delivery is slick and he will have you in a complete state of apoplexy from the start.
"What we're trying to do at GSK, we're trying to make sure every decision is based on value to the company, making sure every single employee understands what is expected of them, they are trained right, all of those things".
On the subject of clinical trial transparency Witty had this to say:
"We're publishing clinical crime summaries for a while, we're committed to publish all the clinical trial reports, detailed reports of those trials and patient level data, nobody else in the world is committed to doing that."
He was then asked, "even unfavorable, even if the drug doesn't work?"
To which he answered, "absolutely"
Next, Witty mused...
"We do it because we believe it is in the interest of patient safety, first of all, as many people want to look at data to make sure absolutely the right conclusions are being drawn, if we miss something, we want to hear about it."
I'm left wondering if, when uttering the word 'we', Witty includes himself on that?
Here's a post I wrote back in 2011. Witty had been contacted by Janice Simmons, who operates the Seroxat User Group. Janice requested a meeting with Witty to discuss the 60,000 emails she has received over the years from members of the public who have struggled tapering from Seroxat. To her surprise, GSK’s UK medical director Dr Pim Kon wrote back asking what she wished to discuss... adding that they cannot give advice to patients, they need to seek that from their healthcare professionals. [Yawn]
Janice informed Dr Kon that she wished to discuss the issue of Seroxat withdrawal. Kon wrote back telling Janice that they was not allowed to discuss personal matters with patients and that they should 'talk to their doctor'. [Another yawn]
Kon added that the Seroxat patient information leaflet had been updated with information about [ahem] 'discontinuation' .
Had Witty been brave enough to meet with Janice Simmons I would have just loved to have been present. I would have liked him to help people come to terms with their Seroxat addiction.
"We do it because we believe it is in the interest of patient safety"
Rumour has it that Witty was approached to discuss the current Seroxat litigation in the UK. Rumour also has it that Witty cried off, leaving it in the hands of his lawyers to deal with the approach.
Patient safety eh Andy? This particular knight does not practice what he preaches it appears, preferring instead to ignore patients and patient representatives regarding their concerns and their addictions to one of his company's drugs.
Way to go Andy baby, you may have those at Fox news duped by your apparent openness but we all know you like to shut the door on Seroxat patients harmed by the drug your company manufacture.
Wolf in sheep's clothing anyone?
I think so.