Those keeping an eye on the correspondence between myself and global charity, 'Save The Children', will know that I recently fired off an email to them regarding their partnership with GlaxoSmithKline - The email can be read here.
Save The Children have now responded in full and I have wrote back to them with my thoughts about their reply. First, here's their response...
Many thanks for getting in touch with Save the Children about our partnership with GlaxoSmithKline. I believe you have contacted us before on this, and we thank you for your interest.
Save the Children is aware of the reports on the historical issue of Paxil. As an organisation we take our reputation and our role to protect children very seriously and assess all our partnerships within this context. We acknowledge there are risks associated in working with a pharmaceutical company such as GSK, but our belief is that these risks are outweighed by the benefits of the partnership in helping us achieve our ambitions for children.
As part of our partnership we continue to have open dialogue with GSK and monitor their business practices, in order that we respond appropriately should future issues arise.
Private sector partnerships are instrumental in enabling Save the Children to realise our vision and our partnership with GSK will have a lasting impact on global mortality rates. The focus of the partnership is to help to save a million children’s lives in the developing world and it combines GSK’s relevant skills, expertise and resources across its business with the funding of healthcare programmes for the poorest children in developing worlds.
For further information on our partnership, please visit: www.savethechildren.org.uk/about-us/who-we-work-with/corporate-partnerships/our-partners/gsk
Many thanks for your reply.
I DO admire the work of Save The Children and would, if it were not for your partnership with GlaxoSmithKline, promote your worthy cause.
However, I have a problem given Glaxo's appalling record when it comes to the safety of children.
You claim that the benefits of being in partnership with GlaxoSmithKline outweigh the risks - and that helps you achieve your ambitions for children.
I get it - I totally get it.
In the same context, however, you are more or less saying that Glaxo putting between 8,000 - 266,000 children and adolescents at risk of suicide (in just one year) is something that Save The Children can overlook because your partnership, or goals, can potentially reach an audience where more children could be saved. Is this your position?
I am sure your organisation has mathematicians or even accountants who can crunch the numbers - see here - http://fiddaman.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/alastair-benbow-devil-is-in-details.html
Furthermore, despite Glaxo pleading guilty and paying a fine of $3 billion to resolve fraud allegations you still believe that your association with them is beneficial?
This, as you know, was a criminal offence and saw Glaxo plead guilty to, amongst other things..
Paxil: In the criminal information, the government alleges that, from April 1998 to August 2003, GSK unlawfully promoted Paxil for treating depression in patients under age 18, even though the FDA has never approved it for pediatric use. The United States alleges that, among other things, GSK participated in preparing, publishing and distributing a misleading medical journal article that misreported that a clinical trial of Paxil demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of depression in patients under age 18, when the study failed to demonstrate efficacy. At the same time, the United States alleges, GSK did not make available data from two other studies in which Paxil also failed to demonstrate efficacy in treating depression in patients under 18. The United States further alleges that GSK sponsored dinner programs, lunch programs, spa programs and similar activities to promote the use of Paxil in children and adolescents. GSK paid a speaker to talk to an audience of doctors and paid for the meal or spa treatment for the doctors who attended. Since 2004, Paxil, like other antidepressants, included on its label a “black box warning” stating that antidepressants may increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in short-term studies in patients under age 18. GSK agreed to plead guilty to misbranding Paxil in that its labeling was false and misleading regarding the use of Paxil for patients under 18.
Source - Department of Justice Website - http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/glaxosmithkline-plead-guilty-and-pay-3-billion-resolve-fraud-allegations-and-failure-report
Once again, I refer you to http://fiddaman.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/alastair-benbow-devil-is-in-details.html that breaks down the number of children and adolescents GlaxoSmithKline, through their criminal behaviour, put at risk of suicide.
Are you telling me that this sits right with Save The Children?
Without sounding flippant, are you merely telling me that Save The Children are willing to enter into partnership with anyone with a criminal record such as the one GSK pleaded guilty to?
GlaxoSmithKline made a lot of money by illegally promoting Paxil to this age group and now, it appears, are helping Save The Children with their illegal gains.
This sits rights with Save The Children and your stakeholders?
As I have stipulated, I admire, greatly, the work that Save The Children do but dismissing GlaxoSmithKline's criminal record where children and adolescents are concerned seems a tad perverse given the title of your organisation.
In essence, and from the gist of your reply, you are, I assume, saying that it's okay to put children and adolescents at risk of suicide as long as you are able to offer money to the Save The Children organisation?
Would you enter into a partnership with a multi-millionaire who kidnapped, let's say, 8,000 teenagers and threw a rope around their necks and threatened to hang them?
With respect, your response clearly suggests that Save The Children are willing to enter into a partnership despite any person/s criminal background. Remember, it took a Department of Justice investigation to force Glaxo's hand - they had previously denied any wrong-doing.
To be honest, I am flabbergasted at Save The Children's reasoning here.
I'll let you know should Save The Children respond.