Thursday, November 12, 2015
Consumers Vs Pharmaceutical Companies - The UK System
It's kind of set in stone these days that Seroxat, the antidepressant manufactured and marketed by British pharmaceutical giant, GlaxoSmithKline, is a faulty product. It's been through the American court system in various types of litigation.
1. Suicide - GUILTY - APPEALED - SETTLED - Compensation paid
2. Birth Defects - GUILTY - APPEALED - SETTLED - Compensation paid
3. Withdrawal problems - RESOLVED - Victims compensated
To date, GlaxoSmithKline have not settled any cases that relate to Seroxat use and suicide, birth defects and withdrawal problems in the UK.
They are a British company yet, it appears, will only settle with American consumers of Seroxat (Known as Paxil in the US)
To go up against a pharmaceutical company in the UK is notoriously difficult. Many law firms prefer not to touch cases against pharmaceutical companies because they can drag on for many years, the risk is too high, they can either 'make' or 'break' the claimant's legal representation.
The UK Seroxat litigation is fast approaching 10 years since it was first filed. Glaxo, represented by Addleshaw Goddard, have not, at any point, expressed an interest in resolving the litigation. They, it appears, wish for the cases, involving just over one hundred claims, to go to trial... at least they do at this point in the proceedings.
The litigation has been laboriously slow - claimants have been dropped by law firms, despite those law firms attesting that their cases against GSK were strong. Public funding has been given, then put on hold, then taken away.
In America, the Seroxat withdrawal problems lawsuit involved over 3,000 claims against GSK. The whole process of filing and agreeing to resolve took as little as two years. Each of the 3,000 were awarded compensation. Each of the 3,000 had to sign confidentiality agreements - ergo, they could not tell anyone how much they were awarded by GSK.
Meantime, UK consumers who suffered Seroxat withdrawal problems, some who still do, continue to wait for their cases to be heard in trial. The date of which has yet to be determined.
Almost 10 years.
It's a showing of the iron fist by GlaxoSmithKline and it sends out a strong message to consumers of pharmaceutical products. That message being, "We won't bend over for British consumers, even though we are a British company."
Glaxo are denying that they knew there was a withdrawal problem with Seroxat, this despite settling the 3,000 or so case in America. This, despite public documents that have shown that hey did indeed know about the withdrawal problem in adults but 'hushed up' these findings.
Project 1059 revealed a series of emails between Daniel Burnham of SmithKline Beecham and a ghostwriting company. In those emails, below, the Seroxat withdrawal issue was raised. Burnham became concerned and decided to pull the plug on Project 1059. There was no way that they could have this Seroxat withdrawal issue made public.
You can view the series of emails here.
Meantime, Glaxo CEO, Andrew Witty, continues to cover his company in garlands, he continues to refuse to meet with anyone who has suffered as a result if ingesting Seroxat. Irish blogger, the Truthman, who, like me, has been writing about GSK for almost a decade, perfectly dissects a recent interview between journalist Evan Davis and Glaxo's Witty here.
It's well worth the read, an edited version of the interview between Evans and Witty is also shared on the Truthman's post.
Glaxo, in my opinion, are psychopathic, it's hard to pinpoint who is the person behind the dodgy marketing and hiding of negative results, so, as a whole, Glaxo, to me at least are not only psychopathic but delusional too.
As for Witty, once again my opinion of him, is that he lacks compassion and empathy for those harmed by his company. He continues to harp on about how Glaxo (these days) are more transparent than any other pharmaceutical company. He fails to mention that they were forced to be more transparent by the recent $3 billion they paid the American Department of Justice for, amongst other things, a lack of transparency in sharing negative trial results.
Who knows if the UK litigation will ever see the light of day. I would love nothing more than a judge who sees through Glaxo's arguments and allows documents produced at trial to be made public and not sealed away.
The criticism of GlaxoSmithKline is warranted. As long as they continue to treat their consumers like lab rats then they will always fall under the spotlight.
We, as humans, have a desire to see more when something teasing is revealed, be that a woman in a sexy low-cut dress or a pharmaceutical company not disposing of emails that highlight how they ignored links of severe Seroxat withdrawal.
Glaxo are not sexy, in fact, the more that they reveal, the more sickened I become.
I'll eventually walk away from this blog, a change of direction and finding peace is, I feel, what I've earned over these past ten years or so. Until I feel that time is right I'll continue to cross swords with GSK - I guess that the Truthman will too.
Perfer et obdura; dolor hic tibi proderit olim. (Google it)
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.