Zantac Lawsuit

Citizens Commission on Human Rights Award Recipient (Twice)
Humanist, humorist

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Mr GlaxoSmithKline (12.08.03)

Poor old Mr Sneeze. Not only is he forever battling his year-round sniffles in Coldland, he's now under investigation by a Government Watchdog who want to scrutinise his association with multinational pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline.

The rumpus centres on a recent promotional Mr Men book written and illustrated by Adam Hargreaves and titled 'Mr Sneeze And His Allergies'. According to The BBC it was funded by GSK and shows us how, with some help from Little Miss Sunshine, Mr Sneeze is urged to take action against a suspected dose of hayfever. But alas, their good work is undone by the arrival of Mr Silly and his pet chicken, called Rover (!).

After the story there are four pages of allergy information from Allergy UK and - this is the problem area - two pages promoting the use of GSK products.

50,000 copies of the book have been printed so far this year and distributed to Tesco Clubcard holders, allergy road shows, allergy clinics and doctors surgeries. The book was approved by The Proprietary Association of Great Britain, which is responsible for checking marketing material from pharmaceutical companies. And what's more, they're standing by their decision to back the project, citing its confident public health message.

But the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency aren't so convinced, because The Medicines Act of 1994 prohibits the promotion of medicines to children. Of course, GSK rebuke such allegations...

This one might want to run, and run. But really, we hope it doesn't!

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