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Friday, June 08, 2007

Glaxo executive, Dr. Tadataka Yamada threatens Buse's department

Source: Boston Globe

WASHINGTON -- An executive of the company that makes the diabetes drug Avandia said a researcher who was among the first to link it to heart problems would be held liable for the $4 billion GlaxoSmithKline PLC lost in stock value as a result of his findings, Dr. John B. Buse testified before congressional investigators yesterday.

Buse told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that he raised concerns about Avandia's connection to heart problems in 1999 , the year the Food and Drug Administration approved it for sale. He said the Glaxo executive, Dr. Tadataka Yamada, made the "disturbing" comment during a meeting Yamada had with Buse's department chair at the University of North Carolina. Afterward, Buse said, he faxed a letter to Yamada asking him to "please call off the dogs " because he feared he could no longer remain civil "under this kind of heat ." Buse, a UNC researcher, is incoming president of medicine and science for the American Diabetes Association's board.

The former Glaxo executive was "passionate about his work," Moncef Slaoui , Glaxo's chairman of research and development, said of Yamada, when questioned by the committee chairman, Representative Henry Waxman . "We regret that Dr. Buse felt pressured."

Yamada, who now works for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation , was participating in an all-day retreat, according to a foundation spokesman, and could not be reached for comment.

Full story HERE

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