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Humanist, humorist

Thursday, January 31, 2008

GSK, Avandia & Dr. Steven M. Haffner

So Haffner tipped off GlaxoSmithKline with a confidential and unpublished journal article regarding safety questions about their blockbuster diabetes drug Avandia. He had already agreed to read it as part of the peer-review process for the New England Journal of Medicine.

Read it he did and what he read wasn't very favourable to GlaxoSmithKline - so he tells them!

The peer-review process is meant to ensure that other scientists will judge a study’s quality before it is made public.

Charles E. Grassley, Republican on the Finance Committee, sent a letter to GlaxoSmithKline in which he asked what action the company took after receiving the 'unpublished article' - As yet know one knows what their excuse is.

Why did Haffner show GlaxoSmithKline? Well, in his own words:

“Why I sent it is a mystery”

“I don’t really understand it. I wasn’t feeling well. It was bad judgment."

GlaxoSmithKline, as you would expect, have played it all down with some wonderful spin.

Nancy Pekarek, of GlaxoSmithKline, said:

Dr. Haffner had sent the article to the company on May 3, more than two weeks before the article was published in the New England Journal. He expressed concerns and questions regarding the methodology of the analysis, and sent the article to GSK for advice from experienced statisticians.

She added “We believe GSK acted appropriately and responsibly in responding to the situation.”

Dr. Haffner has, by his own disclosure, said that he has conducted research and served as a paid speaker for GlaxoSmithKline. Senator Charles E. Grassley said that Dr. Haffner had received $75,000 in consulting and speaking fees from GlaxoSmithKline since 1999.

By releasing this article to GlaxoSmithKline, Haffner gave them time to prepare for the influx of questions that would be forthcoming once the article was 'officially' released.

Steven M. Haffner, MD, received his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

You really don't have to be Albert Einstien to see why Haffner was motivated to leak documents to GlaxoSmithKline do you?

Moneytalks folks

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