Generic Paxil Suicide Lawsuit

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

Friday, April 25, 2008

GlaxoSmithKline v Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals

When GlaxoSmithKline saw the ads running for Lundbecks Cipramil they nearly had a seizure

Complaint: An advertisement for Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals, promoting Cipramil, was published in the New Ethicals Catalogue. The headline stated "This is the only kind of interaction your depressed patient needs…Cipramil® See the difference…". This text surrounded the portrayal of a mother smiling into the face of her daughter.

The Complainant GlaxoSmithKline, was represented by Ms Edith Gersten and Mr Txema Sanz.

The Advertiser, Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals was represented by Ms Ruth Stokes.

The Complainant said:

"Further to our correspondence dated 17 April 2001, ASA complaint number 2001/88-AWAP 01/9. GlaxoSmithKline NZ wishes to formally register a complaint regarding a promotional advertisement for Cipramil, a Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor (SSRI) used for the treatment of depression, published by Zuellig Pharma on behalf of Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals, in the May 2001 issue of the New Ethicals Catalogue. This complaint is in addition to our complaint of a previous version of this advertisement that appeared in the November 2000 issue of New Ethicals Catalogue. Lundbeck used misleading advertising and were found to be in breach of several ASA codes. Unfortunately, Lundbeck have chosen to ignore the ASA code again by using unreferenced and unsubstantiated claims.

Lundbeck have submitted an advertisement without a TAPS number and have blatantly disregarded the guidelines set by the ASA in their last ruling.

Since the New Ethicals Catalogue is published 6-monthly and is widely retained on doctor's desks. It is impossible to withdraw the advert from this particular publication. GlaxoSmithKline would therefore like to see the following corrective measures taken by Lundbeck:

* That all of Lundbeck's promotional material be scrutinised and approved by Mr. Nigel Andrews, the TAPS adjudicator to ensure that breaches of the code such as this one, will not and cannot occur again.

* That the offending advert for Cipramil be withdrawn from any other industry and medical publication immediately.

* That a corrective letter be published in all major industry publications including New Ethicals Journal, New Zealand GP, New Zealand Doctor and Pharmacy Today. We would like to see the letter appearing in at least 3 consecutive editions to ensure that all prescribers and dispensaries were aware of the issue.

* That ADIS International be advised of the ramifications of not abiding by the TAPS system and its regulations.

The new advertisement depicts a woman who appears to be dancing with a young girl. The advertisement contains the caption “This is the only kind of interaction your depressed patient needs”. We have enclosed a copy of the advert for your reference.

GlaxoSmithKline is of the opinion that this claim is misleading, unqualified and all encompassing with regard to the superiority profile of Cipramil against other antidepressants in its class, namely SSRI's.


Okay, this is old news but just shows you how far one will go to protect their assets... or in this case, their SSRi.

I had to laugh at the last para "GlaxoSmithKline is of the opinion that this claim is misleading, unqualified and all encompassing with regard to the superiority profile of Cipramil against other antidepressants in its class, namely SSRI's."




Now, let me point you to an article that appeared in an Australian newspaper about a year or so later.

Sponsor's advert a happy coincidence

It's the biggest event on Britain's charity circuit and now it's coming to Australia.

Comic Relief, which raises close to $1billion biennially, hopes to be "the most significant charitable fundraiser in Australia by 2003".

But it is also providing an opportunity for drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline, whose campaign of support for Comic Relief has some similarities to its advertising for one of Australia's top-selling anti-depressant drugs.

"Love that Aropax smile," reads a six-page fold-out ad that appeared in doctors' news magazines at the end of last year. It is trimmed in bright orange and features a formerly depressed mother joking with an orange segment in her mouth, and her giggling, orange-clad daughter.

Earlier this year the company took out ads in the same publications, touting its $200,000 donation to Comic Relief and announcing a fund-raising program in which its drug sales people would visit doctors dressed as clowns.

The notices bore no direct reference to Aropax, but nevertheless had an orange backdrop and they continued the smiling theme. "We're dropping in to make you smile for a very worthy cause," the company explained.

The creative director of advertising agency Belgiovane Williams Mackay, Rob Belgiovane, said GlaxoSmithKline's Comic Relief and Aropax ads were "both selling the notion of happiness - one the natural way, the other the anti-depressant way".

Now pardon the use of my Garnier like tongue here but... What a fucking liberty!


Read the new book, The Evidence, However, Is Clear...The Seroxat Scandal

By Bob Fiddaman

ISBN: 978-1-84991-120-7



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