Zantac Lawsuit

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Saturday, February 06, 2010

No Future In SSRi's For Glaxo!


It seems the penny has dropped for drug giants GlaxoSmithKline. It's been widely reported over the past couple of days that they are no longer prepared to invest their millions into antidepressants. The move, claims Glaxo CEO, Andrew Witty, is part of a change in research and development designed to strengthen productivity at GSK.

The daddy of all SSRi's, Seroxat, manufactured by Glaxo, has been in and out of the courts in the United States with regard to it's safety, ranging from lawsuits alleging Seroxat's addictive qualities, the causation of children being born with defects and patients attempting or committing suicide whilst on the drug.

Call me an old cynic here but I think it would be safe to suggest that Glaxo are more concerned by future litigation costs with regard to antidepressant development. Seroxat, for example, has cost them somewhere in the region of $1Billion in court settlements and further cases are pending both here in the UK and across the pond.

It could also be that the 'target audience' has somewhat fell from Glaxo's marketing aims with news that these types of drugs are about as effective as a placebo.

One antidepressant that has been in and out of the courts in America, an antidepressant that has had so much bad publicity that it's pretty hard for doctors to prescribe it any more.

Maybe Glaxo don't want to go down the litigation road again so are stepping back from the antidepressant scene? Or maybe it's really not worth research for a type of drug that is, in essence, about as effective as a mildly depressed patient eating a tube full of Smarties.

With the antidepressant door being closed, Glaxo will have to find another cash cow... or a niche in the market. Foodles seems to be this niche.

Foodles seems to be Glaxo's new baby - basically, they are instant noodles. The return, if a success, will be a vast amount of money coming Glaxo's way and minimal threat of litigation against them.

Thing is, you can't just stop making poor quality drugs and expect to be covered in garlands. It's the history of the way Glaxo have handled the data regarding Seroxat that has been their Achilles heel, that and the fact that they have never once admitted that they got it wrong...even if they have paid out over $1billion in lawsuits regarding Seroxat.

Good luck with the noodle venture. I'll stick to Heinz spaghetti if you don't mind.



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