Zantac Lawsuit

Researching drug company and regulatory malfeasance for over 16 years
Humanist, humorist

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Spotting The Difference - Adolf Jann vs Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler and Adolf Jann. One was a dictator who told people what they could and couldn't do... the other lost the war.

Two short videos for your viewing pleasure.

I'm not comparing Adolf Jann to Adolf Hitler, last time I compared Hitler to a former GSK psychiatrist landed me in hot water - The GSK Head of psychiatrist was offended by that particular comment.

Anyway, I'll leave it up to you, the viewers, to make comparisons.

The first clip is taken from the 2001 half hour documentary, The Antidepressant Era, [David Healy] and features, the then, Hoffman-La Roche President, Adolf Jann.

The second is a clip from the Movie, Downfall, and highlights a rant from Adolf Hitler. I decided to make my own subtitles for this clip - it's been parodied many times.

Question I'm asking: Can any of you see the similarities between both videos?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Glaxo - $80,000 or the Documents get it!

If you were sitting on information obtained through discovery of the second largest pharmaceutical company in the world, what would you do?

Well, it's a no-brainer for Discovery Works Legal Inc's CEO, Harry Debari.

Glaxo's attorneys have just filed a suit against his company accusing them of  "holding hostage over 20 terabytes of GSK's most sensitive and confidential data, and threatening to withhold and destroy the data unless GSK pays the ransom."

Debari has allegedly asked for $80,000 and unless GSK pay up its alleged that he will destroy almost 3.5 billion documents of litigation that his company have stockpiled over the years.

$80,000 seems a tad trivial for a ransom demand. I can only assume that Debari is asking GSK for money that they owe his company. If someone was in possession of potentially damaging documents then they could practically demand anything.

The apparent ransom demand stems from Glaxo learning of Discovery Works Legal Inc's financial situation, which looked pretty grim. Glaxo then asked for all the data held by Discovery Works Legal Inc to be cataloged and returned to them, Debari didn't comply and then, it's alleged, asked for $80,000.

If I were Debari I wouldn't destroy the documents, I'd simply post them on the internet. That would probably hurt Glaxo more than a complete deletion of records.

Full story at Law360 [Subscription only]

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

GSK's Swine Flu Shot Linked to Sleep Disorder

Ring-a-ring o' roses,
A pocket full of posies,
Pandemrix! Pandemrix!
We all fall down


Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder caused by the brain's inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally. The main features of narcolepsy are excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy. The disease is also often associated with sudden sleep attacks, insomnia, dream-like hallucinations, and a condition called sleep paralysis - National Sleep Foundation

Glaxo are in the news again... this time it's their vaccine Pandemrix that's making all the wrong sort of headlines for the British based drug giant.

Latest figures have shown that almost 800 children in Sweden who received the Pandemrix H1N1 swine flu vaccine have been left with the incurable sleep disorder, narcolepsy.

According to Fox News similar findings have been found in Finland, Norway, Ireland and France.

Faced with these alarming figures GSK's chief medical officer, Norman Begg, states, GSK views the issue extremely seriously and is "absolutely committed to getting to the bottom of this", adding, "there is not yet enough data or evidence to suggest a causal link."

Of course not, Norm.

I remember when Swine Flu made the news. There was a huge push, in the UK at least, for people to rush out and get vaccinated. I never really bought into it.

Back in 2009 Switzerland restricted the use of Glaxo's swine flu vaccine, they did so by excluding pregnant women, minors and people over the age of 60. Swissmedic, the Swiss medicines regulator, did not allow it to be used in children because they had "received very little information on it."

Also, in 2009, the German Professional Association of Environmental Medicine (Deutscher Berufsverband der Umweltmediziner – DBU) issued a press release regarding Glaxo's Pandemrix, part of which read:

"Pandemrix poses substantial health risk with respect to mass immunization programs due to the lack of proof of safety."

Back in 2010 I wrote about how Glaxo were under investigation for bribery in Finland. In short, the Chancellor of Justice was investigating if bribery was used in narcolepsy-suspect Pandemrix vaccine trade. The investigation was carried out because two individuals had reported their suspicions to the Chancellor. Investigation targeted the Ministry of Health and THL, National Instute for Health and Welfare. THL has received more than six million euros in 2009 from GlaxoSmithKline. THL has also had a key role in the decision to order Pandemrix to every Finnish inhabitant.

Meantime, the narcolepsy link continues to rear its ugly head in Sweden. Goran Stiernstedt, director for health and social care at the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, has added much fuel to the fire. Speaking with Fox he told them, "This is a medical tragedy, hundreds of young people have had their lives almost destroyed."

GlaxoSmithKline – one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.

Fox News article HERE

Friday, January 18, 2013

GSK - $21.5 Million Settlement For Delaying Generic Competition

All part of an era eh, Andy?

On the 21st December GSK, the company who pay fines and settlements whilst never admitting to any wrong-doing, paid $21.5 million to plaintiffs who had claimed that GSK had forced them to pay higher prices for antidepressant Wellbutrin SR, also known and branded as the smoking cessation drug, Zyban.

The settlement resolves [ahem] allegations that GSK violated antitrust, consumer fraud and consumer protection laws and made an unjust profit from the sale of Wellbutrin.

Way to go Glaxo!

For those who don't know, last year GlaxoSmithKline, the company that want us to believe that their violations are a thing of the past, entered a guilty plea into, amongst other things, the off-label promotion of drugs. One such drug was Wellbutrin. Glaxo were subsequently fined a massive $3 billion.

So, not only were they promoting this antidepressant cum smoking cessation drug to people it should never have been prescribed to, they were also forcing those buying it to pay higher prices.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Tenacity Pays Off For Swedish Journalist Larsson

I've corresponded with many great writers since starting this blog almost 7 years ago, I've met a few in person too.

What makes a great health activist/advocate?

Well, in the main, a great advocate is someone who has experienced the darker side of the pharmaceutical industry. A person who, through no fault of their own, has endured horrific withdrawal at the hands of a pharmaceutical product or, worse, had to lay a loved one to rest because a pill that was meant to make them better actually induced suicide.

Then we have ex-pharma employees and current and retired psychiatrists, these people also add a tremendous weight to the debate regarding antidepressants.

Journalists banging the drum are few and far between but they do exist in this murky pharma world. One such journalist is Janne Larsson, a Swedish man whose investigative skills and tenacity have to be admired by the street man and revered by the top executives within pharma, medicine regulators and apparent experts in the field of psychiatry.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Zealand Drug Watchdog Issues Warnings For Most Antidepressants Regarding Birth Defects

Zyban, just one of many SSRi type medications associated with birth defects

New Zealand's drug watchdog, Medsafe, who are the equivalent of the FDA and MHRA, have just issued warnings to healthcare professionals across New Zealand regarding the use of antidepressant type medications during pregnancy.

The warnings come on the back of a recent epidemiological study that shows a possible increased risk of congenital cardiovascular malformations after exposure to bupropion (Zyban) in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Here's where it may get confusing for healthcare professionals and patients.

Zyban is used as a smoking cessation medication that apparently helps people quit smoking.

Zyban is also known as Wellbutrin, an antidepressant.

Medsafe is reporting that the datasheet is currently being updated with information regarding the use during pregnancy.

Meantime, Medsafe and  the Medicines Adverse Reactions Committee (MARC) have just completed a review of the risk of QT prolongation and/or Torsades de pointes (TdP) associated with antidepressants used in New Zealand.

The findings?

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Supreme Court Accepts Writ - Glaxo Implicated

GlaxoSmithKline, along with MSD Pharmaceuticals Pvt. Ltd. (subsidiary of Merck) the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization ( Indian Drugs Controller) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have been implicated in a writ filed by Kalpana Mehta, Nalini Bhanot and Dr Rukmini Rao President of the Gramya Resource Centre for Women.

The writ, accepted by the Supreme court of India, outlines serious allegations regarding the trialing of the HPV vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix on thousands of girls between the ages of 10 and 14, in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. The court has asked the government of India to file it's response to the petition with immediate effect.

The writ claims that both Gardasil and Cervarix were illegally brought into the States by the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) and administered to Indian children before safety and efficacy was established.

The writ also states:

Mylan Recall Painkiller Pills Due to Risk

Mylan, an American generic pharmaceutical company with a branch out here in New Zealand, recently recalled three types of painkiller tablets due to the risk that the tablets are more potent than the label indicates.

Ho hum

Mylan announce the recall here whilst the American drugs regulator, the FDA, announce it here.

In mid December last year Mylan New Zealand admitted to a bereaved mother that their antidepressant, Fluox, was the probable cause of her son's suicide. Safe to say then that the Fluox tablets were more potent than the label indicated.

There was no public announcement via their web page or by the New Zealand drugs regulator, Medsafe.

Just making a comparison folks.

Back stories:

Mylan's Fluox Can Probably Induce Suicide, admit Mylan

Mylan NZ, a Lawyer, Causality and U-Turn

Mylan Pharmaceuticals: The Emails, U-Turns and Denials

Mylan NZ and the 36 Hours

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Annette Beautrais and the New Zealand Suicide Problem

Annette Beautrais - 'Expert' in Suicidology

A report released in New Zealand last week has shown that almost 25,000 children have been diagnosed with behavioural and emotional problems. The percentage of children with diagnosed mental health conditions jumped from 1.8 per cent to 3.2 per cent since 2007-08. See Number of 'anxious' kids skyrockets

The NZ government have, like most governments, been duped.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Suicide Prevention and Ketamine - Larkin & Beautrais

Ketamine and suicide prevention
Annette Beautrais and Gregory Larkin
Image courtesy of

Just when you thought it was safe to walk into the emergency department of a hospital for respite or treatment to an injury comes the latest study in suicide prevention and depression. A study so flawed and bizarre and, dare I say it, misleading.

The study was carried out by Gregory Larkin and Annette Beautrais, the conclusion of which found that the intervention of administering the horse tranquilizer, Ketamine, to patients suffering from depression or displaying suicidal tendencies is "likely to be effective and appropriate for only some subgroups of the depressed and suicidal emergency department population."

The study, carried out on 15 patients, ran over a period of just 10 days and saw patients given a single dose of Ketamine [dose depending on weight] and then monitored over a period of four hours whereby they were given a set of questions using the Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale [MADRS]. These ratings  were obtained at baseline, and at 40, 80, 120 and 240 minute intervals. Patients were then contacted over a period of 10 days

There was no control group in this study, funded by Connecticut College of Emergency Physicians.

In essence it appears that the study only lasted 4 hours and the follow-up [10 days] was presumably to follow-up on the 15 patients to see how they were coping [ie; side effects, if depression or suicidal thoughts had returned]

This, it has to be said, is one of the most bizarre studies I've ever seen when time and outcome are taken into account... not to mention the drug used.

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