Zantac Lawsuit

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

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Big Brother, GSK and Product Placement.

Stumbling on stories usually, for me at least, kicks off a series of events. None more so than the story I stumbled across today.

In 2013 GlaxoSmithKline's Maximuscle protein shakes and Maximuscle-branded gym equipment featured in a fitness task in the 'Celebrity Big Brother' house.

The product placement deal placed Maximuscle protein shakes, Maximuscle-branded gym equipment and accessories and bathroom products in the house. The housemates also wore branded sweat suits.

The partnership was negotiated for GSK by MediaCom with Channel 5's partnerships team and Endemol, the 'Big Brother' creator and production company. (Source)

It's important to look at the timing of this deal. 2013.

With this in mind I have wrote to Channel 5. If they respond I will publish on this blog.

Here's the email.

Dear Sir/Madam,
I'd be grateful if you could pass this along to the relevant department at CH 5.
It recently came to my attention that GlaxoSmithKline's product, Maximuscle, was used as a  product placement deal for a Celebrity Big Brother task in 2013.
Whilst I understand, to a small degree, business and advertising revenue, I cannot understand why Channel 5 would agree to placing a product marketed and manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline given that the British pharmaceutical giant, one year previous to collaboration with Ch 5, were fined a record $3 billion in a fraud settlement in the United States.
The criminal charges involved the illegal marketing of the antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin and the withholding of data on the health risks of the diabetes medication Avandia.
Paxil (Known as Seroxat in the UK)
Although the antidepressant Paxil is not approved for patients under 18, Glaxo illegally marketed the drug for use in children and teens, offering kickbacks to doctors and sales representatives to push the drug. Many children and teens who took the drug went on to self harm and/or carry out acts of violence on other and/or kill themselves.
Glaxo used the help of PR firms and the appeal of lavish vacations to convince medical professionals to prescribe the antidepressant Wellbutrin for weight loss, sexual dysfunction, drug addiction and ADHD, even though the drug is FDA approved only to treat depression. 
For seven years, Glaxo failed to report data to the FDA showing that its blockbuster diabetes drug, Avandia, approved in 1999, increased heart risks in patients.
In 2007, the drug was banned in Europe. The European Medicines Agency concluded that the heart risks of Avandia did not justify its blood sugar benefits.
I'd be grateful if a representative of CH 5 could explain why they endorsed a GlaxoSmithKline product on one of its most popular TV programmes given that they (GSK) had one year previously plead guilty and paid $3 billion to resolve fraud allegations and failure to report safety data.
I look forward to you reply.

This should prove interesting if, indeed, they respond.

Bob Fiddaman. 

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