Zantac Lawsuit

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

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Glaxo Corruption Probe in Romania

Just when you thought it was safe to put your faith in medicine again comes another bombshell for British pharmaceutical giant, GlaxoSmithKline.

Still shaking off the putrid stench of the $3 billion fine in America and the $483 million fine in China, Glaxo now find themselves at the centre of yet more corruption, this time in Romania.

The news agency Reuters are reporting that they have had access to emails sent in to top GSK management that claim ...

  • GSK paid Romanian doctors hundreds, and in one cases thousands, of euros between 2009 and 2012 for prescribing its medicines, including prostate treatments Avodart and Duodart and Parkinson's disease drug Requip.
  • GSK paid for speaking engagements, but in three out of six cases, including the most highly paid one, they did not give any speech. The other three medics gave only one speech each, despite receiving multiple payments.
  • GSK also provided doctors with many international trips and made payments to them under the guise of participation in advisory boards.

It's not looking good for Glaxo after the person who emailed the company has said that he/she will pass on evidence to both  the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which are investigating GSK for possible breaches of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Full story here.

More coming soon.

Bob Fiddaman.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Duchesnay's Payments to Bendectin "Expert"

Duchesnay, who have recently been in the news regarding Kim Kardashian's promotion of their morning sickness pill, Diclegis, have, it appears, been paying a number of doctors in the US for "food and beverages", "travel and lodging", "education", "consulting fees" and "Compensation for services other than consulting, including serving as faculty or as a speaker at a venue other than a continuing education program."

The list of payments made to doctors comes from the Open Payments Database and top of the list is Dr. Ralph Webster Hale, who, in 2014, received  $32,875 from Duchesnay. In 2013 Hale, who is based out of Oak Hill, VA, received $27,840 from Duchesnay, rounding up his total to a whopping $60,715. This, it should be pointed out, is standard practice for pharmaceutical companies. They claim they are paying experts to offer safety and efficacy advice whilst advocates, such as myself, suggest that the payments may be to influence other doctors to use certain drugs.

I became increasingly concerned as I went through the list of doctors Duchesnay had paid over a two year period (2013/14)

If you've been following the recent Diclegis posts of mine you'll know that back in the 80's a birth defect lawsuit was filed. The drug in question was called Bendectin, which is, in essence, the same chemical compound that is found in Duchesnay's Diclegis. The lawsuit (Blum vs Merrell Dow) lasted a number of years - on two separate occasions the Blum family (whose son had been born with clubbed feet) were victorious only to have Merrell Dow appeal against the decisions. In the end, Merrell Dow, after lengthy legal jargon that opposed the Jury's findings, were successful and the Blum family were left with nothing. (Relevant links are at the foot of this post)

One of Merrell Dow's experts was Dr Steven Lamm. He examined all of the information on hand and pooled the data (with regard to the sales of Bendectin and its correlation to birth defects) to reach his decision that women who take Bendectin are not at an increased risk of having children with any congenital malformations. In his affidavit, Lamm stated that no published report confirmed Bendectin caused teratogenic effects in humans.

Lamm even wrote a published paper regarding the safety of Bendectin. Entitled. "The Epidemiological Assessment of the Safety and Efficacy of Bendectin", Lamm found that...

...there was no association between Bendectin use and birth in toto, nor was there any association between Bendectin use and birth defects by organ system. Furthermore, analysis of nationwide data showed no change in the birth defect prevalence rates for any birth defect after the sales of Bendectin significantly decreased in 1980 and subsequent years."

Anyway, that was then and this is now...

Duchesnay, between the years of 2013 and 2014 paid Dr. Lamm  $3,500 for "Compensation for services other than consulting, including serving as faculty or as a speaker at a venue other than a continuing education program." and a further $1,823 for "travel and lodging." (Fig 1)  In 2013, Lamm was paid a total of $2,300.

So, let's gets his straight. An expert who gave evidence on behalf of Merrell Dow, that evidence being that their drug Bendectin (which has the same chemical compound as Duchesnay's Diclegis) did not show an increased risk of having children with any congenital malformations, is now being paid by Duchesnay.

Exactly what is  "Compensation for services other than consulting, including serving as faculty or as a speaker at a venue other than a continuing education program."? Who knows? Maybe Duchesnay hired Lamm's services to double check everything and to make sure that Diclegis cannot cause birth defects.

Now, I know that pharmaceutical companies, such as Duchesnay, can hire whoever they want to to give discussions to other doctors, if indeed that's what they hired Lamm for. I do, however, find it odd that an expert for Merrell Dow is now receiving payments from the very same company who have made efforts, I believe,  to belittle the birth defect lawsuits filed all those years ago.

The website, in my opinion, makes every effort to play down the risk of birth defects associated with Bendectin. No surprise, then, when we learn that the website is sponsored by Duchesnay Inc. (Scroll to bottom)

Duchesnay, however, do cover themselves with the disclaimer on the website... is intended for general informational purposes only and consists primarily of generally accepted conclusions regarding the history of Bendectin. The content provided in this Site is general in nature and not individually tailored to any particular facts or needs. Duchesnay Inc. is not offering any legal advice, other professional advice or services by providing this information. should not be relied upon or used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal or other competent advisers.

Fig 1 - Dr. Lamm's $1,823 for "Travel and Lodging" expenses paid by Duchesnay in 2014

I think if any future litigation should arise regarding Diclegis then Duchesnay would find it very difficult to call Lamm as a witness for them given that he has a financial association with them. I think it would be deemed as a conflict of interest.

Doctor Lamm received his master's and doctor of medicine degrees from the University of Southern California. He has served as a consultant in birth-defect epidemiology for the National Center for Health Statistics and has published numerous articles on the magnitude of risk from exposure to various chemical and biological substances.

The Duchesnay Dollars For Docs Database can be accessed here.

The above information and information contained in the links below have been passed on to an investigative journalist. For now, I'm putting Diclegis to sleep.

Bob Fiddaman.

Back Stories.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Is It Just Kim Kardashian on the Duchesnay Payroll?


The practice of masking the sponsors of a message or organization (e.g., political, advertising, religious or public relations) to make it appear as though it originates from and is supported by grassroots participant(s).

Earlier this week celebrity Kim Kardashian stirred the hornets next via her Instagram account by posting a photo of herself clutching a bottle of morning sickness pills. The pills, Diclegis, (known as Diclectin in Canada) are manufactured by Duchesnay Inc, a pharmaceutical company based in Canada. Duchesnay also have a HQ in the US.

I became interested in this, not so much because Kardashian was promoting a pharmaceutical product but more so because Danny Martel, who is a market analyst for Duchesnay, challenged me on Twitter with a series of tweets telling me to 'educate myself' (Back Story)

Well, throw a dog a bone...

During the past 48 hours or so I have been 'educating myself' and have found something quite interesting.

Duchesnay's American website have a list of "Expectant Mother Resources". Let's just take a look at some of them.

American Pregnancy Association, a national health organization committed to promoting reproductive and pregnancy wellness through education,  support, advocacy, and community awareness.

One of their sponsors/supporters is, it appears, Duchesnay, as you can see from the list of "Education Supporters" (Fig 1) it appears that Duchesnay and the American Pregnancy Association prefer the logo of the brand rather than the company. (second logo in pic)

Fig 1

BabyZone (Now called 'Babble) - The website is broken into categories and is associated with Disney. No information of any sponsoring or funding but an interesting post appears in the 'Pregnancy' section of the website. The post, entitled, "The Only Drug You Should Take for Morning Sickness -- And It Isn't Zofran", was written by Aela Mass. Aela writes...

"But that doesn’t mean you have to suffer from severe morning sickness; there is a drug approved by the FDA to take so you don’t have to spend your days hugging the toilet bowl.
"As the article states, Diclegis is not only approved for use during pregnancy, but it is also the only drug that has been “studied in hundreds of thousands of pregnant women and is a pregnancy category A drug there is now a safer option for women” suffering from morning sickness."
Her article invoked quite a response from people who were suggesting that Zofran worked for them. Zofran is, incidentally, the subject of a birth defect lawsuit in the US. Diclegis, under a different brand name and manufacturer, has also been the subject of a birth defect lawsuit.

It's difficult to say if BabyZone (Now called 'Babble) have associations with Diclegis manufacturer, Duchesnay, and I'm not insinuating that they do. The article, however, does smack of pharmaceutical tactics in as much that it highlights one drug that is unsafe whilst bigging up another drug that is apparently safe. GlaxoSmithKline did pretty much the same thing with Paxil. When promoting it to doctors via their reps they would often highlight how bad Prozac was and how good Paxil was. They did this via reps and strategically placed news articles similar to the one above.

"My child is deformed. I took no other medicine. My husband and I have no genetic history of any problems."

Everyday Health, whose portfolio includes websites, mobile applications and social media assets, designed to provide consumers and healthcare professionals with access to the most trusted health and wellness content tailored to meet their daily needs.

I'm including Everyday Health for the simple reason that they allow reviews of drugs on their website. The reviews for Duchesnay's Diclegis are quite telling. In all there are four consumer reviews averaging 1.5 out of 5. One in particular is quite revealing (Fig 2)

Fig 2, is a website that, at first glance, looks like a resource for morning sickness. That is until you scroll down to the bottom and read the small print. (Fig 3)

Fig 3

What to Expect, is a website filled with the latest in pregnancy and parenting information and news.

There is no evidence of funding from Duchesnay on this website but I'm including them as they include a post about Diclegis that says, "The good news is that there's now an FDA-approved drug called Diclegis that can treat the symptoms of NVP, or Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy. Your doctor will likely prescribe you to take two tablets daily at bedtime. If your symptoms persist, your doctor may then up your dose to a maximum of four tablets daily."

The article credits no particular author and I'm not suggesting that this is a case of product placement. Only in litigation do we ever get to see evidence that points to ghostwritten or product placement articles funded by pharmaceutical companies. (formally known as Organization of Teratology Information Specialists)

They have a section on Diclegis entitled, Non-Profit Answers Questions About New Drug Aimed At Treating Nausea And Vomiting In Pregnancy.

Experts at MotherToBaby, the counseling service branch of the non-profit Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS), said NVP affects nearly 80% of pregnant women, usually in their first trimester. A smaller proportion of women develop hyperemesis gravidarum, a much more severe form of NVP. A pregnant woman who develops hyperemesis gravidarum, may potentially deliver a smaller baby. “Babies who are born at a lower birth weight can be predisposed to other complications,” explained Robert Felix, a senior teratogen information specialist for MotherToBaby’s California affiliate at the University of California, San Diego. “Diclegis might help to possibly curb that result.”

They even have a Toll number - Those with questions about Diclegis or other medications during pregnancy and breastfeeding are encouraged to call MotherToBaby experts toll-FREE at 866-626-6847 or by visiting

As a non-profit private corporation, OTIS’ MotherToBaby service receives funding from a number of different sources including, amongst many other pharmaceutical companies, Duchesnay. (Source)

Moving away from Duchesnay's own website reveals more collaborations.

The Star Canada, revealed in April this year that Duchesnay, has a financial relationship with Sick Kids’ Motherisk program and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.

The Star writes...

"In the latest Sick Kids Foundation annual report, Duchesnay is included on a list of donors that gave between $1 million and $5 million between April 1, 1993, and March 31, 2014."

Today sees the Sick Kids: Motherisk website proudly boast the following (Fig 4)

Fig 4

Meantime, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada told The Star...

"...the society’s relationship with its sponsors as “unbiased,” and stressed that all of these relationships “are bound by strict policies to mitigate conflict of interest and adhere to all (Canadian Medical Association) guidelines."

Just last month Duchesnay was one of the sponsors at the American College of Nurse-Midwives 58th Annual Meeting & Exhibition. A Breakfast Symposium, sponsored by Duchesnay USA, was presented on June 1 where Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy was discussed. The two speakers were Elaine Mielcarski and Andre Lalonde, MD.

Mielcarski is a a gynecologic nurse practitioner and a licensed midwife, whilst Lalonde was, or still is executive vice president of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. Make of that what you will.

It seems Duchesnay may have shot themselves in the feet when hiring Kim Kardashian to promote their morning sickness pill. Kardashian, for one reason or another, isn't really liked by many people - I can't really comment as I really don't know enough about her other than she seems to be famous for knowing the famous.I don't think there would have been such a backlash had they have hired someone with a wider appeal, say Jane Fonda or Shania Twain for example. Maybe Duchesnay did approach other celebrities but were turned down or maybe they approached Kardashian because she is currently pregnant. (Fig 5) I'd really like to know if Kardashian actually uses Diclegis or just endorses it. Given the controversy of the compounds that make up Diclegis, I do hope that Kardashian has a healthy baby.

Fig 5

There's a small twist of irony here too. If Duchesnay's market analyst, Danny Martel, hadn't have told me (numerous times) to educate myself then I probably would have dropped this as it's not a drug used to treat depression (which are the drugs that I normally write about)

So, I've educated myself thanks to the request of someone who works for, or is associated with Duchesnay.

Call it bittersweet irony, if you will.

Bob Fiddaman.

Back Stories

Kim Kardashian on the Pharma Payroll

When Pharma Use the Defence of the FDA

Diclectin and the Redacted Adverse Events

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Diclectin and the Redacted Adverse Events

It's certainly been a busy few days.

Earlier this week I learned that celebrity Kim Kardashian was promoting the use of the morning sickness pill for expectant mothers on her social media accounts. The pill, Diclegis, marketed and manufactured by Canadian pharmaceutical company, Duchesnay Inc., has a tainted history, at least the two compounds that make up the drug do.

Just hours after I tweeted about the history of these two compounds I was contacted by Danny Martel, who is a market analyst for Duchesnay. He joined in the thread on Twitter, told me to "educate" myself then, bizarrely, removed all of his comments.

I wrote about the two compounds and how they were, some years ago, the subject of a lawsuit in the United States. That post can be seen here.

Earlier today I learned that Duchesnay's Diclegis has already been causing concern for Canadian doctor, Nav Persaud.

Persaud had asked Health Canada for all of the information it had on Diclectin, what followed was, according to The Star, "a three-and-a-half-year runaround from the regulator and more than 200 censored pages."

Health Canada had liaised with Duchesnay in efforts to decide what to send on to Persaud.

The Star writes...

Finally, more than a year after his initial request, Health Canada provided Persaud with some information on Diclectin. Of the 359 pages provided, 212 were completely censored and other pages had blacked-out sections under titles such as “Adverse Events,” because they were deemed confidential business information.

Since when has adverse events been privy to pharmaceutical companies only? Surely, as a prescribing doctor, Persaud has a given right to see exactly what sort of adverse events have been reported about Diclectin? More to the point, surely patients have a right to see that information.

Furthermore, the article points out that Diclectin is endorsed by Sick Kids’ Motherisk, an organisation that, according to The Star, Duchesnay has or has had financial ties to.

In March, Persaud re-requested the full, uncensored 359 pages of Diclectin information. The Star article, which was published in April, claimed that Persaud had not received the full uncensored version. It's unknown whether or not Persaud has finally received all the documents, including the previously redacted adverse events.

"There are a number of other medications and treatments that are reasonable options for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, and in my opinion they are better options," he said.

Persaud said he's already changed his own practice, and now recommends his patients try alternatives, including vitamin B6.

If a doctor who has had access to information on Diclectin now recommends vitamins then I guess it's safe to say that he didn't like what he saw in the information provided to him.

The article, Toronto doctor asks Health Canada about pregnancy drug, gets 212 pages of censored information, can be read, in full, here.

Bob Fiddaman.

Back stories

Kim Kardashian on the Pharma Payroll

When Pharma Use the Defence of the FDA

Is It Just Kim Kardashian on the Duchesnay Payroll?

Monday, July 20, 2015

When Pharma Use the Defence of the FDA

Fascinating exchange of views on Twitter between myself and a market analyst for Canadian pharmaceutical company, Duchesnay Inc.

Earlier in the day I had wrote about celebrity Kim Kardashian and her promotion of Duchesnay's morning sickness medication, Diclegis.

Diclegis is a combination of pyridoxine and doxylamine. Pyridoxine/doxylamine was first marketed in the U.S. in 1956, back then it was branded as Bendectin (Debendox in the UK). It was developed in the mid-1950s by the Wm. S. Merrell Company of Cincinnati, Ohio and, just like Diclegis, was aimed to help with nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

Controversy surround the drug and lawsuits were filed against the makers claiming birth defects. One such case was JEFFREY BLUM, a minor by his parents and natural guardians, JOAN and FRED BLUM, and JOAN and FRED BLUM, in their own right VS. MERRELL DOW PHARMACEUTICALS, INC.

It was a case, as you will see further on down this post, that Duchesnay's market analyst, Danny Martel, used as a form of defence to support his opinion that I, apparently, needed to "Educate myself".

In Blum vs Merrell Dow we saw three decisions. Merrell Dow and, it appears, Danny Martel, feel confident enough to raise the issue of the third decision.

Here's what happened. This is straight from the court document, which can be found here.

Jeffrey Blum was born with clubfeet, which would require eleven surgical procedures in thirteen years, James Newberne, Merrell Dow Vice President for drug safety, was addressing the Maternal Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration. He testified unequivocally that Bendectin was safe for maternal use during pregnancy. He under-represented the incidence of clubfeet found in animal studies. He overstated the number of animals studied. He failed to disclose that an inadequate number of animals had been tested, or that test animals had died due to improper care. He did not disclose that dosing accidents had killed test animals. He did not reveal that the tests were scientifically inadequate due to insufficient dosing levels. He did not tell the FDA that he was not proud of Merrell Dow's testing procedures. He did not reveal that Merrell Dow "chose" what information to report to the FDA, or that relevant testing on Bendectin was hidden by being reported to the FDA. Fifteen years later, at this trial, a jury of twelve citizens learned the rest of the story.
After nine weeks of testimony in 1986, a jury found that the drug Bendectin, taken by Joan Blum to control morning sickness in pregnancy, was a legal cause of Jeffrey Blum's clubfeet. That jury awarded one million dollars in compensatory and one million dollars in punitive damages.
Sadly, for the Blum family, Merrell Dow appealed the decision and 7 years later, in 1993, the Supreme Court reversed that verdict.

It was a point of law that they used in their favour. In the original trial (1986) one juror of the twelve became ill and the Judge proceeded with 11 jurors. Merrell Dow successfully argued in 1993 that they were denied their "constitutional right"

The whole case was sent for a retrial and, in 1994, the outcome (again) was in favour of the Blum family. This from the court document...

After seven weeks of evidence, twelve jurors rendered a constitutionally valid, unanimous verdict awarding Joan and Fred Blum two hundred thousand dollars for medical expenses. They also rendered a constitutionally valid unanimous verdict of four million dollars as compensation for the pain and the disfigurement and the emotional affliction Jeffrey Blum endured during his twelve  years of life prior to trial, as well as for all the injury he will suffer for the remainder of his life. The jury also awarded fifteen million dollars in punitive damages. Following this verdict, damages for delay pursuant to Rule 238 were awarded in the amount of four million, nine hundred eighteen, one hundred forty seven dollars ($ 4,918,147.00).

So, let's put this into some sort of context. Two trials, both ruling in favour of the Blum family, both awarding damages. What did Merrell Dow do next?

Well, this is where it gets all legal.

Merrell Dow sought a Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict; or, in the alternative, a new trial.

I had to do some research on this as I wasn't quite sure what it meant.

In layman's terms it means they are saying, in US football terms, that the jury’s decision is not rational, outside the 10-yard lines, so the judge needs to weigh in and bring it back in line.  Normally, there is some issue of law that the jury disregarded and the party unhappy with the verdict frames their motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict around that issue of law.

There were lots of points of law raised and, sadly, the outcome was not favourable for the Blum family. The verdict was reversed with instructions to the trial court to enter that judgment in favor of Merrell Dow.

At this point, I think I should mention the severity of clubfeet, or at the very least show a picture of what clubfeet looks like.

Here's an image of a relatively newborn child with clubfeet.

The plaintiff in the above case, Jeffrey Blum, required eleven surgical procedures in thirteen years.

Now, moving on to the Twitter correspondence with  Duchesnay's market analyst, Danny Martel.

Martel had decided to join in on a thread of discussion regarding Kim Kardashian's promotion of Diclegis. I do like to debate with pharmaceutical employees, even market analysts. You'll note Martel's insistence that I should "educate" myself.

Bizarrely, Martel entered into debate then removed all of his comments. Fortunately, for me at least, I saved the comments.

One thing that I find rather irksome of pharmaceutical companies is their inability to give straight answers. Martel, as you will see, was kind of evasive when I pushed him for an answer (personal answer) on whether or not he could confirm, for the record, that Diclegis cannot cause birth defects. This is where we see pharmaceutical companies and medicine regulators form 'as one'.

Here's the conversation.

Click to enlarge

It appeared that Martel could not, or just would not, commit himself to giving me a personal answer (for the record)

I flicked him a message after I learned he had removed the thread. Sadly, he never replied.

My issue here is, and has always been about informed consent. Just how much information did Duchesnay give to Kim Kardashian. Did Kardashian ask the same question that I did, if not, why not?

FDA approved Diclegis (Duchesnay Inc.) carries the same compounds as Bendectin, a drug that was voluntary removed from the market thirty years ago.


As the story of the thalidomide debacle unfolded, the FDA decided to look through its files to see if they had any adverse reactions reported that bore any resemblance to those of the thalidomide side effects. They found four that bore a striking similarity.

  • Infant born 1/15/61 Missing left thumb and right thumb. Club foot and heart disorders.
  • Infant born 12/22/60. Absence of left arm, some metarsus varus of the left leg, left side of face flattened, both hands missing index fingers, bilateral club foot.
  • Infant born 5/10/62 Nasal bone with no )airway. Fibulars missing from both legs, no knee caps or ankle bones, red mark on forehead between eyes.
  • Infant died 4/10/62 Atresia of extremities, imperforate anus

All four reports came via mothers who had taken Bendectin during their pregnancies.

I think it only fair that someone as uneducated as I should offer balance.

Bob Fiddaman.

Back story

Kim Kardashian on the Pharma Payroll


Diclectin and the Redacted Adverse Events

Is It Just Kim Kardashian on the Duchesnay Payroll?

Kim Kardashian on the Pharma Payroll

I've mentioned in the past about celebrities having a duty to highlight unsafe drugs, opposed to promoting them - the latest celebrity to join the pharma payroll is Kim Kardashian.

Okay, I've heard her name mentioned over the years but had to Google her to see if she was an actress or singer. It turns out she's famous for, um, knowing other celebrities.

Her Instagram account has caused quite a stir since she uploaded a photograph of herself clutching a bottle of pills called Diclegis. Her accompanying comment (if, indeed, it was her that wrote it) reads...

OMG. Have you heard about this? As you guys know my #morningsickness has been pretty bad. I tried changing things about my lifestyle, like my diet, but nothing helped, so I talked to my doctor. He prescribed me #Diclegis, I felt a lot better and most importantly, it’s been studied and there was no increased risk to the baby. I’m so excited and happy with my results that I’m partnering with Duchesnay USA to raise awareness about treating morning sickness. If you have morning sickness, be safe and sure to ask your doctor about the pill with the pregnant woman on it and find out more;

What Kardashian fails to mention is that the compounds that make up Diclegis, namely the combination of pyridoxine and doxylamine, were pulled from the market in 1983. Pyridoxine/doxylamine was first marketed in the U.S. in 1956, back then it was branded as Bendectin (Debendox in the UK). It was developed in the mid-1950s by the Wm. S. Merrell Company of Cincinnati, Ohio and was aimed to help with nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

Wm. S. Merrell Company and the thalidomide link.

This from Betty Mekdeci, who is  Executive Director Birth Defect Research for Children.

Merrell filed a new drug application for Bendectin in June 1956. This NDA was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in just 28 days. 
In January 1959, the Merrell Company obtained the exclusive rights to market another drug.Thalidomide had been developed by a West German pharmaceutical company. It was rapidly gaining popularity all over Europe as a "safe" sedative. Thalidomide was also included in some 50 over-the-counter products used for everything from colds and flu to the morning sickness of pregnancy. 
Four months after obtaining the license for thalidomide from its German manufacturer, Richardson Merrell began testing the drug by distributing 2,528,412 thalidomide tablets to 1,267 private physicians who gave them to 20,000 patients. At the same time these human studies were underway, the company also began animal testing. Although one of the indications for thalidomide was nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, no specific tests were done to look for possible adverse effects to the developing fetus. 
Dr. Frances Kelsey was the medical officer at the Food and Drug Administration who was assigned to review Merrell's New Drug Application for thalidomide. She was not fully satisfied with the data that had been submitted on the drug so she proceeded with the review process very cautiously." 
The first reports of problems with thalidomide reached the FDA in 1961. A letter in the British Medical Journal warned of a possible toxic hazard with the new sedative involving peripheral neuritis, a serious nervous disorder, in patients who had received the drug for more than six months. This information was enough for Dr. Kelsey to delay her approval of thalidomide's New Drug Application, a decision that was to save untold thousands of American children from tragedy.

As the story of the thalidomide debacle unfolded, the FDA decided to look through its files to see if they had any adverse reactions reported that bore any resemblance to those of the thalidomide side effects. They found four that bore a striking similarity.

  • Infant born 1/15/61 Missing left thumb and right thumb. Club foot and heart disorders.
  • Infant born 12/22/60. Absence of left arm, some metarsus varus of the left leg, left side of face flattened, both hands missing index fingers, bilateral club foot.
  • Infant born 5/10/62 Nasal bone with no )airway. Fibulars missing from both legs, no knee caps or ankle bones, red mark on forehead between eyes.
  • Infant died 4/10/62 Atresia of extremities, imperforate anus

All four reports came via mothers who had taken Bendectin during their pregnancies.

(Source - Bendectin - How a Commonly Used Drug Caused Birth Defects - Part One
by Betty Mekdeci Executive Director Birth Defect Research for Children)

In 1983 Bendectin was removed from the market voluntarily by its maker, the Merrell Company.

Skip forward 30 years to 2013. The FDA, in their infinite wisdom, granted a licence to Diclegis, a drug used for the same indication as what Bendectin was. A drug that featured the same compounds as Bendectin, in fact the only difference is that brand name of the drug.

And now, it seems, that Duchesnay Inc, the Canadian based pharmaceutical company who manufacture Diclegis, have employed the services of Kim Kardashian to promote their drug.

Kardashian, isn't short of money so it beggars belief why she would choose to promote this drug. Surely she was given professional advice on this and didn't go into this financial deal blindfolded? Her husband, Kayne West, has recently been in the news for his bizarre behaviour at award ceremonies and for outlandish statements in front of British rock fans who flocked to see him at Glastonbury a couple of weeks ago.

Promoting drugs when you haven't really looked into the history of those drugs is, in my opinion, totally irresponsible, particularly when you have millions of adoring fans, many of whom are women of child bearing years. Duchesnay Inc know an opportunity when they see one.

I doubt if Kardashian will bother to read the thousands of Tweets she has received since promoting a pharmaceutical product. Why would the heavy criticism bother her when she can count the dollars.

To be honest I find these types of celebrities sickening. Kardashian should do the right thing and pull away from Duchesnay Inc - maybe she could then devote her time and celebrity status to a more worthy cause, like supporting the mothers who have given birth to babies with birth defects, or aborted fetuses because of birth defects due to taking prescription medications.

I'm not holding my breath.

Bob Fiddaman.

Related reading

When Pharma Use the Defence of the FDA

Diclectin and the Redacted Adverse Events

Is It Just Kim Kardashian on the Duchesnay Payroll?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Celebrity Worship Syndrome

Just a general rant. It's been a while since I let off some steam.

I'm sat listening to music via earplugs hooked up to my laptop, different genres. Music lifts me, sends me to places where there's no suicides of kids (and adults) to contend with, no attorneys fighting the corner of big pharma (when they know full well that their client is guilty as sin)

I guess this rant is about the change in opinion about antidepressants, mental illnesses, pharmaceutical companies, psychiatrists and medicine regulators. I rarely rant about all of them together.

I've been writing this blog for over 9 years (10 years next April) and I've made many friends, some I've met, others I've kept in touch with via emails, Skype etc.

I've seen blogs appear, then disappear, or lay dormant. I can't blame those bloggers for giving up, I've thought about it myself many times but, after "time out" I always come back. I feel it would be difficult to not write about pharma, their misdemeanors and those they harm with their drugs are, like it or not, part of my life.

I was asked last night if I get scared, given that I am going up against such an unscrupulous foe. My answer was 'no'. I don't think the likes of GlaxoSmithKline (whom take up more space on this blog than any other pharmaceutical company) would ever wish or cause harm to a blogger who is critical of their business. If they did, then they'd look like bigger criminals than they already are (if that's possible)

I'm fully aware how powerful GSK are, fully aware that they can, in litigation, dangle carrots in front of their victims (or families of victims). They make out they are settling to avoid cost of litigation but, in truth, we all know they are settling because it will keep the plaintiff quiet and avoid further litigation against them.

Have I seen a change in GSK during the 9 years I've been writing this blog? Not really, in fact over the last nine years their sordid history has become more evident, partly because of the record breaking fine of $3 billion handed down to them by the Department of Justice.

Admittedly, GSK has a better smell about it now Andrew Witty is in charge. His predecessor, JP Garnier, left behind strategically placed turds along the corridors of GSK Headquarters across the globe. Witty, in the main, has been scooping the poop left behind from the Frenchman.


I've had much correspondence with the British drug regulator over the years. There was a stage where I actually thought we could work together, particularly with regard to their yellow card reporting system. I met with their media guy a couple of times, then later with the media guy's manager. Both have now left the MHRA. I even met with MHRA CEO, Kent Woods, he too left the MHRA.

The current CEO is Dr Ian Hudson. He is the former World Safety Officer for SmithKline Beecham, who later became GSK. I have no intention of ever meeting him - it would be one of those meetings that would be vomit inducing considering Hudson's defence of Seroxat.

The MHRA haven't really changed - but public opinion of them has. They still profess that they regulate drugs and look out for signs of danger in the drugs you and I take - It's difficult to say that they are doing a good job... because they're not.


In general psychiatry has been in the spotlight quite a lot during the years I've been writing this blog. I think the public perception of psychiatrists has changed and I think many psychiatrists have actually questioned the illnesses they treat and the drugs they prescribe to treat those illnesses. There's still a lot of psychiatrists out there who like to think that they are God, it's a delusion that has grown on individuals - it rides on their coat-tails of denial and their reluctance to acknowledge that the person sitting in front of them, be they man, woman or child, are actually human beings and not trial guinea pigs. I'm not really fond of psychiatrists, well not the ones who refuse to believe antidepressants can induce horrific withdrawal, suicide and homicide,

It is, however, good to see the public perception of psychiatrists change.

It would be great if I could report that since the conception of this blog antidepressant use had fallen, sadly it's the reverse. Antidepressant use has increased - in other words, during the last nine years or so there are more people with mental illnesses. Hardly surprising when you look at some of the newer brain diseases that have emerged (backed with no science and all based on theory). A list of these apparent disorders can be found in the  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)

Mental disorders such as Adolescent antisocial behavior, Avoidant personality disorder, Borderline intellectual functioning and Celebrity worship syndrome. Yup, that last one is actually a mental disease folks - back in my day it was known as infatuation.

Here's what the 'experts' say about it...

In research published in the British Journal of Psychology, psychologists established a "sliding scale" of celebrity worship -- one in which the devoted fan becomes increasingly hooked into the object of their attention, until their feelings begin to resemble addiction.

In another study with more than 600 people, psychologists found that about a third qualified for a condition they coined "celebrity worship syndrome" -- a condition wherein, at its most severe, the object of our worship becomes the central figure in our lives.

That's me buggered then!

So, it appears being a fan of a music artist, movie star or sports star can now, in some cases, be deemed as a mental disorder. All those teen girls with boy band posters on their bedroom walls are, if you believe in the word of psychiatry, suffering from Celebrity worship syndrome.

Um, aren't they just being kids going through a phase, just as we all did when we were young?

Okay, there are some adults obsessed, I've seen them fairly recently. AC/DC are on tour and there are many thousands following them around Europe for all of their shows. If I had the money I'd probably be with them (even though the Wembley gig was a disappointment)

Music, sport and movies are a chance for us mere mortals to switch off from the outside world and, it appears, if we believe in the word of some of these white-coated buffons, that watching too much of one particular star equates to us having a brain disease.

Doncha just love these morons!

I wonder what the celebrities think about this?

I'll let you all know when Shania gets back from Bingo.

Bob Fiddaman

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Misuse of Abilify and Risperdal

I was recently contacted (via the comments section) by a mother who lost her son, Paul Victorian, due to, what she claims, was a result of being prescribed two very powerful medications, namely, Risperdal (Johnson & Johnson) and Abilify (Bristol-Myers Squibb Company)

Paul Gerard Victorian Jr was just 25 when he passed away on February 22, 2013. Cause of death, according to his mom, Tina, was cardiac arrest which, she believes, was caused by the medication he was taking prior to his death.

Tina has been at loggerheads with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and has been trying to get answers to the type of questions we all should be asking.

It's painful to read but we, as humans with empathy, should not shirk our responsibilities just because this is someone else's child.

Tina writes...

"Only thing I know for sure is that my one and only son passed from a cardiac arrest on 30mg of Abilify. He didn’t have a heart disease, his heart was normal. He just had a complete Physical January 17, 2013 and he passed away February 22, 2013. Thirty two days later. I’m in pain. Most family went to visit there kids at there homes this Christmas, I went to Rockville Cemetery Row 2, Plot 1 on Campi Ave to spend Christmas with my one and only son. The crazy thing that we noticed is that the ground where his casket lays haven’t settled into the earth yet, my husband said it’s because Paul’s case/death isn’t settled. I promised Paul at his casket that mom was going to make this right, He didn’t have a voice but I, going to speak for him.I been trying to seek help since February 23, 2013 even before my baby was laid to rest trying to seek help."

Emails to the FDA and various other organisations have, it seems, proved fruitless. I know the feeling of frustration Tina must be feeling. Medicine regulators are notorious for giving people, and patients, the runaround.

As you can imagine, her online story regarding her son's death is fast-moving and packs a punch, it also pulls at the heart strings.

At present, I'm trying to make contact with Tina to put everything into one simple format. Hopefully, she will respond as I would love to share her story with readers of this blog.

Meantime, she has a blog and has come out fighting against the system that, seemingly, failed her son.

Her blog can be found here, it's harrowing but, hey, I've not found a pharmaceutical company or medicine regulator yet who can throw out any form of light to guide us, in fact, most of the stuff they regurgitate is surrounded by darkness.

Her story needs sharing and she needs support. I urge all the mothers and fathers out there to reach out to this woman, the same mothers and fathers who, over the years, I have met and listened to regarding the deaths of their children. You will know, more than I, what this tortured soul is going through right now, you will feel the pain and the frustration much more than someone like me who just writes about these kind of stories then has the ability (at times) to switch off and sleep.

Bob Fiddaman.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Who Regulates the Patients?

Shocking news earlier today that over 30,000 people with learning disabilities and autism are being wrongly prescribed antipsychotics and antidepressants. The news has prompted health officials to say that urgent action is promised.

The National Health Service (NHS) were quoted in the Telgraph article as saying, " was completely unacceptable that vulnerable people were being left on the drugs for years, without proper checks to see if the medication was suitable."

The Telegraph also report that...

In recent years there has been concern about the use of antipsychotic drugs for patients with dementia, with research showing the medication can increase the risks of stroke and death.
The new research led by Public Health England (PHE) estimates that up to 35,000 adults with a learning disability or autism are being prescribed an anti-psychotic, an anti-depressant or both without appropriate clinical justification 
Some children were also being put on unsuitable drugs, the audit of GPs’ prescribing found. 
The review established that 58 per cent of adults receiving anti-psychotics and 32 per cent of those receiving anti-depressants had no relevant diagnosis recorded.

Hello, earth calling the MHRA.

The MHRA, if you didn't know, are the British medicine regulator who, through my own experience of them, shirk any responsibility whatsoever when it comes to looking after the British public where psychiatric medicine is concerned. One only has to look at their reluctance to speak out about the dangers of SSRi medications, opting instead to give SSRi's a clean bill of health after forming apparent "expert" advisory committees.

So, do we blame the medicine regulator or do we blame the doctors prescribing these meds to the elderly, young and disabled?

That's the age-old question and one that repeatedly gets batted around from pillar to post with nobody really knowing what the answer is.

I'll spell it out for you.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency regulates medicines and medical devices in the UK. They proudly boast that they are "recognised globally as an authority in its field" and that they "play a leading role in protecting and improving public health."

Earlier this week the MHRA promoted, through various social networking websites, the launch of the new app for Yellow Card reporting. It's a good move but I don't really think they have thought things through, particularly with news that over 30,000 people have been wrongly prescribed mind-altering drugs.

The new Yellow card app, claim the MHRA, is an "app that allows patients, carers and healthcare professionals to report side effects directly to the Yellow Card Scheme to help MHRA ensure they are acceptably safe for patients."

The app will also enable users to...

  • create a ‘watch list’ of medications to receive official news and alerts on
  • view numbers of Yellow Cards received by MHRA for medicines of interest
  • see immediate response that shows Yellow Card has been accepted
  • submit updates to Yellow Cards already submitted
  • view previous Yellow Cards submitted through the app
Nice to see the old-timers spring into the 21st century.

If you are a user of the app then expect lengthy delays on finding answers to whether or not your medication can cause suicidal thoughts and severe withdrawal effects. Also, don't expect any help if you are, indeed, addicted to your medication - The MHRA won't/can't help you on that front. They will, just like the manufacturer of the said drug, refer you back to your doctor.... and so the psychle (misspelling intended) continues. Oh, and any news alerts on drugs will be straight from the mouth of pharmaceutical companies so take these alerts with a pinch of salt. Let's face it, pharmaceutical companies don't really have a great history of telling the truth, do they?

Am I right to blame the MHRA for these latest figures?

Let's look at it again.

Over 30,000 people with learning disabilities and autism are being wrongly prescribed antipsychotics and antidepressants!

And how, may I ask, do the MHRA propose that these 30,000 download, let alone use their app?

Do the MHRA know exactly what it's like to experience psychiatric medicinal torture? You can, at times, barely get out of bed. Do the MHRA think for one minute that the 30,000 over-prescribed these mind-altering drugs will get help from the very same doctors who wrongly prescribed them the drugs?

Here we have a bunch of people with learning difficulties (I'm on about the 30,000 and not the MHRA) - If life wasn't bad enough for them, health professionals make it even more difficult by adding a chemical cosh.

Since when did learning disabilities fall under the banner of having a brain disease?

The MHRA claim that they "play a leading role in protecting and improving public health." (Insert laughter here)

So, one would expect that this latest news would have had some input from the MHRA, correct?


The research was led by Public Health England (PHE)

For years the MHRA have known that children are being prescribed antipsychotics and antidepressants, they claim that these are, at times, prescribed off-label and many of the drugs aren't meant for children.

Tell us something we don't know!

Point is, what are they doing about it? In a word, nothing.

So, these latest figures from PHE will, no doubt, cause quite a stir. The MHRA will blame the doctors, in turn, the doctors will blame a lack of alternative options. Meantime, during this passing the buck of responsibility game, patients with learning difficulties will be silenced and dumbed-down with drugs that have, for years, been prescribed to children who have suffered at the hands of them.

Who is looking out for these kids and adults with learning disabilities?

It's bad enough that the medical profession and regulators treat learning disabilities with such disdain. It's as if they are the dog shit on the bottom of healthcare professional and MHRA's boots.

"Silence Them!"

Meantime, the MHRA continue to backslap themselves for creating an app, that should have been created many years ago, I mean, apps have been around for years, haven't they?

If the MHRA really wanted to gain public support then they should step into the arena and stop pussy-footing around and buck-passing.

The Telegraph article, 'More than 30,000 people with autism and learning disabilities 'under the chemical cosh', can be read, in full, here.

Bob Fiddaman.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Jake's Amendment

An amendment to to the Coroners Bill is being put forward in Ireland later this week on behalf of a Stephanie McGill Lynch who believes her 14 year-old son, Jake (pictured) took his own life as a result of induced psychosis caused by the controversial antidepressant Prozac.

Stephanie, who wrote a guest post on my blog back in May, is hoping that 'Jake's amendment', which she drafted, will give coroners the option of a returning a verdict of  'Iatrogenic suicide'  or 'medically induced' suicide. As it stands, Coroners can return an 'open verdict'. The verdict means that the jury confirms that the death is suspicious but is unable to reach any of the other verdicts open to them.

This amendment will, no doubt, face opposition from pharmaceutical companies, particularly those who market and manufacture antidepressants. No doubt too, leading psychiatrists will have something to say about the amendment, probably along the lines of "the amendment may stop patients taking their medication."

Um, yup, isn't that the whole point?

Pharmaceutical companies and psychiatrists work hand-in-hand and any attempt at undermining them is usually met with stiff opposition

I think this is a brave move and, if implemented, could release the ball and chain currently around the necks of Coroners. They, just like medicine regulators, have a duty to protect the public from unsafe drugs, they also have a duty to give the dead a voice in the hope that that 'voice' may save other lives.

My hat is off to Stephanie on this - it's a bold move and one that will cause eruptions within the field of the pro-antidepressant brigade.

The amendment is being presented to the Dáil, on behalf of Stephanie, by SinnFein's Padraig Mac Lochlainn.

Fingers crossed that common sense prevails.

Bob Fiddaman.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Psychiatry Journal Clutching At Straws

Hey you?

Who, me?

Yeh, who did you think I was talking to?

I'm sorry, who are you?

I'm you, we are but one.

Oh, okay, let's smoke.

I don't mean to make light of schizophrenia, I'll leave that to the Lancet Psychiatry Journal, who have recently published a study - um, a theory, on the association between smoking and schizophrenia.

When the story appeared on my Facebook timeline I had to do a double-take. What were the white-coated lunatics trying to blame mental illness on now, I thought?

Well, it appears that yet another theory has been put forward. The chemical imbalance theory, which psychiatry relied on so heavily has now been debunked so many times that the field of psychiatry have to come up with another causation for mental illness.

Create a study, add what looks like a scientific protocol, ie, a series of confusing maths, and Voila! A new cause is created.

I do laugh at some of the nonsense - um, nonscience, published in the Lancet. It's quickly becoming one of my choices of light-hearted reading, the first two choices being The Beano and The Dandy.

The British arm of the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) sum it all up quite eloquently in a post entitled, 'Psychiatrists can’t even define ‘schizophrenia’'.

"There can be no doubt that people do experience problems and upsets in life that may result in mental troubles, sometimes very serious, but to represent that these troubles are caused by incurable “brain diseases” that can only be alleviated with dangerous drugs is dishonest, harmful and often deadly. Neuroleptic (nerve-seizing) drugs, used to treat schizophrenia, cause damage to the body’s nervous system and result in permanent impairment, even death."

I couldn't agree more. To me it seems as though the white-coated lunatics are running out of ideas, remember, this is the same profession who, years ago, would have drilled a hole in the side of your head if you told them you were hearing voices.

Nothing has changed really. Okay, no drilling but plenty of brain altering drugs dished out to cure or 'help' control the illness that the field of psychiatry put a badge to (labelled) many years ago.

I am of the impression that these studies, um theories, are designed just to test the water, just to see how far psychiatry can go without a public backlash. It amazes me that people can't see through this latest attempt at pushing more drugs.

Think about it for just one minute folks.

Scare people into thinking that smoking can cause a brain disorder - those same people (addicted to nicotine) may seek help.

**Psychiatrist hands them Zyban (GSK) a smoking cessation drug that is really an antidepressant (Wellbutrin) or maybe offer them Champix (Pfizer), another smoking cessation drug, this one has been the subject of inducing suicidal thoughts for years.

The scam continues, folks.

One of the study authors, James MacCabe, a physician at King College’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, said, "While it is always hard to determine the direction of causality, our findings indicate that smoking should be taken seriously as a possible risk factor for developing psychosis, and not dismissed simply as a consequence of the illness."

Apparently he was under no influence of hallucinogenics when he made that statement.

Hopefully, the Lancet will soon be sold in my local shop, it's so hilariously entertaining that I, sometimes wet myself whilst reading it. (Impulse Control Disorder)

This story was brought to you by Benson & Hedges and Marlboro.

Bob Fiddaman.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

GSK's Mark Reilly and the Word, 'Opaque'

I'm somewhat confused.

I had to check out the word 'transparency' and then seek the opposite of that word.

Opaquenot able to be seen through; not transparent.

Okay, so now I understand.

So, would it be safe to suggest that Mark Reilly, the former boss of GlaxoSmithKline in China, was being Opaque when he first met and spoke with the private investigator he hired to look into whistleblower allegations?

Here's where the confusion, for me at least, comes back again.

An article appeared today in The Sunday Times. It's a fascinating read and digs a little deeper into the whole GSK Chinagate scandal. (It's subscription only but can be read courtesy of The Truthman blog - here)

See if you, like me, are confused.

GSK’s troubles began in the autumn of 2012 when a whistleblower contacted the Chinese pharmaceutical regulators alleging massive bribery and corruption by the company’s sales force in China. 
Mark Reilly, GSK’s country manager for China, hired Humphrey to investigate the source of the complaints, telling him the allegations were “false and defamatory”.

Now, lets take a look at The Guardian's coverage of the trial of Mark Reilly.

The British former boss of GlaxoSmithKline in China will be deported back to the UK after pleading guilty to bribery-related charges and being handed a three-year suspended prison sentence.

You can understand my confusion here, right?

Would it be false or defamatory to call Mark Reilly a liar?

Just asking.

Bob Fiddaman.

Related - The Penny Drops for GSK's Private Investigator.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Penny Drops for GSK's Private Investigator.

GSK's former hired private investigator, Peter Humphrey, has hit the nail firmly on the head in a recent interview with the BBC.

Humphrey and his wife, Yu Yingzeng, were  released from a Chinese prison early last month after each serving close to two years, a sentence that was based on charges of "illegally obtaining private information." 

Humphrey is now back in the UK after being deported from China and, it seems, he is ticked off at GSK.

Humphrey was hired by GSK after top bosses had received a series of anonymous emails alleging corruption within its Chinese business. Claims of bribery were sent to government agencies around China where it was alleged that the corruption was rife and that GSK senior management had endorsed it.

One such manager was Mark Reilly who, ironically, was the centre of investigation for Humphrey when he was called upon by Glaxo bosses.

GSK and Reilly were subsequently fined, Reilly was deported back to the UK and, unlike Humphrey and Yingzeng, was spared prison time.

I covered the whole Chinagate scandal extensively on this blog and, at first, I had little sympathy for Humphrey. Yet as the story unfolded it became obvious, to me at least, that Humphrey and his wife were being used by GSK. Humphrey now, it seems, is thinking along those same lines.

In an exclusive interview with the BBC, Humphrey said, “Someone asked me recently why someone like Mark Reilly (GSK China’s boss) could be set free and we were in jail. I think it’s very simple, we don’t have half a billion dollars. That story was about money from the beginning. Money got them into trouble and money got him (Reilly) out.”

Bingo, Mr Humphrey!

I think that statement from Humphrey pretty much sums up how GlaxoSmithKline have operated throughout the years. One only has to look at the recent $3 billion dollar fine imposed on GSK after they pleaded guilty to a series of fraudulent misdemeanors in the United States. Those misdemeanors were based around GSK wanting more money (via illegal promotion of drugs and backhanders to healthcare professionals) - All that money spent meant a bigger return for GSK. And what got GSK out of trouble? Well, once again it was money. A $3 billion fine and, once again, no jail time.

Litigation against GSK in the states has seen them payout billions of dollars in settlements. It works for GSK because that's what litigation is all about - it's about both parties resolving matters and not about one party being punished.

So, now we have Peter Humphrey who has had a taste of GSK, a bitter taste that saw him serve almost two years in prison. (13 months of those two years had been spent on remand at Shanghai’s Pudong District Detention House)

Who has committed the bigger crime here?

Humphrey was incarcerated because he, or rather the business, ChinaWhys, owned by he and his wife, had purchased mobile phone records, customs information and household registration details over a four-year period. This is similar to companies obtaining information about you and I without our consent. It's modern day business and is very common. One only has to subscribe to a website to see how this works. Sign up to any major website and all of a sudden you may receive emails from companies that you have never heard of. In a nutshell, the information you provided when subscribing has been passed on (for a price). It's marketing at work in the same way that you get cold-callers offering the latest in kitchen units or double glazed window offers. Your phone number has been sold to these cold-calling companies.

Okay, it's an annoyance but did it really warrant two years in a rat infested prison?

As for GSK, well, their crime wasn't selling or obtaining information but, when you dig deep, you will find that GSK and other pharmaceutical companies know exactly the prescribing habits of doctors - they know what he/she prescribes and how often they prescribe it. Isn't this similar to the crime Humphrey and Yingzeng were incarcerated for?

Here's what GSK were fined for in China (remember, no jail time was served)

In September, last year, GSK were handed down a fine of $489 million by Chinese authorities for paying bribes to doctors to use its drugs. In a written apology GSK wrote, "GSK Plc has reflected deeply and learned from its mistakes, has taken steps to comprehensively rectify the issues identified at the operations of GSKCI, and must work hard to regain the trust of the Chinese people."

Here's the interesting bit. GSK's future commitments in China include investment in Chinese science and improved access to medicines across the country through greater expansion of production and flexible pricing.

The words "Secret Deal" spring to mind.

Here we have a company that were found guilty of funneling millions of dollars to travel agencies to facilitate bribes to doctors and officials.

Basically, GSK  funneled over $400 million through 700 travel agencies and consultancies across China - this means that GSK created  fake "conference services" as expenditure, the money was then used to bribe doctors. The case against GSK involved many staff, with bribes offered to Chinese government officials, medical associations, hospitals and doctors. All of the above was overseen by GSK's Mark Reilly.

Jail time for Humphrey and his wife. Slap on the wrist for Mark Reilly.

Yeh, that kinda makes sense, right?

If Peter Humphrey has any evidence that GSK defrauded the US government via its Chinese business then he has a potential whistleblower suit in the making. Let's hope both Humphrey and his wife find Karma.

Bob Fiddaman

The full BBC interview with Peter Humphrey can be viewed here.

**Hat-tip - Truthman Blog**


Glaxo - The Sex Tape Scandal

GSK's Mark Reilly Accused of Running a "massive bribery network"

I'm Just a Blogger - Here's GSK Served on Prawn Crackers

GSK Hiked Product Prices to Fund Bribery Scam

GSK's Sales Reps Want Their Money Back

GSK's Private Investigator [The Video]

Peter Humphrey's 2012 Presentation - Pharma Bribery

GSK's Chinese Whispers and David Cameron

“GSK were really cagey", Claims Whitehall Official.

Glaxo Hire Ropes & Gray to Delve Into its Chinese Operations.

GSK CHINA - Bribery was Rife 13 Years Ago

Witty Plays Down China Scandal

Witty Witty Bang Wang. The Glaxo Gangbang...Allegedly

Book Your Holidays With GSK Travel

Andrew Witty... I know narrrrrrrrthing

Please contact me if you would like a guest post considered for publication on my blog.