Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Blumsohn is Right On Target

Attacking the small problems whilst the larger villainy remains uninvestigated and unpunished -- that's what the British regulatory agencies seem to be doing, to paraphrase a recent post from Dr. Aubrey Blumsohn. To that, I say trudat. Here's a snippet...
The emphasis on decorum and status explains why the BBC had to conduct it's own investigation [Link] of the worrying events surrounding clinical trials of the drug Seroxat and the company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) as the medicines regulator (the MHRA) simply dragged it's feet for years conducting an internal investigation of its own collusion with the deception. And to cap it all, key figures within the MHRA are previous employees of GSK.
Blumsohn points out that there sure is a lot of emphasis on style (i.e., oh, be nice and proper) as opposed to substance (um, this drug can be dangerous OR this professor is getting railroaded by the administration, etc.). Also, those in the highest roles of authority/"prestige" are off-limits -- they can do whatever they want without consequence. Do read his entire post -- it's well worth your time.

1 comment:

Fid said...

Just how do the sales team work at GlaxoSmithKline?

If something sells and makes you a lot of money do you just sit on it or do you think of ways to further increase sales. A classic example would be Premiership football. When a team win the title they don't sit and gloat, they go out and strengthen the team, they then 'up' the admission fee to the watching public. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it don't.

In 1998 GlaxoSmithKline issued a marketing strategy paper called 'Toward the Second Billion'. It suggested that people with common phobias could be persuaded to take Seroxat.

It raised concerns with Mental Health campaigners about how Pharmaceutical Companies market drugs and influence medical research.

In a clever multi-million pound spin phobias were renamed 'social anxiety disorders' thus enabling Seroxat to be prescribed for a whole host of symptoms. Basically, anyone that was low on self-esteem (confidence) were targeted. Symptoms such as:

Fear that everyone's attention is focused on them
Fear that they will make mistakes and everyone will notice
Feeling that everyone else is more capable in the same situation
Fear that they are being judged by others
Fear that they will embarrass or humiliate themselves in front of others

Fears that have been around since man learned to communicate and now, it seemed, ones that could be brushed aside by swallowing GSK's wonder drug, Seroxat.

Do we blame the GP's for handing out these drugs like sweets, do we blame the MHRA for allowing this manipulative marketing to be processed or do we blame GlaxoSmithKline for inventing disease purely to keep Seroxat on top of the Premiership?

The signs were abundantly clear from very early on that GlaxoSmithKline's money making drug, Seroxat, was being forced upon doctor's - in turn being forced upon the patient who was feeling down. The MHRA did what they did best - they just sat back and rubbed thier hands at the funding they would recieve from the likes of GlaxoSmithKline, hardly surprising with two ex-employees of GlaxoSmithKline now sitting on the agency at MHRA HQ, also hardly surprising that GlaxoSmithKline's spin doctor, Alistair Benbow, should robustly deny any problems with Seroxat when interviewed by the media. Alistair Breckenridge, of the MHRA, would also go on record promoting the use of Seroxat.

Attempts made by MP's to voice their concerns have been quoshed by GlaxoSmithKline with threatening letters - Paul Flynn, MP for Newport, tabled the following Early Day Motion earlier this year:

EDM 767
Flynn, Paul

That this House questions the propriety and courtesy of the action of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in writing to hon. Members with constituency interests in GSK urging them to oppose Motions for Early Day (EDMs) critical of their conduct, then denying originators of the EDMs details of the content of their messages when requested.

GlaxoSmithKline can threaten MP's but they cannot threaten the common man who has nothing to lose, one that has lost pretty much everything already because of the drug they manufactured and continue to tout as a safe drug.

Collectively, blogs such as 'SEROXAT SUFFERERS' and the anonymous 'SEROXAT SECRETS' can make a change and their authors can sleep soundly at night in the knowledge that GlaxoSmithKline will one day NOT be able to throw money at lawsuits. They will eventually come across individuals who refuse to take the money and run. That day is fast approaching