doctor's faith in Big Pharma shattered after Glaxo's latest scams
in Forbes magazine, Yale cardiologist Harlan Krumholz notes that in spite
of his desire to believe in the good intentions of the pharmaceutical industry,
the actions of companies such as GlaxoSmithKline continue to disappoint
want to believe in America's pharmaceutical companies," Krumholz wrote
on Feb.25. "I want to believe that people in these companies believe
that the best strategy for success is to do what is best for patients. I
want to believe that they are interested in scientific truth and eager to
know of any safety issues and ready to share that information with the public.
week I was disappointed again."
was referring to a report, issued by the Senate Finance Committee, concluding
that even as Glaxo scientists were voicing warnings about the safety of
the blockbuster diabetes drug Avandia, the company was taking aggressive
measures to discredit critics who publicly raised similar concerns.
pages of the Senate report read like a spy novel: Glaxo receiving confidential
documents leaked by a sympathetic academic who consulted for the company;
the company embarking on a campaign to intimidate critics who warned about
potential safety issues with the drug; and executives pulling strings to
release data early from a scientific study that was supposedly controlled
by an 'independent' committee of researchers," Krumholz said.
report drew on more than 250,000 internal company documents.
article, Krumholz calls for an end to secrecy and intimidation in pharmaceutical
research. He calls for all studies conducted on a drug to be made public
for independent review once that drug secures FDA approval. He calls for
an end to company interference in the studies they finance, and an end to
intimidation of academics who question drugs' safety.
free flow of information about the effects of drugs . . . will best serve
the public's interest," he concludes.
Gutierrez, staff writer
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