My previous post took you to the Panorama interactive forums… thanks to Truthman30 for this comment that set me thinking:
When asked by (pharmacology expert) Dr Andrew Herxheimer about why GSK had given no warning about the severe reactions from Seroxat despite knowing about it for 5 years…
Benbow replies… (and stumbles with)
“Seroxat has provided countless benefit to many people and enabled them to do more, live longer and feel better… and I think that speaks for itself…”
And my point is…?
Well, what annoys me greatly is that, when asked a direct question about the safety of Seroxat, Benbow’s answer was to ignore the question completely and attempt a reply using Glaxo’s corporate strapline (and he couldn’t even get that right!)
Search this phrase in Google “do more feel better and live longer” and you get 17,200,000 results… the VERY TOP one being…
“GSK.com is the corporate web site of GlaxoSmithKline, a leading healthcare company that helps people to do more, feel better and live longer.”
Glib, dismissive, superficial – yes ‘Dr’ Benbow, that’s what your reply was.
I’m reminded of a comment made by Professor Healy on the last Panorama programme ‘Secrets of the Drug Trials’.
He was talking about drug trials and scientific papers and said that so many were ghostwritten and drew conclusions that were at odds with the data that they couldn’t be considered scientific at all – they were nothing more than adverts for whichever drug company was footing the bill.
So when Benbow starts to use Glaxo’s corporate strapline to deflect a direct question about the safety of Seroxat, you have to wonder what other rubbish he came out with during the course of this discussion.
He wasn’t there to enter into a serious debate about the pros and cons of Seroxat – he was there as part of the sales and marketing department – part of a corporate damage limitation exercise.