Glaxo threatens US lawyers over Avandia ads

Ed Silverman at Pharmalot is running this item.

It seems that Glaxo has sent a “small number” of letters demanding lawyers pull ads they say are making false or misleading claims about links between its diabetes med Avandia and heart attacks. “Lawyers have a right to advertise, but they have to play by the rules just like we do.” Chris Viehbacher, president of Glaxo’s U.S. unit, tells Bloomberg News.

The letter sent by the Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton contends that the plaintiffs firm’s ads “are actionable” because they imbue the study with “a definitive, conclusory quality.” A recent study in The New England Journal of Medicine found Avandia users were 43 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those taking other diabetes meds.

Perhaps someone at Pepper Hamilton could explain to me just what Chris Viehbacher means by claiming that Glaxo plays by the rules… I know you guys look in here regularly, so please enlighten me.

Maybe some of you recall Study 329?

You know the one – in a 1998 confidential memo Glaxo said about Seroxat and Study 329 “… the data do not support a label claim for the treatment of Adolescent Depression… efficacy had not been demonstrated.”

However by 2001, in a memo to sales reps Glaxo said about Seroxat and Study 329 Marty Keller’s cutting edge, landmark study which was the first to compare efficacy of an SSRI and a TCA with placebo in the treatment of major depression in adolescents. Paxil demonstrates REMARKABLE Efficacy and Safety in the treatment of adolescent depression.”

Same study, same results, same drug…

So, Chris, tell me again about playing by the rules, why don’t you?

2 Responses to “Glaxo threatens US lawyers over Avandia ads”

  1. Matthew Holford Says:

    “definitive” and “conclusory”? Dear God! Why don’t these fuckers learn to speak english? You’d think a lawyer would know that “conclusory” means something along the lines of “convincing, but not excluding contradiction,” wouldn’t you? How can something be “definitive” and capable of contradiction, at the same time? And if it is capable of contradiction, then why would one concerns oneself over it?

    Perhaps if you somebody from Pepper Hamilton calls in, they’ll explain?

    Matt

  2. BOB FIDDAMAN Says:

    “Lawyers have a right to advertise, but they have to play by the rules just like we do.” Chris Viehbacher, president of Glaxo’s U.S.

    RULE 1. Invent a disease
    RULE 2. Invent a drug for disease
    RULE 3. Ignore the warning signs during the clinical trials
    RULE 4. Spin
    RULE 5. Denial

    Fid


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