Apotex and Toronto University

This story just seen on the Scientific Misconduct blog – a must read!

Here’s the situation:

You are Robert Prichard, the President of a University. The University of Toronto to be specific. There is chaos all around you caused by the attempt by Dr Olivieri to publish what she has found in a drug trial involving a big commercial company. Apotex to be specific. One academic, Gideon Koren is sending anonymous threatening correspondence to several other academics. You are caught in the middle of all of this.

You receive a letter. You suddenly realise who it is from. It’s Dr Bernard C Sherman PhD P. Eng (CEO of Apotex Inc)!

It begins: “As you know, Apotex has committed to donate to the University of Toronto $20 million for the new Medical Sciences Building, and Is close to finalizing an agreement to increase the donation to $55 million, which would also encompass a new building for the Faculty of Pharmacy and other projects. I am writing to advise you that Apotex is now confronted with an Impending force majeure, which, if not averted, will likely compel cancellation of our entire commitment to the University.”

Read on here – you won’t believe it.

I’m not sure what you would call the Apotex letter – maybe a suggestion – maybe a request – maybe lobbying – maybe blackmail – maybe a threat – maybe a command?

I just can’t make make up my mind – I’ll leave that to you…

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