A very interesting answer to a Freedom of information request from Bob Fiddaman.
In the recent 4 year long investigation into Glaxo by the MHRA (the probe began after disclosure that Glaxo withheld data from Seroxat clinical trials), it was announced by the MHRA that Glaxo and individual Glaxo employees declined “invitations to attend interviews… but did provide three written witness statements – two on behalf of the drugmaker and one on behalf of an unnamed employee.
One of the questions Bob asked was this:
“Why were MHRA enforcement investigators unable to question GSK staff?”
The MHRA replied to him:
Under UK criminal law suspects in criminal investigations can not be compelled to answer questions, they have a right to remain silent. Lengthy negotiations were conducted with solicitors acting for individual members of GSK staff and for GSK itself with a view to persuading them to attend interviews under caution. The conclusion of the correspondence was that all the potential interviewees indicated that they would not attend an interview under caution.
The individual suspects (as opposed to the corporate entity GSK) could have been arrested and required to attend an interview under caution. However they could still not be compelled to answer questions and, given that their solicitors had clearly indicated that they would not answer questions, the investigation team concluded that there was nothing to gain by carrying out arrests.
So there you have it, in black and white. Glaxo employees simply decided not to co-operate with a criminal investigation into their actions and said they would not answer questions.
Good to know that Glaxo employees are serious about the safety profile of their drugs and are seen to be acting in best interests of us patients at all times.
I wonder why they decided not to co-operate?
I wonder who they are?