When $3 Billion Means Jack

On July 2nd the New York Times reported that “in the largest settlement involving a pharmaceutical company, the British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay $3 billion in fines for promoting its best-selling antidepressants for unapproved uses and failing to report safety data about a top selling drug, federal prosecutors announced Monday.  The agreement also includes civil penalties for improper marketing of a half-dozen other drugs”.  The Nation blogged on August 7th that at the center of the push to market was “an article in a medical journal purporting to document the safety and efficacy of Paxil in treating depression in children.  The article listed more than twenty researchers as authors, including UCLA’s [Dr. David] Feinberg [Head of UCLA Hospital], but the Department of Justice found that Glaxo had paid for the drafting of the fradulent article to which the researchers had attached their names.”

Even with reports and research contradicting the fradulent article Plaxil went on sale in the United States in 1993.    Sales for that drug alone, between 1997 and 2005, totaled more than $11 billion.  The risk of the drug, increase thoughts of suicide in teenagers.

Really…?!?  This is an example of academia and business coming together for the benefit of common good?  I just heard a Stanford economics professor, promoting a recently published book, rant how America is headed down the toilet unless we get a new president in January.  Regardless of your politics should educators be allowed to profit from their teachings?  And is that appropriate, or at the very least questionable, in their role up front of the classroom building future leaders and thinkers?

None of the academics have been dealt with for their bogus reporting, while continuing to receive federal grant money for research.  And, as is always the case with our corporate do gooders that end up exhibiting very bad behavior, GlaxoSmithKline settled for $3 billion without admitting any guilt or wrongdoing. 

“Signed…An Educated Brother!”


About aneducatedbrother

Sharing the belief that education is not a business, and true academic reform is the only tide that will lift all boats.
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