I'm not talking about BP pretending to have a plan for a catastrophic oil spill when they didn't.
I'm not talking about Walgreen's implementing a new pharmacy paradigm that a good number of its employees say leads to more prescription errors.
I'm talking about ignoring the fact that people's hearts are stopping because looking the other way as the EKG flatlines is in the interest of the corporate bottom line.
Deliberately dead. That's what I'm talking about.
Hyperbolic you say? I'll report, you decide. And by me reporting I mean The New York Times:
In the fall of 1999, the drug giant SmithKline Beecham secretly began a study to find out if its diabetes medicine, Avandia, was safer for the heart than a competing pill, Actos, made by Takeda.
Avandia’s success was crucial to SmithKline, whose labs were otherwise all but barren of new products. But the study’s results, completed that same year, were disastrous. Not only was Avandia no better than Actos, but the study also provided clear signs that it was riskier to the heart.
I'll point out here that 1999 was 11 years ago. Around the time Big Pharma was circling the wagons around Rezulin, another diabetes drug that was to die for.
"Surely the drug industry learned their lesson from that fiasco and reported the dangers of Avandia right away!!!" those of you who have never heard of Baycol, Bextra, Duract, Posicor, Propulsid, Tequin, Redux, Trasylol, Seldane, and Vioxx are saying. Those of you who are familiar with those meds probably won't be surprised at what actually happened:
But instead of publishing the results, the company spent the next 11 years trying to cover them up...“This was done for the U.S. business, way under the radar,” Dr. Martin I. Freed, a SmithKline executive, wrote in an e-mail message dated March 29, 2001, about the study results... “Per Sr. Mgmt request, these data should not see the light of day to anyone outside of GSK,”
Could the gun be any more smoking? GlaxoSmithKline knew Avandia was causing heart attacks and strokes, and didn't say a word.
In one document, the company sought to quantify the lost sales that would result if Avandia’s cardiovascular safety risk “intensifies.” The cost: $600 million from 2002 to 2004 alone, the document stated.
Which means if they can get away with this with a penalty of less than $600 million, they win.
And they have. An FDA advisory panel voted today to let GSK continue to sell this heart attack in a bottle.
Mary Anne Rhyne, a GlaxoSmithKline spokeswoman, said that the company had not provided the results of its study because they “did not contribute any significant new information.”
I think that's the part that pisses me off the most. They don't even care enough to come up with a line of bullshit that is even plausible. Your drug causes more people to die than its main competitor and that's not significant new information? Can you at least make a little effort when you lie to me?
“When drug companies withhold data regarding safety concerns about their medicines, they put patients at risk,” said Senator Max Baucus.
Thanks. Thanks for that. 100,000 heart-related problems caused by GlaxoSmithKline's deceit. 100,000 people's lives ended or ruined. And all we get in response is a Senator with a firm grasp of the obvious. Not that he's going to do anything about it mind you.
The Unabomber only killed 3 people you know. Timothy McVeigh 168. Those masters of evil at Al-Qaeda ended the lives of 2,995 on September 11, or around 3 percent of the number of people affected by the way GlaxoSmithKline chose to act when it learned of Avandia's risks.
Which tells me, Al-Qaeda's mistake was that they neglected to sell stock before their death spree.
If you disagree, by all means, ask your doctor if Avandia is right for you.