Last week Reuters reported that Lundbeck are entering into a partnership with Japanese drugmaker Otsuka Holdings Co. for the joint development and sale of up to five psychiatric and neuroscience drugs. Sounds like a good idea? Depends on the drugs I suppose, and if both pharmaceutical companies really have their consumers best interests at heart.
Hmm, considering Lundbeck’s dubious history, I wondered what type of company would want to get involved with the notorious Lundbeck, who test adult drugs on 7 year olds, deny in some countries that their drugs can cause suicide and homicide while admitting it in others and allow unsuspecting pregnant women to harm their unborn babies by their failure to warn of the teratogen effect of Citalopram and Escitalopram.
Key to this venture is reported to be Otsuka’s aripiprazole, a once-a-month injectable treatment for schizophrenia that is in late-stage development.
I wonder if the deaths related with Aripiprazole have been an issue for Otsuka? Does it matter to either company about the Increased Mortality in Elderly Patients with Dementia-Related Psychosis treated with Aripiprazole, also known as Abilify?
The reported deaths were from cardiovascular or infectious problems: heart failure, sudden death, pneumonia. The fact that this medication is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis would make that issue a moot point, wouldn’t it? Eh NO! In 2008, Otsuka American Pharmaceutical Inc. the American subsidiary of the Japanese pharmaceutical manufacturer, agreed to pay over $4 million to resolve allegations of off-label marketing of the same drug for treatment of dementia-related psychosis. Despite having a black-box warning, Otsuka also knowingly promoted the sale and use of Abilify for pediatric use.
Now there’s a well-matched partnership! How many consumers will they kill before the patents for these five drugs, run out?