Newspaper and internet articles, psychiatry, Random

Irish Pharma company ‘Warner Chilcott’ receives subpoena from the U.S. Attorney’s Office

Last week an Irish pharmaceutical company, Warner Chilcott PLC and some of its employees, received subpoenas from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts. The Feb. 22th subpoena seeks information on payments to people involved in…

(i)              Off-label drug use,                                                                                                                                            

(ii)              Medical education,

(iii)             Clinical trials,

(iv)             Sales and marketing activities,

(v)              Payments to people who recommend drugs,        

Warner Chilcott… “We intend to cooperate in responding to the subpoena but cannot predict or determine the impact of this enquiry on our future financial condition or results of operations”. The Irish company’s product list includes: Asacol, Actonel, Loestrin, Nemcon, Ovcon, Estrostee, Estrace, Femhrt, Doryx, and Enablex. Link

Last year another Irish pharmaceutical company, Elan, was found to be advising doctors to give an unauthorised drug to children. It recommended administering the drug by mixing it with apple sauce. In that instance, the illegal marketing of epilepsy drug Zonegran was done despite the fact that it could come with very severe side-effects, hence the reason it wasn’t approved in children. In Feb 2011, Elan agreed to pay €147m, the biggest fine in Irish corporate history, as part of an agreement to resolve US criminal and civil investigations into the illegal marketing of the epilepsy drug.

The Irish Independent reported that “the settlement was enormously embarrassing for some of the biggest names in the Irish business world as some of the best known corporate grandees served on the board over the period. These include former IDA Ireland boss Kieran McGowan, who is chairman of Ireland’s biggest company, CRH. He joined the board in 1998. Tom Lynch, who served as the drug company’s finance chief, has also been a board member of the IDA. Kyran McLaughlin is one of the joint heads of Davy stockbrokers, while Alan Gillespie served as chairman of Ulster Bank until 2008.” Link Is it not a conflict of interest to work for the IDA and a Pharmaceutical company?

Interestingly enough, this latest subpoena comes from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. No sanctions from the Irish Government then? As long as we don’t rock the pharmaceutical money boat, what’s a few side effects between friends? Even if they include death?

Today another Pharmaceutical company announced it is to invest €330m in a new hi-tech manufacturing facility at its Kinsale campus, credited by the GM as in no small part to the support from IDA Ireland . Link.

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