Lundbeck’s PR department are going into overdrive at the moment. Due to the patents expiring on Celexa and Lexapro, Lundbeck are heavily reliant on finding the next block-buster drug. They seem to think they have found it in LU AA21004. This drug is also known as vortioxetine and according to Lundbeck, 8 out of 10 trials have shown the drug to be effective in depression. The information on Lundbeck’s proposed new drug on the Clinical Trials website include 5 clinical trials conducted in India, here.
It’s unfortunate that in the same week that Lundbeck are found to be flouting the rules by advertising their “anti-anxiety” drug Deanxit contrary to Indian law, it has also emerged that the company may have been ghostwriting their own material.
A report published this week by the Parliment of India has found; In case of sertindole (Serdolect of Lundbeck), an anti-psychotic drug, three experts located at three different places (a Professor and Head of the Department of Psychiatry of Stanley Medical College, Chennai; Professor of SKP Psychiatric Nursing Home, Ahmedabad and a Professor and Head of the Department of Psychiatry of LTM Medical College, Mumbai) wrote letters of recommendation in nearly word-to-word, identical language and not surprisingly all of them used the incorrect full form of DCGI in the address! Is such a coincidence possible unless the person behind the scene who actually drafted the letters is one and the same person? Full report.
Now, one would have to consider, if Lundbeck are continuously using corrupt practices in India, as I have previously shown with the licencing of Deanxit here, how can their findings with LU AA21004 be relied upon?
Deanxit is another of lundbeck’s controversial and dangerous drugs and another example of Lundbeck committing corruption, deceit and fraud within the approval process.
Lundbeck lied to get approval for this drug by stating that at one meeting, 7 leading psychiatrists recommended that the drug should be registered for sale in Sri Lanka, when in fact journalist Anne Lea Landsted was able to prove that 3 of the psychiatrists had never even been at the meeting! Her letter can be found here…Link. Lundbeck later apologised and offered to withdraw the drug from the Sri Lankan market, but surprisingly, it’s still there!
Carl Hugod is a medical expert who worked in the Danish National Board of Health. He was contacted by two journalists investigating Lundbeck’s Cipramil/Celexa. Carl agreed to look through the scientific papers which Lundbeck submitted for the licencing of this drug. What he found was that scientifically, the evidence was very poor and there was nothing to show that this drug was any better than other ssri’s and in fact could possibly be worse. He said that on a scientific level this work would not have been accepted in a university and was another case of Lundbeck doing whatever was needed to get a drug licenced, by fraud and corruption. Lundbeck manipulated the data from the Cipramil studies to show that this drug was better than other ssri’s when in fact it clearly wasn’t. Carl made a complaint to the board of scientific fraud and said“In my opinion the National Board of Health should never have been satisfied with this utterly disgraceful lack of scientific documentation concerning the drug’s effectiveness.” He publicly voiced his concerns that some professionals on the licencing board were being paid by “The Lundbeck Fund” which Lundbeck said was an entirely different company…! Link.
Lexapro was another dubious example of the way Lundbeck got through the approval process. This drug came about immediately after the patent for Celexa ran out. A Brussels Court found both to be the same product here. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism also raised questions whether the trial was truly independent or if Lundbeck’s connections with Arbacom, a Russian company that sponsored the ‘independent’ trial was an issue here. The BMJ reported that Lundbeck breached the UK industry ‘code of practice’ by claiming that its new offering, escitalopram (Lexapro/Cipralex), was more effective than citalopram (Celexa), even though the two drugs have exactly the same active ingredient here.
Then there is the small matter that Lundbeck is currently being investigated by the European Commission. The EC has opened a formal antitrust investigation to examine potential breaches of EU rules on restrictive business practices and on the abuse of a dominant market position under Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Link.
So considering Shane and all the other deaths associated with these drugs, can Lundbeck be trusted when they talk about the efficacy of their latest invention LU AA21004?