‘RTE Radio 1’ has a Facebook page which proudly states “We’re delighted that RTÉ took home three awards at this year’s GSK Irish Medical Media Awards.” Two of the awards were won for documentaries, one on depression and another for clinical trials involving children.
Seriously though? That’s GSK; GlaxoSmithkline! Why is a pharmaceutical company (which has consistently been proven corrupt), sponsoring Ireland’s ‘Medical Media Awards’ and why is this acceptable?
Here’s an Irish article from 1998 which refers to Seroxat/Paxil called ‘Pill to melt shyness‘. The article states that people suffering from this ‘crippling’ illness ‘aren’t aware that they have such a condition’ and that ‘By itself, social phobia doesn’t bring on suicide but combined with other psychiatric illnesses victims are six times more likely than the general population to kill themselves‘. OK, so these poor unfortunate sufferers may go on to kill themselves from shyness and taking Seroxat should fix the problem? The article further states that the time this illness or ‘social phobia’ usually strikes is between the ages of 14 and 16 years old. Hang on a sec!! Panorama did a series of TV documentaries ‘outing’ GSK and the notorious Seroxat. They revealed, among lots of corrupt practices, that in one of GSK’s drug trials, adolescents were six times more likely to become suicidal after taking it. So the illness increases the risk of suicide by 6% and the cure by another 6%; a better mathematician than I would tell you, that’s not a good percentage for a so-called cure!
In July of this year GSK were fined $3 billion in the US for, among other things, illegally promoting this drug for children, despite being aware that the same drug could cause these children to kill themselves.
GSK’s ‘Better Together‘ campaign states…” to ensure Irish patients and consumers can get access to the health care they need, GSK recognise that we must work in partnership with Government, policy makers, healthcare professionals, patient and citizen groups.” I bet they do! Also this, “GSK wants to be healthcare partner of choice, valued for our expertise and trusted for our integrity.” What integrity is that exactly?
Ok, forgetting the fact that they have caused numerous ‘Seroxat induced’ deaths in children and adults; maybe it’s the ‘Avandia Scandal‘ integrity they’re talking about? Avandia is the drug that the FDA scientist ‘Dr. David Graham’ said ‘may have caused as many as 100,000 heart attacks, strokes, deaths and cases of heart failure’ before the drug was finally taken off the market. GSK still clung to the mantra the drug was safe though. Never admit anything? Surely GSK is the last company (apart from Lundbeck) that the Irish Medical Media should associate with? In my humble opinion, the medical media, whose job it is to investigate, should have done a little research into the company who was sponsoring these awards. Then they may have had some integrity of their own and told GSK to stick their awards where the sun doesn’t shine!