Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Re: Glaxo chief curses media and issues profit warning

I was sent the link, below, which was delightfully convenient, because I'd been sharpening my quill, in anticipation of Garnier saying something fucking stupid. This to the Guardian's Business Section, copied to Johnson and Vara.

Dear Sirs,

I saw this piece, today:

Glaxo chief curses media and issues profit warning

It's hilarious, isn't it? Garnier appears to think that, given time, the Avandia thing will blow over, and it will be back to business, as usual. Staggering.

Well, who knows, perhaps he knows his audience better than we do? Anyway, he's got a fucking nerve to demand that "scientists" (all scientists, or just the ones that agree with GSK (I'm thinking of the way that we're told Garnier orchestrated the slating of John Buse)?), are the only ones who are able to proclaim the truth, and the media should report on what the scientists say, provided that that casts GSK in a good light. I'm sorry: I've only to read the correspondence between McCafferty, Oakes, Keller and Laden (who were responsible for the travesty of science that was the write-up of Paxil Protocol 329), to know that, in the context of the sordid world of pharmaceuticals, the view of the experts is worth precisely dick. Besides, if scientists are the only ones who get to say what is true, then patients have no right to speak, and are merely the glad recipients of the great wisdom of the scientists - whereupon we may be fed any old shite, which I imagine would suit Garnier, just fine.

However, it's perhaps worth pointing out that it is not scientists that report on the efficacy of a drug, it is the patients ("I'm feeling better, doctor"). When this happens, the pharmaceutical industry is only too delighted to report patient views. It's only when patient feedback is negative that we don't have the right to speak, according to Garnier, whereupon the shutters come down and a sign with "sue me" written on it is affixed. All very scientific. Garnier is a charlatan, and a bully, as far as I'm concerned.

Best regards

Matthew Holford

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