Given the MHRA's recent decision not to pursue GSK, I thought I'd stick the boot in - this one's been simmering just beneath the surface for a while, so it's not shy on invective. This to the Ministry of Truth, copied to Vara, Johnson and the White House, blind copied to lots of people:
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am keen that nobody should misunderstand the moniker that I have given to Garnier: one is a shady bastard, who lives in his own private fantasy world, where he may do anything that takes his fancy and avoid the consequences, and the other is a cartoon character. I'm going to quote the Senate Finance Committee's report into the intimidation of Dr John Buse at you, at every possible opportunity:
"GSK’s behavior since these allegations [came] to light has been less than stellar. Instead of acknowledging the misdeed to investors, apologizing to patients, and pledging to change corporate behavior, GSK launched a public relations campaign of denial. Specifically, GSK sent out a press release titled “GSK Response to US Senate Committee on Finance” which stated that the allegations raised by the Committee were “absolutely false.” Further, CEO Jean-Pierre Garnier denied having any knowledge of the alleged intimidation of Dr. Buse in an interview that ran in July in The Philadelphia Enquirer."
Ouch - not many fans on Senate Finance Committee, then, I guess? "Instead of... apologizing to patients, and pledging to change corporate behaviour... GSK launched a public relations campaign of denial..."? Hmmm, there's something about that, that I can't quite put my finger on...
And later we discover that Monty was lying about his knowledge of the incident (what other extremely important matters does he lie about, I wonder?), or if he wasn't lying, then I'd be delighted to have him reconcile for me his claim in The Philadelphia Enquirer, as against the following excerpt:
"In response to [a] series of emails, Dr. Tachi Yamada, GSK’s head of research at the time, wrote in an email that he had discussed Dr. Buse with GSK’s CEO Dr. Jean-Pierre Garnier as well as David Stout, a senior GSK executive. Dr. Garnier and Mr. Stout are copied on the email. Specifically, Dr. Yamada’s email reads: In any case, I plan to speak to Fred Sparling, his former chairman as soon as possible. I think there are two courses of action. One is to sue him for knowingly defaming our product even after we have set him straight as to the facts—the other is to launch a well planned offensive on behalf of Avandia…"
(Source: The Intimidation of Dr. John Buse and the Diabetes Drug Avandia - it's a super read, I really do recommend it)
"Setting him straight as to the facts."? I'll bet Yamada's "facts" barely qualify as opinions. How do these fuckwits get their PhDs? Do they buy them out of the back of Private Eye, or something?
So, the lesson we take from this is that when Monty and his ilk feel that the reputation of their snake oil remedies is under threat, they wheel out the well-oiled intimidation machine and pretend that they are exercizing their legal right. Monty, Yamada, Stout: what a bunch of crooked cunts they would have to be to either actively engage in this type of activity, or to give it their tacit approval by remaining silent while it played out (by which I mean that they would have to be devoid of any admirable human characteristics). Sadly, I'll bet they're not the only ones. In fact, I know they're not, because it's "just business, nothing personal" isn't it? Intimidation = business? I'll remember that - it's another of your unspoken rules, isn't it?
Ah, isn't it great to have opinions? They're the last refuge of free speech, you know.
PS It's a side issue, given that I just wanted to establish my contempt for Monty, but the Committee report asserts that many lives would have been saved, had GSK not sought to suppress Dr Buse's concerns. Just something to think about.