[A just-announced Justice Department] indictment accuses [a] Glaxo official, Lauren C. Stevens of Durham, N.C., of lying to the Food and Drug Administration in 2003, by writing letters, as associate general counsel, denying that doctors speaking at company events had promoted Wellbutrin for uses not approved by the agency. Ms. Stevens “made false statements and withheld documents she recognized as incriminating,” including slides the F.D.A. had sought during its investigation, the indictment stated.

This could get ugly. The Justice Department has decided to go after people, not just companies.

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UPDATE: Along these same lines, the latest issue of Academe, edited by the wonderful Sheldon Krimsky, is all about conflict of interest and corporate influence in the university. Looks like a must-read.

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ANOTHER UPDATE:  Much more detail about the Justice Department’s action from the indispensable Health Care Renewal.

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7 Responses to “If I were a university pharmawhore, I’d be watching my ass.”

  1. Brad Says:

    It has to get ugly before the culture changes.

    However, the spectacle of government prosecutors, commonly viewed as pit bulls with rabies, shredding someone’s life for lying to the government or for discussing off-label uses of medicines may end up getting more support for the pharmaceutical side.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Going to have to get a lot uglier than that, Brad, before drumming up support for the pharmaceutical side.

  3. Tony Says:

    Certain people are of the opinion that Ms. Stevens will cop a plea and turn government witness in order to snare even larger fish.

  4. Joe Says:

    That’s a sham move Tony, the person gets out of the doghouse and the evidence provided is often not enough to get anyone else. Same result, slightly different PR, better for Justice, but essentially no impact on industry.

  5. “This is Really Going to Set People’s Hair on Fire” – the Justice Department Indicts a Pharmaceutical Company Vice President and Associate General Counsel | Best Health Says:

    […] (10 November) – Also see comments by Prof Margaret Soltan on the University Diaries blog. Tags: accountability, crime, GlaxoSmithKline, impunity, legal […]

  6. “This is Really Going to Set People’s Hair on Fire” – the Justice Department Indicts a Pharmaceutical Company Vice President and Associate General Counsel | Health Wiki information Says:

    […] ADDENDUM (10 November) – Also see comments by Prof Margaret Soltan on the University Diaries blog. […]

  7. “This is Really Going to Set People’s Hair on Fire” – the Justice Department Indicts a Pharmaceutical Company Vice President and Associate General Counsel | Says:

    […] ADDENDUM (10 November) – Also see comments by Prof Margaret Soltan on the University Diaries blog. […]

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