Fresh from paying off a recent fine of $3 billion for illegally marketing it's brand of drugs, Paxil, Wellbutrin and Avandia, pharmaceutical giants, GlaxoSmithKline, were yesterday embroiled in another tale of woe regarding another of their products.
This time it's their widely promoted safe vaccine for teenage girls, Cervarix.
Many of the British newspapers are covering the story of Lucy Hinks who, at the age of just 13, has been left in a "waking coma" after suffering suspected side effects from the Cervarix vaccine.
Glaxo, in usual style, have rolled out the tired and trusted one-liners that has stood them firm for years when defending drugs such as Avandia and Seroxat.
This from MSN News:
"It [Cervarix] has been shown to be generally well tolerated".
and the old faithfull:
"...we take these reports very seriously."
Ring any bells?
2002 [BBC] GlaxoSmithKline spokesperson Alastair Benbow defending Seroxat with:
"Seroxat is an effective and generally well tolerated treatment for the management of depression."
"We take the safety of our medicines extremely seriously." - Transcript GSK Tape Panorama Interview Dr Alastair Benbow 9 October 2002
Personally, I think the comments from GSK spokespersons are being generally well tolerated by the British public, be nice if we had some transparency occasionally, doncha think?
In June 2008 a promotional DVD was sent to every G.P in the UK just hours before the launch of the Cervarix vaccine in the UK. The DVD was posted with the G.P. magazine and was a clever marketing strategy aimed at busy G.P.'s to 'brainwash' them into believing that the Cervarix vaccine protected young women from the perils of cervical cancer.
The comments at the start of this video juxtapose the claims made by GSK in the promotional video.
For more information:
ORDER THE PAPERBACK 'THE EVIDENCE, HOWEVER, IS CLEAR...THE SEROXAT SCANDAL' By Bob Fiddaman US and CANADA HERE
OR UK FROM CHIPMUNKA PUBLISHING
AUSTRALIAN ORDERS HERE