The fact that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has paid $1 billion to settle lawsuits related to Paxil was disclosed by Bloomberg and not the company itself illustrates how lousy financial disclosure rules are in Europe and why drug companies based there cannot be trusted to tell the truth about what is going on with their litigation liabilities and, by extension, the safety of their drugs.
The $1 billion “would be worse than many people are expecting,” said Navid Malik, an analyst at Matrix Corporate Capital in London. “Paxil’s been different from most drugs,” said Harris Pogust, a lawyer from Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, who is handling suicide and withdrawal cases. “You’ve had three major personal injury litigations over one drug — the suicide, the birth defect and the withdrawal cases. To have three significant problems with one drug is really unusual.”
Prescriptions for psychiatric drugs increased 50 percent with children in the US, and 73 percent among adults, from 1996 to 2006, according to a study in the May/June 2009 issue of the journal Health Affairs. The CIA “World Factbook” estimate the world population to be about 6.8 billion and the US population to be a mere 307 million. In an April 2008 report, the market research firm Datamonitor reported that the “US dominates the ADHD market with a 94 percent market share.”
The father of a Harvard College sophomore who killed himself in 2007 sued the school’s president and fellows for wrongful death, alleging the institution’s health service prescribed drugs known to increase suicide risk.
Charles Nemeroff, who failed to disclose to Emory University approximately $800,000 in payments he received from drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) while he was the principal investigator (PI) on a multi-million dollar grant from the NIH to study five GSK antidepressants, is leaving the university.