Dr. Peter Breggin
Go to GSK.com and click on “Latest Press Releases” and then click on “Dan Troy appointed Senior Vice President and General Counsel for GlaxoSmithKline.” It’s dated July 22, 2008. Above the press release you’ll see an ad with four people dancing ecstatically with their legs and arms flailing in all directions — presumably because GSK makes joyful drugs. Really, it’s a picture of GSK executives in a rite of greed celebrating the inclusion of attorney Dan Troy into their inner circle. The press release explains the reason for such a celebration at the pharmaceutical giant: “Dan was formerly Chief Counsel for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where he served as a primary liaison to the White House … ”
Right now GSK is being bombarbed with product liability suits, many claiming that the company hid data on Paxil causing suicide. As I described in an earlier blog, the FDA has been going to court on behalf of drug companies like GSK to claim preemption — the principle that a company cannot be sued for negligence in the development of a product if the product has been approved by the FDA. The principle will soon be tested in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. If the court upholds preemption, it will become impossible to hold drug companies responsible for their rampant negligence in the developing and marketing of their products. The public is already kept in the shadows when drug companies withhold data about the risks of their drugs; the public will be kept wholly in the dark if the companies cannot be sued and forced to reveal their hidden data.