Since 2012 Big Pharma has been caught red handed… for no less than 6 times

From Jason Richards @

As you probably know by now, pharmaceutical companies have a history of shameful behavior.

Over the last few months many drugs companies have hit the headlines for allegedly committing fraud, the most recent being Merck. This document reveals 7 companies who have been reported for committing fraud since January 2012:

Pharma Fraud Number 1: Merck

Recently Merck has been in the firing line for allegedly fraudulently representing the mumps component of its MMR vaccine. It has been alleged that Merck have been fraudulently informing the public that the MMR II, used to replace the MMR vaccine Pluserix, is an effective vaccine when this is not true because the studies proving the vaccines effectiveness are said to be falsified.

According to many reports the Mumps component of the vaccination is ineffective and that the results of the tests carried out on the vaccine have been altered. The Child Health Safety website reporting the story states that whistleblowers working for Merck have said that they witnessed fraud firsthand when they worked for the pharmaceutical company, between 1999 and 2002, and that they were pressured to participate.

Child Health Safety have reported that virologists changing test results that showed the vaccine wasn’t working and then hurriedly destroying the evidence to keep the fraud from being exposed.

According to the report the whistleblowers stated that the supervisor then lied to FDA regulators who came to the laboratories to check after they were alerted to the problem. Child Health Safety wrote:

“A top Merck vaccine official told Krahling the matter was a “business decision,” the suit says, and he was twice told the company would make sure he went to jail if he told federal regulators the truth.”

Pharma Fraud 2: GlaxoSmithKIine

A little while ago GlaxoSmithKline came under fire. BBC News reported that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to pay $3bn (£1.9bn) in the largest healthcare fraud settlement in US history.

The BBC said:

“The drug giant is to plead guilty to promoting two drugs for unapproved uses and failing to report safety data about a diabetes drug to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The settlement will cover criminal fines as well as civil settlements with the federal and state governments.

The case concerns the drugs Paxil, Wellbutrin and Avandia.”

Pharma Fraud 3: Roche

In June 2013 the pharmaceutical company Roche came under fire. The European Medicines Agency working with national medicines agencies to investigate deficiencies in the medicine-safety reporting system of Roche. According to the report this includes looking at whether the deficiencies have an impact on the overall benefit-risk profile for any of the products involved. Fierce Pharma state:

“The deficiencies are identified in a May 2012 report from the UK medicines regulatory agency (MHRA) following an inspection at Roche. This was part of a coordinated European program of routine inspection of safety reporting systems.

At the time of the inspection the company identified some 80,000 reports for medicines marketed by Roche in the USA that had been collected through a Roche-sponsored patient support program, but which had not been evaluated to determine whether or not they should be reported as suspected adverse reactions to the EU authorities. These included 15,161 reports of death of patients and it is not known whether the deaths were due to natural progression of the disease or had a causal link to the medicine. More recent information from the company indicates a smaller number of reports, but this information needs to be verified by the authorities!”

After 15,161 deaths you would think someone would bother to investigate the drugs involved wouldn’t you? Whether it is negligence or fraud this should have been checked and verified surely?

Pharma Fraud 4: Pfizer

Pfizer, hit the headlines for you guessed it for deceiving the public. According to Recall Lawyers an email circulated by a Pfizer research director indicated that a study conducted to determine whether Celebrex an arthritis drug was safer on the stomach than other drugs-such as ibuprofen-was falsely represented. The website states:

“According to news reports, Celebrex is no better at protecting the stomach from serious complications than other drugs. Pfizer and its partner, Pharmacia, were able to misrepresent Celebrex as a safer alternative because they only released the results of half of a yearlong study. The email states, “[t]hey swallowed our story, hook, line and sinker.”

Not such a great email after all, as the perpetrator has now been exposed!

Recall Lawyers wrote:

“The email, sent in 2000, is among one of thousands of internal documents recently unsealed. And while the company’s handling of Celebrex has been known for years, since 2001 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released the entire study, the unsealed documents point to a widespread effort on the part of Pfizer to promote the drug in ways not necessarily backed up by medical science, and to overcome the doubts of critics. The study which formed the subject of the researcher’s email was critical to Pfizer’s Celebrex campaign-Pfizer’s main selling point of the drug was its mild effect on the stomach.”

I feel that the words to promote the drug in ways not necessarily backed up by medical science, speak volumes and that this is practice is more widely spread than any of us could ever imagine.

Pharma Fraud 5: Abbott Laboratories

In May of this year Abbott Laboratories pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $1.5 billion for unlawfully promoting the prescription drug Depakote for uses not approved safe and effective by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

According to a press release from The United States Department of Justice Abbott pleaded guilty on the 7th May 2012 to misbranding Depakote by promoting the drug to control agitation and aggression in elderly dementia patients and to treat schizophrenia when neither of these uses was approved by the FDA.

The press release states:

“Abbott admits that from 1998 through 2006, the company maintained a specialized sales force trained to market Depakote in nursing homes for the control of agitation and aggression in elderly dementia patients, despite the absence of credible scientific evidence that Depakote was safe and effective for that use. In addition, from 2001 through 2006, the company marketed Depakote in combination with atypical antipsychotic drugs to treat schizophrenia, even after its clinical trials failed to demonstrate that adding Depakote was any more effective than an atypical antipsychotic alone for that use.”

Pharma Fraud 6: Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Finally on my wall of shame is Takeda Pharmaceuticals. In March 2012 Ury& Moscow L.L.C. (9) stated that Takeda was in court for failing to report that their diabetes drug Actos has been found to lead to bladder cancer and congestive heart failure.

They wrote:

“Actos, which is manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, has been used by thousands of patients in the U.S. to help treat diabetes. However, after further studies revealed that the drug is linked to increasing one’s risk of developing bladder cancer, thousands of claims have since been filed against Takeda for failing to adequately warn consumers about the dangerous side effects of its diabetes drug.”

Later in the report it says:

“According to the lawsuit, Takeda encouraged its medical reviewers to incorrectly classify some of the reports of congestive heart failure. Although some reports of the medical condition should have been classified as serious adverse effects, Takeda asked those who initially classified some of the reports as being serious to change their opinions, the lawsuit claims. The former Takeda employee who filed the whistle-blower lawsuit claims that she attempted to protest this practice, but when she did, she was fired by the drug maker.”

It is clear that Takeda along with all the other companies on my wall of shame will do anything for financial gain, even putting vulnerable ill and disabled patients at risk.

These are the top 6 recent frauds of Big Pharma… but be sure there are plenty more you haven’t heard about.


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