It’s become common knowledge that the FDA does a very poor job of regulating the politically-powerful drug industry. As a result, the drug manufacturers have been able to allow marketing executives to override the views of doctors and scientists on health and safety issues. An example of how this all works involves AstraZenca PLC. For years marketing executives at AstraZeneca blocked efforts by company medical doctors and scientists to raise concerns that the antipsychotic drug Seroquel caused health problems. The marketing group said that if the concern became public it would harm sales. Internal documents were released on May 20th in lawsuits that has been filed against the company by patients alleging they were harmed by the blockbuster drug for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The internal e-mails and other documents reveal efforts by the company to keep public information about Seroquel positive even though company’s scientists and its marketing executives were at odds on safety issues.
Seroquel was AstraZeneca’s number two drug in sales last year, with revenue of $4.5 billion. Currently, AstraZeneca faces roughly 15,000 lawsuits over Seroquel, about 60% of them in state courts. The first state trial is set to begin in Delaware on June 29th. Thus far there have been no trials in federal court.
Source: Yahoo News
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