Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, July 15, 2010 10:40 pm

Libertarians think this is just fine

Filed under: Evil — Lex @ 10:40 pm
Tags: , ,

Those of us with two brothers with Type 1 diabetes, however, are not so easily amused:

In the fall of 1999, the drug giant SmithKline Beecham secretly began a study to find out if its diabetes medicine, Avandia, was safer for the heart than a competing pill, Actos, made by Takeda.

Avandia’s success was crucial to SmithKline, whose labs were otherwise all but barren of new products. But the study’s results, completed that same year, were disastrous. Not only was Avandia no better than Actos, but the study also provided clear signs that it was riskier to the heart.

But instead of publishing the results, the company spent the next 11 years trying to cover them up, according to documents recently obtained by The New York Times. The company did not post the results on its Web site or submit them to federal drug regulators, as is required in most cases by law.

“This was done for the U.S. business, way under the radar,” Dr. Martin I. Freed, a SmithKline executive, wrote in an e-mail message dated March 29, 2001, about the study results that was obtained by The Times. “Per Sr. Mgmt request, these data should not see the light of day to anyone outside of GSK,” the corporate successor to SmithKline.

In the world of Ron Paul and Rand Paul, this information would have been made available, somehow, to consumers so that they could punish GSK in the marketplace. In the world in which we live, however, deaths, perhaps thousands of them, were just fine with GSK and would be handled, if at all, as just a cost of doing business.

There’s one way and only one way to stop this crap. Prosecute those responsible for reckless endangerment. If anyone dies, prosecute them for Murder Two. (If a drunken driver who accidentally kills someone in a wreck can be convicted of Murder One, and it has happened in this very state, then signing off on a business decision that predictably leads to deaths can be prosecuted as Murder Two at the least.)

And when they’re convicted, make them do time as hard as the time done by anyone else who pulls a trigger.

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