Memory Hole (2 November): What else happened

Scientific Misconduct Blog Memory Hole: Events of November 2nd

8 years ago today: Lipstick on the BSE gorilla

On 2 November 1999 it was revealed that the UK government knew for years that some expensive cosmetics used bovine cow spleen, thymus or placenta (known to carry the agent causing Mad Cow Disease) and might infect people with cuts, scratches or abrasions. Experiments using mice showed that it was possible to infect them through skin cuts. Government made a deliberate decision not to inform the public to avoid an "unjustified fuss" and failed to ask what new bovine offal products were in the pipeline.

It seems to me unlikely this would be a major source of risk, and in retrospect it was less of a problem than some imagined. But the difficulty remains - why does government imagine that it has a legitimate role in suppression of scientific information and public discourse in this sort of paternalistic manner? A regulatory system should be a conduit for transparency, not a filter.

It is a bit like driving drunk - most of the time you will be OK, but just occasionally there will be an almighty crash.

"Officials kept quiet over possible BSE risk from cosmetics" The Guardian Nov 2 1999

Dr David Graham

3 years ago today: FDA publishes David Graham's Vioxx report

On 2 November 2004 the FDA posted an abridged version of study conducted by Dr. David J. Graham, associate director for science in the FDA's office of drug safety.

The report, was dated September 30 2004.
(the same day Merck withdrew Vioxx from the market).

Dr Graham managed to maintain his integrity within the FDA despite tremendous odds.
He refused to collude with the hiding of data.

2 years ago today: "Lilly is hiding information about Zyprexa"

On 2 November 2005 an interview with Dr. Curt Furberg was published (in Swedish) by the Swedish Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences (SAPS). Furberg is Professor of Public Health Sciences Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. In the interview he revealed that (translated):

"Lilly is hiding negative information about Zyprexa." Furberg had seen secret Eli Lilly documents about the antipsychotic Zyprexa (olanzapine) in his capacity as an expert witness. "The big problem is that the industry knows about adverse effects not reported to the FDA, not to doctors, not to patients".

Followup: The secret Lilly documents were eventually revealed to the public in 2007.

Source: "Lilly is Hiding Negative Information About Zyprexa" - SAPS (in Swedish)

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Comments on: Memory Hole (2 November): What else happened

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (May 13, 2008) : 

Facts about Zyprexa:

The drug is suppose to have a rather tranquilizing effect on those who tae the med.
The drug is no better than typical anti-psychotics, such as Haldol.
The makers could have warned about he adverse events of Zyprexa as early as 1998.
Even though Zyprexa was promoted for use at one time for elderly dementia, it is now known that this populaton has an increase in thier death rate, as well as higher incidences of pneumonia.
The market for such drugs, atypical anti-psychotics, approaches 20 billion a year.
Psychosis and schizophrenia are subjectively diagnosed, and usually appear in those in thier
20s. Not before then. And not after then, either.
Zyprexa was promoted with thier ADD drug strattera to children, it is believed.
Lilly was supposedly aware of the metabolic adverse events of zyprexa since at least 1999. Drug was approved in 1996.
10 million scripts for zyprexa so far, and is about a 5 billion dollar a year drug.
Drug costs about 300 dollars a month.
One could conclude the adverse events of zyprexa are much greater than any benefit the med may provide.

Dan

 

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