From the GAP blog:
Last Wednesday, Senator Charles Grassley sent a letter to the HHS Secretary and FDA Commissioner detailing how Wyeth Pharmaceuticals engaged in a smear campaign aimed at discrediting an FDA safety officer (and GAP client) assigned to review one of Wyeth's animal care products. After Wyeth met with FDA officials and presented false and misleading information, the FDA wrongfully removed GAP client Dr. Victoria Hampshire from her position as the drug's reviewer.
Dr. Hampshire previously found that Wyeth's ProHeart 6, a canine heartworm drug, was responsible for contributing to the deaths of hundreds of dogs. After following correct procedures in mid-2005, the drug was removed from the marketplace due to obvious safety concerns.
Grassley's letter details how Wyeth (by its own actions and those of a subsidiary) and the FDA performed several questionable and unethical actions in retaliating against Dr. Hampshire in attempts to get ProHeart 6 back on the market. These include:
- Wyeth's threats to bring down high-level Bush administration pressure on the FDA if they refused to release confidential information.
- Wyeth's hiring of a public relations firm to research Dr. Hampshire's personal property and tax records. This same firm hired consultants to lie and mislead Dr. Hampshire into believing they were veterinarians in a feeble and failed attempt to entrap her into establishing a direct monetary relationship with a Wyeth competitor.
- Wyeth's hiring of a private investigator to 'dig up dirt' on Dr. Hampshire.
- FDA's opening of a criminal investigation into Dr. Hampshire's background, unbeknownst to her. This background saw a Wyeth subsidiary official repeatedly contacting FDA investigators in an attempt to guide their probe.
- FDA's referral of the criminal case, based on Wyeth's misleading "evidence," to the United States Attorney's Office of Maryland. That office declined to prosecute.
The Senator earlier sent a letter to Wyeth, demanding to know whether they paid private investigators to spy on the FDA official. A character called Clint Newsum, Wyeth's counsel, was heavily involved in all this. The same Clint Newsum has been paying off pet owners whose dogs have died after taking Proheart. On this website you can see the letters Clint Newsum has sent to bereaved pet owners, offering them "shut up" money on condition they stop speaking out about ProHeart causing their pet's deaths (and absolving Wyeth of any blame).
Some Wyeth products are:
- Advil PM
- Preparation H
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