Friday, 6 July 2012

Buyer Beware

lupus.cheezburger.com
A few days ago, I posted about people in social media promoting the off-label use of a particular drug.

A major fraud case brought against a pharmaceutical company in the USA has very recently demonstrated the dangers of off-label drug uses.

GlaxoSmithKline was fined $3 billion after admitting to making fraudulent claims about the safety and effectiveness of drugs for off-label uses.

The actual complaint against the company alleged the results of trials of the drugs for non-approved uses had been misrepresented, when the drugs were promoted. And the drugs had been heavily promoted. Among the allegations was that some anti-depressants approved only for use in people over 18, been sold for use in younger people, and the result had been a number of suicides.

Can I suggest there's a lesson in this for people who promote the off-label use of any drugs for purposes that haven't been fully tested? (Not just that you can get into trouble for fraud, but that the practice can put people's lives in danger.)

References:
ABC News
Complaint against GSK

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