FRONT PAGE: Pharma image hit by Seroxat scare

Eighty-six per cent of the public think the reputation of the pharma industry has been damaged by GlaxoSmithKline's delay in coming clean about its Seroxat drug, a PRWeek poll has found.

Philip Thomson
Philip Thomson

The drugs giant was criticised earlier this month for allegedly hiding negative trial results on the anti-depressant. Medicines regulator MHRA concluded GSK could not be sued, but the body's chief executive Kent Woods said the company had an ethical responsibility to share the data sooner.

REPUTATION CHECK: Will Seroxat scandal damage GSK?

The poll, by Opinion Matters, finds the vast ­majority of people - 96 per cent - agree with him. GSK's vice president, corporate media relations Philip Thomson said the company had tried to get some of the early data on the trials published in medical journals but it had ‘not been deemed of interest'.

But he acknowledged the strength of public feeling. ‘We were very disappointed with how the outcome of the inv­estigation was portrayed,' he said. ‘GSK is genuinely making a difference to millions of patients' lives. Significant concerns around the availability of clinical trial
data have been raised and there is scope to improve guidance and legislation.'

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