Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline knew of possible heart attack risks tied to its controversial diabetes drug Avandia years before evidence of a link became public, according to a U.S. Senate report released Saturday.
Based on its knowledge of those risks, GlaxoSmithKline "had a duty to sufficiently warn patients and the FDA of its concerns in a timely manner," said the Senate Finance Committee report, which followed a two-year inquiry. Instead, the company tried to play down findings that the drug could increase cardiovascular risks while also working to minimize findings that a rival medication might reduce such risks, according to the report.
This story is an example of three things: (1) the failure of the regulatory system in the U.S.; (2) the pervasiveness of white-collar crime, and especially violent white-collar crime; and (3) the lack of focus on the real crime problem in our society.
Let's be clear about the facts - more money is lost, more people are killed and injured, and more harm is done to society as a result of white-collar crime than from street crime. Yet corporations like GSK are virtually free to continue to distribute products they know are dangerous. Toyota was only recently forced to recall it autos despite the connect to accelerator problems and 34 deaths, yet is boasting that it saved $100 million. The financial sector has already returned to profitability by resuming the very practices that brought it to the brink of collapse. Attempts to regulate capitalism in this country continue to fail.
When will government protect us from the real crime problem?