Judge opens Prempro evidence | Arkansas Blog

Friday, July 24, 2009

Judge opens Prempro evidence

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 7:09 PM

A public interest law firm has won approval from a Little Rock federal judge to see evidence that Wyeth Pharmaceuticals "ghostwrote" articles about its Prempro horomone therapy drug for medical journals. Material to be released next week under federal Judge Bill Wilson's order.

NEWS RELEASE FROM PUBLIC JUSTICE

An Arkansas federal judge granted public access today to evidence that Wyeth Pharmaceuticals "ghostwrote" medical articles regarding its hormone therapy drug Prempro, which a national study has shown increase a woman's risk of stroke, heart attack, blood clots, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. 
 
The evidence has been under seal in an ongoing federal lawsuit filed on behalf of victims of Prempro.  Public Justice, a national public interest law firm headquartered in Washington D.C., sought access to the evidence on behalf of PLoS Medicine, a medical journal published by the non-profit Public Library of Science (PLOS).  Along with the New York Times, PLOS had moved to interevene in the case to unseal the ghostwriting documents because the public has powerful interest in knowing the truth about the drug companies' conduct and the safety of its drugs.
 
"We are thrilled by the Court’s decision to stop Wyeth’s attempt to hide evidence of its ghostwriting,” said Amy Radon, Public Justice's lead attorney for PLoS Medicine. "Public health and safety is put at serious risk when a drug company fails to reveal its role in authoring a medical journal article touting its own product."

The ghostwriting evidence in the Prempro litigation, which is ongoing, was under seal due to a confidentiality order that permitted Wyeth to shield from public inspection any material that Wyeth itself deemed to be "confidential." 
 
In his July 24 ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Bill Wilson, Jr., held that there was no good cause for secrecy and ordered that the documents be made publicly available as of 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 31.  The New York Times reported last December that the secret documents include evidence of a "mammoth" ghostwriting campaign involving Prempro.  U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has this material as part of a congressional investigation into drug industry influence on doctors, accordingto the Times story.
 
“Wyeth did not even attempt to show good cause for keeping these documents secret," said Morgan "Chip" Welch of Arkansas’ Welch and Kitchens, LLC.  “Judge Wilson’s decision will undoubtedly save lives.
 
To read the District Court’s order, go to
http://publicjustice.net/Repository/Files/Prempro_OrderUnsealing_072409.pdf

To read Public Justice's brief in support of PLoS Medicine's motion to intervene, go to
http://www.publicjustice.net/Repository/Files/Prempro_BriefinSupportInterveneFINALV2_4.PDF

To read Public Justice's brief in support of PLoS Medicine's motion for access to the materials in this case,  go to http://www.publicjustice.net/Repository/Files/Prempro_BriefinSupportUnsealFINAL_5.PDF

To read the New York Times article about Wyeth's ghostwriting campaign, go to
http://publicjustice.net/Repository/Files/NYTimes-WyethGhostwriting.pdf


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Judge Griffen files appeal of case dismissal

    Judge Wendell Griffen has filed his request for the entire 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to hear his appeal of a 2-1 decision dismissing his lawsuit that his constitutional rights had been violated by the Arkansas Supreme Court in removing him from all death penalty cases.
    • Jul 16, 2018
  • The billionaires and their charter schools: Point/counterpoint

    A convergence of coverage today on charter schools, the play toys of the Billionaire Boys Club and a growing threat, particularly in Little Rock, to community public schools.
    • Jul 16, 2018
  • We have met the enemy: The open line

    The open line with a dose of Trump and other unhappy news.
    • Jul 15, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017
  • Little Rock school activists announce events for 60th anniversary of Central High crisis

    The group is not affiliated with the official "Reflections of Progress" commemoration of the 60th anniversary. However, at least two of the Little Rock Nine may be joining the group for an event at 2:30 p.m. at the state Capitol in the Old Supreme Court Chamber.
    • Sep 14, 2017
  • Campus gun bill clears committee

    The so-called compromise amendment that will allow anyone 25 or older with a training certificate carry a concealed weapon on public college campuses was approved in a Senate committee this afternoon.
    • Feb 21, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation