Secrecy in the Courts In the News

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Secrecy in the Courts In the News  

“AstraZeneca launched a public relations push to get doctors to prescribe its best-selling psychiatric drug Seroquel for a string of uses that were not approved by safety regulators, according to a damning internal document released yesterday.”
“AstraZeneca ‘Pushed Drug for Untested Uses’”
The Independent, 05/21/09

“Allen Jones, a former fraud investigator with the Pennsylvania Inspector General’s Office whose work led to the conviction of a state psychiatrist for taking bribes from drug companies, asked the FDA to force AstraZeneca to release every shred of data on Seroquel. He cited documents uncovered by lawyers suing AstraZeneca on behalf of clients who say they were injured by Seroquel. Those documents, released in a court case earlier this year, include company e-mails in which AstraZeneca employees discussed ‘buried’ studies and congratulated one another for doing ‘nice smoke-and-mirrors’ jobs on Seroquel data.”
“A Minor Victory in Seroquel Battle”
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 04/09/09

“A patient who claims the psychiatric drug Seroquel gave him diabetes has asked a judge to unseal maker AstraZeneca's confidential documents about its side effects before U.S. regulators decide whether to approve a version of the drug for millions of new patients.”
“Seroquel User Wants Judge to Unseal Papers for FDA”
Associated Press, 3/11/09

“Beyond arbitrating private disputes, the courts play a key role in protecting the public interest. A federal magistrate in Orlando is deciding whether to open records of the drug company AstraZeneca or allow the maker of the blockbuster drug Seroquel to hide potentially embarrassing information. This should be an easy call. If the documents would inform the public about risks of the drug, alert the public to a faulty FDA review or warn the public about less-than-forthcoming marketing practices of the drugmaker, they should be opened.”
“Editorial: Don't Let Drugmaker Hide Records”
St. Petersburg Times, 03/03/09
“AstraZeneca tried to “bury” adverse medical studies about Seroquel, its blockbuster drug, internal company memos released in an American court case have revealed.”
“AstraZeneca Tried to ‘Bury’ Bad News on Seroquel Drug”
The Times-UK, 03/02/09

“AstraZeneca “buried” unfavorable studies of its $4.4 billion blockbuster psychiatric drug Seroquel, according to internal documents released Friday in a legal dispute between the company and lawyers for thousands of people who sued the company because they said the drug caused diabetes and weight gain.”
“Drug Maker’s Email Released in Seroquel Lawsuit”
New York Times, 02/28/09

“AstraZeneca PLC instructed its U.S. sales representatives to tell doctors that its powerful psychiatric drug, Seroquel, didn't cause diabetes even though a company physician had at one point stated years earlier that such a link was probable in some individuals, documents unsealed in a federal court case here show.”
“AstraZeneca Papers Raise Seroquel Issues”
Wall Street Journal, 02/27/09

“Does the world have the right to know about negative studies on AstraZeneca's potent antipsychotic drug Seroquel?”
“Ruling Near On Privacy Issues in Seroquel Case”
Philadelphia Inquirer, 02/25/09

“Thousands of Oklahoma court cases and documents are being sealed by district court judges and are not available to the public, according to a published report. The sealed records include financial records of companies and hospitals, settlements in wrongful-death lawsuits, divorce proceedings, protective orders and name changes.”
“Courts keeping cases secret”
Associated Press, 08/11/08

“But in most states, settlements in state and federal courts often are secret. Lawyers for the defendants seek and get gag orders and sealed records.”
“Courts’ ‘sunshine’ might spread”
The State, 08/04/08

"'This case has been a secret case in the tradition of the Star Chamber in medieval England,' Clothier and Berman wrote in their petition for rehearing in Doe v. C.A.R.S. Protection Plus Inc. 'It is facially unconstitutional for a court to seal a docket and thereby obliterate any public knowledge of an entire lawsuit's existence,' they wrote."
“3rd Circuit Urged to Unseal Docket and Other Records in Abortion Case,”
Legal Intelligencer, 06/13/08  

“When companies are sued for selling unsafe consumer products or creating environmental hazards, the cases too often end with court orders that keep vital health and safety dangers secret. This practice works out well for the wrongdoers, but it is bad for ordinary Americans, who need to know about these threats.”
“Editorial: Need to Know”
New York Times, 03/12/08


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