ASH and Glaxo SmithKline

Over at Taking Liberties Simon Clark is reviewing ASH Scotland. Here is ASH England’s involvement with Glaxo SmithKline the pharmaceutical company.

Here is Clive Bates of ASH spinning for Glaxo SmithKline:

“The number of people who have died after taking the anti-smoking drug Zyban has more than tripled in a year, official figures show.” Jan 2002

Clive Bates (CB) said “Clive Bates, of Action on Smoking and Health, told BBC News Online said: “Most of these people would have died anyway.”

“The NHS is expected to spend £30 million over two years to provide Zyban..” June 2000

Chris (sic) Bates said: “Chris Bates, director of the anti-smoking charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), warned that although Zyban was a “significant development..”

“Niquitin CQ (GlaxoSmithkline) …make nicotine patches and this is the site the gives support for smokers trying to quit.”

ASH very generously to GSK on the 26th June 2000 devote a while press release on GSK’s Zyban drug. 9 months later Bates writes to GSK.

“Clive Bates, Director of ASH said: “Zyban is an effective anti-smoking treatment, and that the first studies show very promising success rates. But until more studies have been done, it is too soon to be making comparisons between NRT and Zyban. Both products have an important role to play and will meet smokers’ needs in different ways. The products may also be most effective when used in combination.”

Click to access ASH_444.pdf

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6 Responses to ASH and Glaxo SmithKline

  1. Rose says:

    My sister took Zyban briefly, but stopped because of the onset of pains in her legs.
    She had only decided to give up smoking because after the ban, she didn’t want to keep having to leave her place of work and stand alone on the street.

    Anti-smoking drug given go-ahead
    “There is now no excuse for health authorities to refuse to prescribe these important cessation products. If properly implemented this guidance will help to noticeably cut tobacco deaths.”

    Clive Bates, of Action for Smoking on Health, said: Clive Bates director of the anti-tobacco campaigning group Action on Smoking and Health said: “This should end any doubt or hesitation about prescribing these life-saving drugs that still persist in the NHS.”

    Smoking pill link to 35 deaths
    “Zyban is used in a population of patients who are put at risk because of smoking and, therefore, reports of deaths of patients receiving Zyban are to be expected,” said Professor Alasdair Breckenridge, CSM chairman”

    “Zyban or bupropin hydrochloride, developed as an anti-depressant, was found to ease the desire for nicotine, even in heavy smokers.”

    Zyban death link inquiry is ‘flawed’
    “A Government inquiry into the controversial anti-smoking pill Zyban has been seriously undermined after it emerged that campaigners against the drug have not been asked to give evidence.”

    “But a Mail on Sunday investigation has revealed that only supporters of the drug – including its makers, Glaxo-SmithKline, and the Department of Health – have been asked to submit evidence.

    Campaigners concerned about the 57 British deaths linked to the drug and the 7,297 users who had suffered suspected side-effects, including chest pains, fits, seizures and depression, have not been contacted.”

  2. Junican says:

    What bothers me is the idea of Government connivance. It is more than just Gov deliberately funding organisations for the purpose of lobbying itself. It is also more than Gov funding studies by these orgs (ASH etc) in order to provide ‘independent’ evidence for its policies. The ultimate horror is the corrupting influence of the connivance. Once the Gov connives, it becomes corrupt, and since it is the Gov, it is the ultimate corruption. The last bastion against corruption has been breached. There is no defence. We see this connivance also in the Global Warming sphere. Energy prices are being hiked artificially, ostensibly to pay for wind power – but the reality is that the price hikes are ultimately intended to reduce consumption, and thus carbon. (What do a few dead pensioners matter when the future of the world is at stake?) But the problem which few see is that connivance equals corruption, and the corruption is absolute since the Gov is supposed to be the last bastion for the protection against corruption. (I know that I have repeated myself!)

    The introduction of the smoking ban was connived. The Gov was corrupt by virtue of the connivance, in every respect, starting with the propaganda and finishing with the so called free vote in Parliament. And the corruption has continued with the display ban (rushed through Parliament in its dying days and then tricked through the House of Lords just before recess).

    There is also the serious problem of parts of the Gov (notably certain officials in the Health Dept) being open to a kind of blackmail. (“You knew what the purpose of the study was and you agreed to fund it” – kind of thing) THERE is the consequence of connivance.

    The new Gov ought to be made aware of what has been happening. They should consider whether or not they should continue with the connivance, or remove connivance altogether from their thinking.

    In the immediate short term, there must be an end to this idea of Gov funded orgs hiding behind Charity status. If funded by The People, their transactions should be open to inspection by The People. And, provision of this nature should be retrospective. The stuff ASH has tried to hide for 60 years should be revealed.

  3. JJ says:

    A simple question. Why do pharmaceutical companies donate to ASH – what’s in it for them, what do these comapanies get for their money?

  4. Frank says:

    We may, correctly, consider this behaviour to be sharp practice at the very least but the problem is that Milton, in her latest response to a question, seems to have legitimised it all.

    It remains the same. The fact that raving anti smokers have occupied positions of influence in the House and are unwilling to consider anything other than how bad smoking is and how further should they go. It’s purely a Parliamentary matter.

  5. Rose says:

    “Davies asked the Secretary of State for Health “if he will make it his policy to require that organisations which engage with his Department on tobacco control issues disclose whether they are linked to or receive funding from (a) the pharmaceutical industry and (b) the public purse”.

    In response, public health minister Anne Milton replied:”

    “The Government are under obligation to protect tobacco control from the vested interests of the tobacco industry, under The World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

    Our policy on this is set out in Chapter 10 of ‘Healthy Lives, Healthy People: A Tobacco Control Plan for England’. This does not extend beyond the tobacco industry and the Department, as with all other policy areas, engages with a wide range of stakeholders including the pharmaceutical industry, organisations in receipt of funding from the pharmaceutical industry and organisations in receipt of funding from the public purse.”


    “The strength of the Partnership Project lies in the fact that it has brought together three major pharmaceutical companies, Glaxo Wellcome, Novartis Consumer Health and Pharmacia & Upjohn, all manufacturers of treatment products for tobacco dependence, to support a common goal that will have a significant impact on public health. The Project provides a model which can provide a basis for future partnerships with the private sector in other important health areas”


    They had to agree to –

    “Recognize that scientific evidence has unequivocally established that exposure to tobacco smoke causes death, disease and disability, and that there is a time lag between exposure to smoking and the other uses of tobacco products and the onset of tobacco-related diseases.”

    Click to access 9241591013.pdf

    “The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is a legally binding international treaty that aims to reduce the health and economic impacts of tobacco.

    The UK ratified the FCTC on the 6th December 2004.”

    Notice of which was published on Medical News Today under the headline –

    More than a million fewer smokers since 1998, UK

    “On the same day as these statistics were published, the UK ratified the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. This is the first international treaty on public health and has the potential to make a real difference in tobacco control at a global level by committing all parties to the following measures:”

    Or as Grand Prix says-
    “The announcement was hidden away in a statement about a reduction in the number of smokers in the UK.”

    F1 were probably still watching them after the Ecclestone Affair.

    Smoking bans

    [Article 8] creates an obligation to provide universal protection by ensuring that all indoor public places, all indoor workplaces, all public transport and possibly other (outdoor or quasi-outdoor) public places are free from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke. No exemptions are justified on the basis of health or law arguments. If exemptions must be considered on the basis of other arguments, these should be minimal. In addition, if a Party is unable to achieve universal coverage immediately,

    Article 8 creates a continuing obligation to move as quickly as possible to remove any exemptions and make the protection universal.”

    Click to access art%208%20guidelines_english.pdf


    Governments Need To Improve Smoking Cessation Services, Smokers Say, UK
    “Services and support are key to helping smokers quit and to helping governments who have signed up to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) meet their commitments to drive tobacco use down.”

    “In an effort to reduce tobacco use, the EU and its Member States have signed up to the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).3 The FCTC’s Article 14, through its recently adopted guidelines, demands action to promote cessation of tobacco use and provide adequate treatment for tobacco dependence.”

    Countries who have signed up to the FCTC therefore have a legal obligation to implement the recommendations of Article 14.”

    [i] This research was conducted by InSites Consulting in February 2011 and funded by Pfizer Ltd.

    Guidelines Article 14

    Click to access FCTC_COP4_8-en.pdf

    But under article 5.3 the government are not allowed to even listen to any objections, like the treatment of pensioners, the sick or the mentally ill, incase it influences policy.

    “The measures recommended in these guidelines aim at protecting against interference not only by the tobacco industry but also, as appropriate, by organizations and individuals that work to further the interests of the tobacco industry.”

    Click to access article_5_3.pdf

    But the very least the current government could do is to have a proper public announcement on the 6 o’clock news and explain that their hands are tied.

    Government announces rules to keep tobacco out of sight in shops and considers making plain packaging mandatory

    “Ministers will also start a public consultation over whether England should become the first country in Europe to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes and other tobacco products while insisting they are keeping “an open mind” on the issue.

    Andrew Lansley, the health secretary, has decided to go ahead with the display ban, albeit delayed, after reviewing the move made possible under Labour legislation”

    Government ‘fixing health consultations’ with taxpayer-funded groups – 2009

    Earlier this month the Health Secretary, Alan Johnson, announced that the display of cigarettes and tobacco in shops would be banned in England and Wales from 2011.

    He added that people wanting to buy cigarettes from vending machines would in future have to show proof of age to obtain a token to activate the machine, and machines could be banned altogether in the future.

    Mr Johnson boasted that the display ban was favoured by an “overwhelming majority” of 96,000 responses to a six-month public consultation on the subject.

    Yet only a handful of those 96,000 respondents came from individuals submitting their personal views. Almost 70,000 came from those collected by pressure groups entirely funded by the Department for Health.”

    Among the groups submitting block responses were SmokeFree NorthWest, SmokeFree Liverpool and SmokeFree North East, which were all set up by the Government to lobby against the tobacco industry.”

    I think we have put up quite enough of this sort of thing now, I don’t want to have to rely on getting to know what’s going on in my Country from a Formula One website.

    Article 13

    12. Retail sale and display.

    Display of tobacco products at point of sale in itself constitutes advertising and promotion.

    13.To ensure that points of sale of tobacco products do not have any promotional elements. Parties should introduce a total ban on any display and on the visibility of tobacco products at points of sale, including fixed retail outlets and street vendors.
    Only textual listing of products and their prices, without any promotional elements, would be allowed.
    As for all aspects of Article 13 of the convention, the ban should apply in ferries, airplanes,ports and airports.

    14. Vending machines should be banned because they constute by their very presence a means of advertising or promotion under the terms of the Convention.

    16. Plain packaging.

    Click to access article_13.pdf

  6. Frank says:

    Legally binding? what planet are they on? It’s as valid as Neville Chamberlaine’s bit of paper signed by ‘Herr Hitler’ guaranteeing ‘peace in our time’ . It gives the likes of Milton a ready made excuse, though. Sneaky b*****ds the last lot were, typical.

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