In the classification of Heroes, Turkeys and Herkeys, Eliot Spitzer is a swashbuckling hero. A vibrant forcefield, he is earthquaking a mighty rift through solid Big Business terrain.
The decision by Mr. Spitzer to sue GlaxoSmithKline for “persistent and repeated fraud” in failing to make evidence of Seroxat’s effects on children more widely available, has made him a true hero of his time. The lawsuit demands a fine equivalent to the profits that Glaxo made from sales of its antidepressant Seroxat to children. Glaxo’s sales of Seroxat to children under eighteen are estimated to be around £140m. However, if that were the main demands of the lawsuit, then that would be a piffling fine for a company that is worth £67bn. Nevertheless, Eliot Spitzer’s courageous effort to sue GlaxoSmithKline with fraud may mark the turning point for how pharmaceutical companies market and sale their drugs.
There are allegations that Glaxo purposely downplayed several studies that showed Seroxat to be ineffective and liable to provoke suicidal impulses. Eliot Spitzer has a smoking gun in the form of memos from Glaxo. One stated that the company wanted to “manage the dissemination of these data in order to minimise any potential negative commercial impact.” Glaxo rejected the suit and said that it had not covered up anything. However, Eliot Spitzer’s strong desire to make sure that the drug company is punished stated that the company is guilty of fraud if it fails to inform doctors of the full spectrum of results for the drugs. Spitzer also argued that Glaxo should have made more of an effort to inform doctors about the risks of prescribing the drug to children.
Eliot Spitzer has played a key role in limiting the actions of prescription drug manufacturers. He is recognised for protecting consumers from the high cost and the misleading advertisements of drug companies. Spitzer aims at protecting consumers from being misled into thinking that a drug is superior to rival drugs that are taken more often and longer. His objective to take large pharmaceutical drug companies to court has resulted in consumers being able to buy generic versions of expensive and life-saving drugs at lower prices. Eliot Spitzer works hard everyday and fights for the people to make sure that pharmaceutical companies obey the law. His attempt to clean up “big pharma” is worthy of support and is highly admired by the UK, as his wide ranging powers would be a solution to many of the UK’s problems.