GSK and Spitzer: Schadenfreude?

Have been away from the epicenter of political corruption for a while.  New York is quite a bit tamer on that score than Chicago.  Not so its tabloid headline writing (especially at the New York Post), which is as brilliant as it is uncivilized.  I was shocked to hear about New York governor Spitzer's recent problems; so, too, were the non-dyslexic headline writers at the Post, who reacted with the trashy but memorable, HO NO!  (It's challenging to come up with headlines that succinct. ) New York Daily News' "Pay for Luv Guv" wasn't even in the same league.  Had to wonder whether anyone at GSK, the company that Spitzer had pursued so vigorously, might be quietly savoring this moment.  Especially since the U.K. recently dismissed charges that the company had intentionally hidden safety information about its anti-depressant, Paxil/Seroxat.  The Financial Times recently published an interesting analysis (Read here) calling for more transparency.  The U.K. case, which lasted for for years, has helped raise the bar for clinical data transparency, the FT reports although it acknowledges that loopholes remain.  But Spitzer had fired the first shot in calling for data transparency here in the U.S., through a civil lawsuit filed in 2004 (for reportage from the Washington Post, click here)  requiring that more clinical trial results be made openly available to the public.  The case was settled for $2.5 million. He had also pursued GSK for filing frivolous IP infringement claims to prevent generic versions of Paxil from reaching the market.  That case was settled for $14 million). Spitzer, when he was state Attorney General, also heard from the second Wyeth Prevnar whistleblower, Anthony Sokol, who had alleged manufacturing and quality issues, and claimed the company had violated consent decree requirements.  The Wall Street Journal Health Blog reported recently (click here to read) that Sokol's, the second such case involving Prevnar manufacturing, was filed late in 2006, and only recently disclosed by the company, and that the first whistleblower, Mark Livingston, has appealed the decision that had been made in his case. AMS