Magazine article New Internationalist

Seriously.: You Couldn't Make This Stuff Up

Magazine article New Internationalist

Seriously.: You Couldn't Make This Stuff Up

Article excerpt

Nancy Olivieri's six-year struggle with a Canadian drug company illustrates how truth, justice and the Western way is the rhetoric of Superman comics. Dr Olivieri is a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto and a specialist in the treatment of hereditary blood disorders. In the early 1990s she obtained corporate sponsorship from Canada's largest domestically owned pharmaceutical company, Apotex, to research a promising drug, only to find through her research that there were side-effects. Her problems started when she told Apotex (which had considerable financial connections with the University) that she wanted to let her patients know about the side-effects, and accelerated when she and her team later told regulatory authorities that there were serious problems with the drug. Apotex responded by challenging her research. She was sacked, threatened and gagged. When she sued Apotex for libel for accusing her of making false statements, the company filed a counterclaim against her for $10-million damages. …

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