|Selected news articles which highlight important policy issues.||
News: Weekly Archives
News for the week of 02-14-2007
Judge Rules Drug Documents Must Be Returned to Eli Lilly
After running a front page series of articles bashing Eli Lilly's drug Zyprexabased on selective information provided by plaintiffs' attorneysthe New York Times notes (buried, in Section C, page 7) that a federal district judge has ordered the documents be returned to the company because their disclosure violated a confidentiality agreement.
In the 78page decision, Judge Jack B. Weinstein of Federal District Court ordered Dr. David Egilman, a special expert for the plaintiffs, and James B. Gottstein, a lawyer in Alaska, to return the documents to Lilly.
The question is not whether there are serious issues to be raised about Zyprexathey are being raised in a court of law, and the drug is tightly regulated by the FDA.
It is highly disturbing, however, thatno matter how you paint this picturethe Times allowed itself to be the vehicle for the selective leaking of documents from a source (a doctor in the employ of a plaintiff's attorney) that it knew to be highly biased. Unfortunately, this process happens all too often in the media, skewing public debate over important public policy issues.
Adding insult to injury in this case, the Times now refuses to let its reporter testify about exactly what his agreement with the plaintiff's sources was. If a company, or a government agency, engaged in this kind of selective leaking and subsequent stonewalling, the Times would excoriate them for itand with good reason.
This is definitely a matter that the Times' public Ombudsman should look into.
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