Sunday, July 8, 2012

Roche under investigation by UK watchdogs after 80,000 'adverse reactions' and Not Disclosing 15,000 Patient Death Reports

One of the world’s biggest drug companies is at the centre of an urgent investigation after failing to disclose reports that 15,000 people died while taking its medicines.

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche failed to pass on a further 65,000 reports of suspected side effects that were recorded by patients.

All of the reactions took place in the United States over the past 15 years with medicines used to treat breast cancer, bowel cancer, hepatitis B, and skin and eye conditions.

There is no evidence so far of any direct link between the problems and the drugs – but medicines watchdogs say they are taking Roche’s failure to disclose possible concerns ‘extremely seriously’.

The drugs involved include Herceptin, given to about 10,000 breast cancer patients in Britain, and Lucentis, which is used to treat about 20,000 UK patients a year with age-related vision loss. The NHS pays Roche millions of pounds for these treatments every year. Read More