Almost two years ago I posted on a new book about the Olivieri-Apotex case:
Following that post (which offers a brief review of the Olivieri case, there being a longer description in HOOKED), I took a fair amount of heat from some Canadian colleagues who happen to be supporters of Dr. Olivieri. I don't expect to take any heat this time around, as according to CAUT, the behavior of Apotex is so egregious as to beggar description.
After a drawn-out legal battle in which Apotex accused Dr. Olivieri of badmouthing their drug, deferiprone, for thalassemia major, and Olivieri accused the company of trying to suppress data showing the drug's serious side effects, an agreement was reached in November 2004, in which each side agreed to stop disparaging the other. Apotex has now taken Olivieri back to court claiming that she violated the agreement.
CAUT has pointed out in its recent statement that Apotex has adopted a definition of "disparage" that seriously threatens academic freedom. According to some of the charges filed by Apotex with the court, Dr. Olivieri disparages them when:
- she appears on a panel or gives a lecture to discuss the ethical issues of the relationship between medical research and the pharmaceutical industry, even if she never mentions Apotex or deferiprone by name
- anyone else writes about the "Olivieri case" and mentions the charges against Apotex and deferiprone, even if Olivieri had nothing whatever to do with it (I presume according to Apotex, this post is an example of Dr. Olivieri disparaging them, even though she had and has no idea that I am writing this, and she and I have in fact never met or spoken)