GE uses UK libel law to silence Danish researcher

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

Following in the footsteps of several other device manufacturers and medical interests, GE Healthcare is using UK libel laws, which some describe as “draconian,” to attempt to muzzle a Danish physician who helped discover links between the GE drug Omniscan and the debilitating and sometimes fatal disease nephrogenic systemic fibrosis.

ProPublica’s Jeff Gerth, who has been all over the Omniscan story for a while now, reports in The Sunday Times (and on ProPublica) on the lawsuit and the science, economics and politics behind it. The prominent Danish researcher, who noticed the link after a number of his patients came down with NSF, delivered a 15-minute PowerPoint presentation in Oxford in 2006 in which he referred to Omniscan as a potential “medical hurricane.” To date, GE has spent more than $600,000 fighting the claims with a libel suit.

3 thoughts on “GE uses UK libel law to silence Danish researcher

  1. Pingback: GE uses UK libel law to silence Danish researcher : Covering Health | Denmark News BaVaBa

  2. Lynne Gailey from GE Healthcare

    GE Healthcare has promoted a vigorous scientific debate about the safety of Gadolinium Based Contrast Agents (GBCAs), including Omniscan™ and we reject any suggestion to the contrary.

    Like the many other scientists who have contributed to this discussion, Dr. Henrik Thomsen is entitled to express any and all honestly-held beliefs so long as his views as expressed are not knowingly indifferent to the true state of affairs.

    GE Healthcare encourages such scientific debate but the imperative of a robust debate about the safety of gadolinium-based contrast agents does not license Dr. Thomsen to make knowingly false and inaccurate statements about GE Healthcare or its products. GE Healthcare initiated the lawsuit because, despite repeated efforts by GE Healthcare to engage in a constructive dialogue with Dr. Thomsen, he persisted in making false accusations that the company had deliberately concealed and suppressed information from regulatory authorities in relation to its contrast agent, Omniscan. This action is not about the science, it is about the inaccurate statements that Dr Thomsen has made about the company.

    GE Healthcare has cooperated fully and actively promoted a robust evaluation of the safety of GBCAs in Europe, the United States and elsewhere based on the evidence and the science. We welcome the continuation of a principled dialogue about the safety of GBCAs.

  3. Pingback: UK reporter gains ground in chiropractor libel suit : Covering Health

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