In the first Paxil birth defect trial against GlaxoSmithKline, much of evidence focused on the doctors on Glaxo's payroll involved in the corruption of the medical literature and seminars given to promote the off label use of Paxil with pregnant and nursing mothers.
On October 13, 2009, the trial of Kilker v Glaxo ended with a Philadelphia jury awarding $2.5 million in compensatory damages to the family of Lyam Kilker, after finding that Glaxo "negligently failed to warn" the doctor treating Lyam's mother about the risks of Paxil and the drug was a "factual cause" of the child's heart defects.
Glaxo's lead attorney at trial was King & Spalding partner Chilton Varner, and the family's lead attorney was Sean Tracey from Houston.
During his opening statement on September 15, 2009, Tracey told the jury that Doctor David Healy is "one of the most, if not the (most) world-recognized expert on pharmaceutical industry influence and the medicine, he is up there in the top five."
Healy "is going to explain to you how GSK corrupted the medical literature," he said, "how they used their money and influence to have doctors that they paid put out literature into the world so doctors ... could read literature that looked like literature, looked like science, smelled like science, appeared to be science, from very important people, people that were on boards, people that were professors, people that published hundreds of articles."
Healy is going to explain to you that what they didn't tell people ... "is, we are paying these doctors to do all these things," Tracey told the jury.
"There is a book, it looks like a telephone book," he said, "of names of doctors, influential doctors, on their payroll, the names of these doctors you will see on this literature that looks and smells like science."
"And just coincidentally, this science that they are going to parade before you, all seemed to help them," he told the jury. "Some of this happened in the last couple weeks before this trial started."
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