Would you trust a company that lied for decades about a child health issue to take your main drug invention to the world? Biota did and regrets it.

Pharmaceutical multinational GlaxoSmithKline, alias the Ribena scammer, is facing the possibility of much larger damages in a court action by Biota than the insignificant wrist slap it copped for misleading generations of parents over the vitamin C content of its dreadful cordial.

The couple of hundred grand Glaxo copped in a New Zealand court is nothing compared with the pain and suffering of millions of children who were forced to drink the lolly water under false pretences.

Biota wants $430 million for Glaxo allegedly dropping the ball over anti-viral drug Relenza, claiming Glaxo did not use its best endeavours to develop and market the drug. Heavens knows Biota needs all the damages it can get after the much-ballyhooed Relenza failed to make the expected motza.

The court case has a long way to go, but one could wonder about what credibility GSK might have left in the wake of its Ribena deception. I suppose the next thing will be that we’ll discover smoking menthol cigarettes isn’t a good treatment for asthma.

Peter Fray

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