FindingDulcinea (H/T Marilyn Mann) is running a thought-provoking article on the evidentiary potential of often-anonymous internet postings -- and the CaféPharma/Schering example is, once again, front and center. Regular readers know that we broke this story -- and it next was picked up by Ed Silverman, then over at Pharmalot (now at the InVivoBlog). Now many -- including Bloomberg Financial News Service -- are covering the developments -- as well they ought. Cool.
Do go read the whole thing, as it covers several other cases, but let's read along:
. . . .According to Bloomberg, the comments relate to the fact that the companies knew there were problems with the tests and did not make them public. The posts were “very detailed,” said Sean Coffey, a lawyer for the investors.
But the companies wrote in their request to U.S. District Judge Dennis Cavanaugh that “CaféPharma is, literally, the cyberspace equivalent of scrawls left on a men’s room wall.”
The case has added fuel to an already smoldering debate regarding the Internet’s role in the courtroom, as several recent lawsuits have centered on comments made online. . . .
The news wasn’t the only negative press the cholesterol drug has received. In August, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it would begin investigating a possible cancer link with the drug.
Clinical trial results released in July showed that, in a study of more than 1,800 people, 93 people who took Vytorin developed cancer, compared with 65 in a control group. Two other studies, however, indicated no link, and some researchers claimed the cancer finding was most likely an anomaly.
The cancer study came on the heels of another clinical trial that showed that Vytorin failed to improve a heart valve condition called aortic stenosis, which, if left untreated, can lead to serious heart problems. . . .
We will keep you informed. We promise.