The Zyprexa Papers: A Legal System for Drug Companies and Lawyers…Not the Public

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From CounterPunch: “The Zyprexa Papers is not simply about the harm done by blockbuster psychiatric drugs and drug company illegal marketing. It is also about the perversion of the U.S. legal system, as Gottstein illuminates the courts’ use of secrecy orders in settlement agreements to the detriment of the public. Gottstein concludes:

‘When lawyers are faced with companies telling them they won’t settle unless everything is kept secret, the lawyers almost always advise (insist) their clients agree. . . .This is a situation where the benefits accrue to one group and the detriments to another. In other words, their clients are not harmed by keeping the information secret, but the public is harmed. Their clients only get benefits, i.e., money. This is also true of the lawyers, who get paid (a lot) if the case is settled but don’t get paid if they lose. The judges are supposed to allow the secrecy only if it is in the public interest, but in practice, they don’t. The secrecy greases the wheels of settlement as well as litigation, and judges want to have cases resolved and off their docket. So the incentives are all pushing towards keeping things secret. Normally, no one is representing the public interest.'”

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