publication date: Jun. 5, 2015

Amgen Seeks to Depose Reporter, TCL Invokes First Amendment Shield


Amgen Inc. is seeking to depose The Cancer Letter editor and publisher Paul Goldberg in connection with a shareholders suit stemming from his 2007 story about the results of a Danish trial of Aranesp.

The Cancer Letter is contesting the subpoena, asserting first amendment protection and its rights to protect confidentiality of sources.

The story showed that the trial in question—one of Amgen’s “pharmacovigilance trials” intended to determine whether the agent was safe at higher targets—was halted because of significantly inferior outcomes from adding Aranesp to radiation therapy.

A story about Amgen’s efforts to subpoena Goldberg was published on The Wall Street Journal’s Pharmalot blog June 5.

Amgen seeks to ascertain how The Cancer Letter learned about the Danish study and how this information was distributed (The Cancer Letter, Feb. 16, 2007). The company previously sought production of records late last year, and The Cancer Letter has filed an opposition to that effort.

The story about the Danish trial led FDA to intensify its scrutiny of these overprescribed products by issuing a clinical alert and scheduling a meeting of the FDA Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee.

On Feb. 16, 2007, The Cancer Letter reported that Amgen had known about the discontinuation of the Danish study, but didn’t disclose this outcome publicly. After the story appeared, the company held a 4 p.m. conference call to state that as a matter of policy it … Continue reading 41-22 Amgen Seeks to Depose Reporter, TCL Invokes First Amendment Shield

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