Both sides win in Upjohn libel case

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: (Published 04 June 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1455
  1. C Dyer

    The long running libel action brought by the Upjohn company, manufacturer of the sleeping pill Halcion (triazolam), ended in the High Court in London last week, with the company winning a total of pounds sterling85 000 libel damages over allegations that it had deliberately concealed the drug's side effects.

    The BBC was ordered to pay the company, based in the US, pounds sterling60 000 in damages over a 1991 Panorama documentary - “The Halcion nightmare.” Upjohn also won £25 000 from Ian Oswald, a retired professor of psychiatry at Edinburgh University, over comments by him in the New York Times in January 1992 accusing the company of “one long fraud.” But Professor Oswald, who was backed by the Medical Defence Union, succeeded in a counterclaim that Upjohn had libelled him in a company press release reacting to his charges. He was awarded £50 000 …

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