An article by Jeanne Lenzer in our 1 January issue (BMJ 2005;330:7) reported that the US Food and Drug Administration was to review confidential Eli Lilly documents that had been sent to the BMJ by an anonymous source.
The article stated that these documents had gone “missing” during a 1994 product liability suit filed against Eli Lilly.
That statement has been the subject of a detailed investigation conducted by the BMJ following a complaint by Eli Lilly. That investigation has revealed that all of the documents supplied to the BMJ that were either Eli Lilly documents or were in the hands of Eli Lilly had in fact been disclosed during the suit.
At the end of the trial, all the documents were preserved by Court Order or were disclosed by Eli Lilly to the plaintiffs' lawyers in related Prozac claims.
The BMJ did not intend to suggest that Eli Lilly caused these documents to go missing. As a result of the investigation, it is clear that these documents did not go missing. The BMJ accepts that Eli Lilly acted properly in relation to the disclosure of these documents in these claims. The BMJ is happy to set the record straight and to apologise to Eli Lilly for this statement, which we now retract, but which we published in good faith.
The same article described Dr Peter Breggin as “the medical witness for the Wesbecker case.” He was, in fact, the expert witness for the plaintiffs.