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"FIDDAMAN BLOG" - 5 new articles

  1. AC/DC Legend Retires
  2. Rock or Bust - AC/DC New Album
  3. Dr Accuses GSK of Breaking Their Corporate Integrity Agreement
  4. GSK Plead Guilty For Being "Very Decent"
  5. GSK's Mark Reilly Avoids Jail Time
  6. More Recent Articles
  8. Prior Mailing Archive

AC/DC Legend Retires

One thing in my life that I have never fallen out with is music, particularly the music of AC/DC.

I first heard them in 1978, I remember as if it were yesterday. There I was, grey trousers and a white Shetland wool jumper, I was just 14 and thought bands like Abba, The Sweet and Mud were the bees knees, the latter two were coming to an end of their glam-rock careers.

So, a 14 year old on a Saturday night at a youth disco in Birmingham, just a stone's throw from the Cadbury factory, if anyone is interested.

Nah, na, na, na, na, na ,na, ti, ti, ti, ti
Nah, na, na, na, na, na ,na, ti, ti, ti, ti
Nah, na, na, na, na, na ,na, ti, ti, ti, ti
Nah, na, na, na, na, na ,na, ti, ti, ti, ti
Nah, na, na, na, na, na ,na... wanna tell you a story...

A Whole Lotta Rosie was introduced to my ears and a new form of dancing, the likes that I had never seen before, was played out in front of me. Kids, older than I were brandishing invisible guitars and shaking their heads, mixing dandruff with kids who had previously left the dancefloor after working out to the latest from the Bee Gees or Olivia Newton John. These guys were huddled in a circle, they seemed to be the outcasts as none of the trouser and shirt wearing brigade were joining in.

The dandruff shakers were clad in denim, some in leather... "bout a woman I know", Nah, na, na, na, na, na ,na, "When it comes to lovin", Nah, na, na, na, na, na ,na, "she steals the show".

There was something about this tune, my leg started to take on a life of it's own, my body started to feel rhythm, it was a natural progression from listening to The Sweet and Mud... and the vocals hadn't really kicked in yet....

"You can say she's got it allllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll"


Nah, na, na, na, na, na ,na - dang danga dang
Nah, na, na, na, na, na ,na - dang danga dang
Nah, na, na, na, na, na ,na - dang danga dang
Nah, na, na, na, na, na ,na - dang danga dang

The rhythm, jeez the rhythm.

I couldn't help but join the circle of dandruff shakers, mostly right-handed air guitarists if I remember rightly, I was, am still am a leftie when it comes to being an accomplished air guitarist.

Today, I have every single track of AC/DC etched in my brain. I may not know where my fingers go when playing my imaginary guitar... but man, I have so much fun.

Mention AC/DC today and most people will tell you a story, just like Bon did to me back in 1978... "Wanna tell you a story..."

I've seen them countless times, appeared in one of their videos, collected bootleg videos, vinyl and cassettes and I still thirst for this raucous rock that has kept me going all these years.

I'm 50 now, been to the birthplace of Bon Scott, been to his resting place too, it just seemed fitting to do so because if it wasn't for Bon telling me his story then I probably would have gone through my life thinking that Bjorn, Benny, Agnetha and Anni-Frid were what music was all about. Don't get me wrong, I love Abba, they were part of my childhood and I still flick on a greatest hits CD of theirs to roll back the years.

I'm not a dancer, I'll do the odd slow dance but to shake my thing just makes me feel so uncomfortable. I dance like my dad, move the hips slightly and put my arms where I think they should go.

Give me an air guitar though and it's different.

I used to do the Angus duckwalk, old age sees me doing the foot-stomping of Malcolm these days.

Malcolm Young, for me at least, is God. Anyone who tells you that he isn't is probably a servant of the Devil [Ironically, something AC/DC have been accused of over the years]

Yesterday's news of AC/DC, or Acca Dacca, releasing a new album later in November was bitter sweet.

Malcolm, who formed the band, will be hanging up his Gretsch due to illness. He will not be joining AC/DC on stage anymore, and that really saddens me. His replacement isn't really a replacement, how could one replace God? Stevie Young is the perfect accompaniment for AC/DC. Angus and Malcolm's nephew has the Young mantra tattooed into his very soul. Play simple music for the kids... and over 50's.

I'll never forget Malcolm raising his thumb to me at Birmingham NEC many years ago. I was on top of some guy's shoulders and gesticulated to Malcolm in between songs, he smiled and gave me the least I think it was me he was signalling... I like to think that it was.

Malcolm, it appears, has an illness that may just take him away from us all. Hey, that's life, we all have to go some day.

All I know is this... my life is much more enriched for the music of AC/DC, for the rhythm that hit me back in 78 and the rhythm that still continues to hit me today.

Malcolm Young, I salute you.

In the words of Bjorn, Benny, Agnetha and Anni-Frid - Thank you for the music.

Bob Fiddaman.


Rock or Bust - AC/DC New Album

Regular readers, family and friends will know that I'm an AC/DC nut.

Speculation has been rife regarding the name of their new album, rumours have been flying around, which is customary for AC/DC.

However, it's now official.

Today they announced the name and release of their new album.

Rock or Bust was produced by Brendan O’Brien and will be released on 1 December. It will be the band’s first album not to feature Malcolm Young, whose role on the album has been taken on the record by his nephew Stevie.

AC/DC have also announced that founding member Malcolm will not be returning to AC/DC.

I first saw AC/DC in 1979, Stafford Bingley Hall - the ticket was just £4 and they were being supported by, a then unknown band, Def Leppard.

How times have changed.

According to various media sources the album features 11 new tracks, the first track from the album, "Play Ball", is to be revealed on September 27 on US TV channel TBS, in association with Major League Baseball.

Bob Fiddaman

Dr Accuses GSK of Breaking Their Corporate Integrity Agreement

In July 2012 GlaxoSmithKline entered into a Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA) that obligated them to collect and report on payments and transfers of value to US physicians and US healthcare organizations.

The Corporate Integrity Agreement signed by GSK with the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services in June 2012 also requires the them to disclose payments and transfers of value to US physicians.

Two years on and what do we have?

A post published on on September 22, 2014 by Dr. S. Brown is accusing Glaxo of going back on their word, thus breaking the Corporate Integrity Agreement.

According to the author, GSK have released a list of 168 physician lecturers, specifically trained to promote their new diabetes product, Tanzeum. 

Albiglutide, which is marketed as Tanzeum, was approved by the FDA earlier this year, can be used as a stand-alone therapy or in combination with other Type 2 diabetes therapies, including insulin and metformin. FDA says albiglutide shouldn't be used to treat people who have Type 1 diabetes.

Okay, so the pledge, according to a 2013 article in the New York Times, would be completed worldwide by 2016.

In the NYT article Glaxo chief Andrew Witty said...

“We keep asking ourselves, are there different ways, more effective ways of operating than perhaps the ways we as an industry have been operating over the last 30, 40 years?”

The 2013 NYT article also states that "Glaxo will continue to pay doctors consulting fees for market research because Mr. Witty said it was necessary for the company to gain insight from doctors about their products, but he said that activity would be limited in scope."

Are we to assume that Glaxo are not actually breaking any agreement (yet) because they have penciled in a 2016 target?

It seems to be a half-assed way to achieve a target of compliance by GSK, or are we to assume that , as Brown suggests, "using doctors to promote their products was just too successful a tactic to give up"?

Brown's post, "Glaxo-SmithKline Reneges on Pledge to End Paid Physician Promoters" offers no evidence or the list of the 168 physician lecturers targeted by GSK.

If true, let's hope that those paid physicians and Glaxo will stick to the guidance of the FDA and not promote Tanzeum for other off-label uses.

A pig just flew past my window.

Bob Fiddaman.


GSK Plead Guilty For Being "Very Decent"

Earlier today GSK issued an apology to the people of China, to my knowledge this is the first time an apology has been issued from anyone at GSK - Let's face it, they have a pretty dubious history with regard to a number of their drugs causing birth defects, homicide, suicide and heart attacks. No apology has ever been given to victims of Paxil or Avandia.

The apology, which can be read in full here, comes as a result of GSK  pleading guilty and being handed down a fine of  3 billion yuan ($488.8 million) in the Changsha Intermediate People's Court in Hunan Province earlier today.

The ringleader, or mastermind behind the whole bribery network, Mark Reilly, was given a three year suspended prison sentence and, according to various media reports, will be deported from China.

The one-day trial, held in secrecy, saw a total of four years in sentencing handed down to Reilly and four other managers, Zhang Guowei, Zhao Hongyan, Liang Hong and Huang Hong, all of whom worked for GSK. According to the New York Times, all but one of the sentences was suspended.

According to the court report,  "it (the court) had taken into account that he (Reilly) had returned from Britain to face the investigators, and that he had “truthfully recounted the crimes of his employer,” meriting a relatively lenient punishment"

This must come as a kick in the teeth for Peter Humprey and his wife, Yu Yinzeng, who were jailed back in August for  trafficking 256 pieces of personal information between 2009 and 2013.

Humprey's firm, ChinaWhys, had previously been hired by GSK China to look into allegations of wrong-doing by Mark Reilly. Humphrey's son, Harvey, has maintained all along that GSK were to blame for his father's incarceration at the hands of the Chinese. This from the UK Telegraph...

"They said the allegations were untrue," said Harvey. "Then two weeks later they said actually these things did happen. My father would have changed the conditions of the investigation if he had known. He would have investigated the allegations instead of this one person. I do not think as an investigator you would have taken the risk of investigating a whistleblower before you investigated the allegations."
GSK has insisted that an initial investigation into the claims "did not find evidence to substantiate the specific allegations made in the whistleblower emails".
"When I saw my dad last Friday, I mentioned GSK once. I mentioned Reilly to him once. He expressed a very low opinion of Reilly." 

I'm kind of surprised at the leniency of the Chinese authorities. The reason, they claim, they were so lenient was because Reilly had returned to China and had “truthfully recounted the crimes of his employer” - his employer?

I'm confused, wasn't it Reilly who carried out the crimes unbeknownst to his employer, GSK?

Perfect timing for the trial too. The British press are all over the Scottish 'yes' or 'no' votes so any news that GSK have been pleading guilty to crimes committed in China will have less column inches in the British media. It would be interesting to find out who decided the date of the trial.

Late last year Glaxo CEO Andrew Witty accompanied British Prime Minister David Cameron on a "Business" trip to China.

Cameron defended GlaxoSmithKline's business practices in China calling GSK "very decent".

Let's just take a look at their apology to the people of China again to see how "very decent" their behaviour was...

"Following a comprehensive investigation by the Chinese judicial authorities, GSK China Investment Co. Ltd (GSKCI) has been identified according to Chinese law to have offered money or property to non-government personnel in order to obtain improper commercial gains, and has been found guilty of bribing non-government personnel.
Very decent?

I don't know what David Cameron's definition of the word 'decent' is but to assign it to GSK is borderline madness!

I'm in no doubt that Cameron was influential in helping Reilly escape jail time, no doubt at all.

So, will Reilly, once deported, be arrested when he sets foot back on British soil?

I guess that's a job for the UK's Serious Fraud Office who, earlier this year, announced that they would be investigating GlaxoSmithKline as a result of the Chinese allegations - well, they aren't allegations any more, Glaxo have, today, pleaded guilty.

If you think that the UK's Serious Fraud Office will be standing at Heathrow with handcuffs to arrest Reilly then you may be mistaken, if anything, it will be David Cameron and Andrew Witty that will greet Reilly with open arms... "Well done old chum, our shares are back on the rise".

Meantime, 100 or so plaintiffs in the UK face disappointment after GSK have refused to pay out compensation to them for suffering severe withdrawal reactions to the antidepressant Seroxat [known as Paxil in the US]. This, despite settling over 3,000 cases of Paxil addiction in the US.

Welcome to Britain folks!

Bob Fiddaman.

Back stories.

Cronyism, Chinese Style

Will Cameron Call off the GSK Hounds?

Witty Plays Down China Scandal

Witty Witty Bang Wang. The Glaxo Gangbang...Allegedly

Andrew Witty... I know narrrrrrrrthing

葛兰素史克公司 腐败 For Researching Chinagate

Glaxo's Private Investigator Arrested

Book Your Holidays With GSK Travel

Andrew Witty... I know narrrrrrrrthing - Part II

Hammer to Fall on GSK's Chinese Executives

GSK CHINA - Bribery was Rife 13 Years Ago

Glaxo - The Sex Tape Scandal

Peter Humphrey's 2012 Presentation - Pharma Bribery

GSK's Chinese Whispers and David Cameron 

“GSK were really cagey", Claims Whitehall Official.

Glaxo Hire Ropes & Gray to Delve Into its Chinese Operations.


GSK's Mark Reilly Avoids Jail Time

More Recent Articles

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