Vengeful regulator costs taxpayers $55 million

The TGA does not like alternative medicines generally and they were particularly cheesed with this guy because they had lost previous legal battles with him. So they used faults in a few of his products as an excuse to shut down his entire business -- even though there was no evidence of problems with over 200 other products. The fact that they had been too lazy to do any inspections in response to earlier complaints would also have counted against the TGA. The big damages payout is clear evidence that the TGA is a typical bureaucracy: At once lazy and irresponsible in the use of its powers. Since they control all access to drugs in Australia, new and less capricious management for them would seem urgent

The former chief executive of Pan Pharmaceuticals will get $55 million in compensation from the Commonwealth government, after the Federal Court found a government agency had been negligent. Jim Selim was the chief executive of Pan Pharmaceuticals, which went into liquidation in 2005, owing some $180 million after faulty batches of its travel sickness remedy Travacalm resulted in at least 87 adverse reactions and 19 hospitalisations. Symptoms included psychotic episodes, hallucinations and blackouts.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) suspended Pan's licence and ordered the immediate withdrawal of 219 of its products. After Pan pleaded guilty to 24 charges relating to defective medication, Mr Selim launched legal action, claiming the TGA had pursued a vendetta against him and Pan.

Today, Justice Arthur Emmett congratulated legal counsel for reaching a settlement in a case he said could have continued for several more weeks. "I see no reason why the court shouldn't act in accordance with the wishes of the parties,'' Judge Emmett said. He made an order confirming the settlement, which will see $50 million compensation paid by the Commonwealth to Mr Selim and an extra $5 million for legal costs, to be paid within 28 days.

Outside the court, Mr Selim said he was thankful for the result but he was still waiting for a public apology from the TGA for its actions, which he said had come at great personal cost to himself.

Source. More background here

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

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