Pharmaceutical Firm Sues 'Pittsburgh Post-Gazette' Over Critical Series

By: Joe Strupp A pharmaceutical company that was the subject of a recent series in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has filed a lawsuit against the newspaper, claiming the coverage was "misleading" and used "improperly obtained internal documents."

A release from Mylan Inc. today announced that the company and its subsidiary, Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., filed the civil lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Monongalia County, W.Va., against the Post-Gazette, and reporters Len Boselovic and Patricia Sabatini.

"The lawsuit was filed after the newspaper published a series of sensational and misleading articles based on improperly obtained and misconstrued confidential internal documents," the announcement stated. "The articles mischaracterized a minor deviation from an internal Mylan procedure, creating the false appearance of significant quality and regulatory issues at Mylan's Morgantown, W.Va., plant when no such issues existed. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently concluded a review at the facility and determined that there were no deficiencies and that no action was required."

Post-Gazette Editor David Shribman was unavailable for comment. Publisher John Robinson Block issued only a short statement on the suit: "We have not seen the complaint, so we cannot comment on it. But the Post-Gazette stands fully behind its reporting and its news-gathering and will defend the suit vigorously."

Mylan's announcement said the lawsuit seeks "the return of the internal confidential and proprietary documents in the Post-Gazette's possession that were improperly obtained without Mylan's knowledge or consent. The lawsuit challenges what the Post-Gazette has described as proper news-gathering techniques as well as the improper distribution of Mylan's internal documents to others who then reviewed them without the complete set of facts. This contributed to the noted mischaracterizations and misleading allegations in the numerous articles published on this matter."

It also seeks unspecified "appropriate relief from the named defendants and any others, as yet unknown, who were involved in or possibly benefited from the wrongful conduct."

Mylan Chairman and CEO Robert J. Coury added in a statement: "We are very disappointed that this situation occurred and reached this level, however, we have no other alternative but to address this type of misconduct. This matter has now been turned over to Mylan's legal department, and as consistent with our longtime policy not to comment on litigation, we will not be discussing this matter going forward. Mylan's management team will continue to maintain its unwavering focus on executing and delivering on its long-standing objectives."


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