Published: Monday 30 June 1997

A lawsuit filed in the US district court in San Francisco has accused three pharmaceutical firms -Boots Co of UK, BASF AG of Germany and its US subsidiary Knoll Pharmaceuticals -of covering up a report questioning the effectiveness of a thyroid drug. The lawsuit alleges that the drug companies concealed a seven-year-long study that concluded that their thyroid drug, Synthroid, was no better than cheaper generic brands at treating people suffering from hypothyroidism, a condition caused by an underactive thyroid gland. Martin Wakeling, a Boots spokes- person, dismissed the allegations as "totally fanciful".

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