Press Release

Minister appoints lawyer to consider steps open to State to investigate multi-national pharmaceutical companies

Mr Micheál Martin T.D., Minister for Health and Children, has today (8 November 2001) announced the appointment of Mr Paul Gardiner, S.C., to investigate and consider what steps are open to the State to instigate an effective enquiry into matters relating to certain multi-national pharmaceutical companies which occurred in the United States of America, but which were found by the Lindsay Tribunal of Inquiry to be outside its scope.

Mr Gardiner will travel as soon as possible to the United States to ascertain, inter alia, the legal position regarding the maintenance of documentation in the document depository at Pensacola, Florida, and the possibility of retaining the documentation at its current location.

Mr Gardiner will also visit and take advice from US lawyers in relation to the possibility of the State (or other interested party) making an application to obtain access to the depository.

In the course of his enquiries, Mr Gardiner will liaise with lawyers acting for the Irish Haemophilia Society and consider carefully any legal submissions, arguments, opinions or suggestions which they wish to make.

Mr Gardiner will furnish a report on these matters to the Minister, for presentation to Government, at the earliest possible time consistent with a full and proper consideration of the issues involved.