Sunday Night – Sunday, October 12 on Seven at 8.15pm

pillsSECRETS AND LIES: A WORLDWIDE INVESTIGATION

This major worldwide investigation by Sunday Night lifts the lid on a scandal that defies belief. How could one of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies ignore for decades the potentially lethal side-effects to patients from one of its most profitable drugs? But that is exactly what happened here in Australia and around the world. Thousands of patients died after taking Trasylol – a drug used by surgeons to prevent excessive bleeding and save the need to give blood transfusions.

Operations appeared to be successful, but people suffered heart attacks, strokes or severe kidney damage – and many of those who didn’t die were left facing a lifetime on dialysis. Trasylol cost $1,000 a dose and was used across Australia at major hospitals for two decades before it was approved by the TGA, and another 15 years before it was finally taken off the market. Mounting medical evidence about the human toll from Trasylol was ignored by the company, which even withheld its own bombshell research from drug regulators. Chief investigations reporter Ross Coulthart meets the courageous Australian nurse who vowed as a young child to find out what happened to her super fit father, who died suddenly following a routine operation in 1978. It took her more than 30 years but when Jenny finds out the truth about her dad being given Trasylol she travels to Germany for an extraordinary face-to-face showdown with the bosses of the drug company that made it, and then hid its deadly secret. Tens of thousands of Australian families who lost a loved one to stroke, heart attack or kidney failure will not realise the cause of their pain and loss could be Trasylol. There is only one thing they can do to find the truth. In the United States, thousands of law suits have been launched, and the drug company has paid out hundreds of millions of dollars. But here in Australia, not one cent has been paid to victims and for the vast majority – it’s too late to even start.

STEPHEN FRY
He’s one of the cleverest and funniest men on the planet. Writer, actor, comedian, documentary maker and game show host to name just a few – Stephen Fry is a master of them all. He won a scholarship to Cambridge University at 18, and then was drawn to drama and with best mate Hugh Laurie made Blackadder into one of the biggest cult shows of all time. Everything he’s touched in his career since has seemingly turned to gold, but behind the cameras Fry has had more than a few problems in his colourful life. He was expelled from boarding school after being arrested and jailed for credit card fraud. He’s been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, battled an addiction to cocaine, depression and attempted suicide. Fry covers all this and more with reporter Rahni Sadler in the most brutally honest interview you will ever see from a celebrity.

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