At the end of July the Moscow arbitration court held hearings on two landmark lawsuits. Veterinary company “helvet” and OOO “Alexan” has sued the Academy of Sciences and its Commission on struggle against a pseudo science after the publication in February 2017 acclaimed Memorandum of homeopathy.
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In his claim to Academy representatives “Alexanna” wrote that their company is Russia’s largest developer, producer and supplier of homeopathic medicines for animals. Among the drugs that it manufactures is, for example, “Mastometrin”, produced for the prevention and treatment of inflammatory diseases of the reproductive organs and mammary glands of female animals, and “Ovariovit” performed for the prevention and treatment of disorders of ovarian function in females of farm animals, fur animals, cats and dogs. Both the drug solutions for injection colorless transparent liquid.
The drop in sales, or record results
Claims from two companies were received in the Academy in the summer of 2017 as a response to the Memorandum of lunarfest homeopathy and the corresponding expert opinion corroborating said in the Memorandum. The Commission’s experts have stated that the treatment is homeopathic, ultra-low doses there is no scientific basis, and homeopathy can be dangerous, because its advocates often neglected drugs with proven efficacy, trigger a life-threatening disease, wrongly relying on “dummy”.
Two veterinary companies demanded that the Russian Academy of Sciences to withdraw the Memorandum, to remove from the website of the Commission to combat pseudoscience “is untrue and damaging the business reputation” and to compensate them for intangible, reputational damages in the amount of 20 million (LLC “helmet”) and 30 million rubles (OOO “Alexan”). After a disagreement ran to meet the requirements of the two companies were filed in the Moscow arbitration court in November 2017 (from OOO “Alexann) and March 2018 (“helmet”).
Claims of the two companies almost repeat one another, as one company (“helmet”) sells what it produces another (“Alexand”). “The Commission of the RAS, using his authority to include false information, distorted views of consumers about business reputation of the manufacturer and discounted multi-year effort, “Alexan” for its creation and maintenance”, – stated in the statement of claim, signed by the Director of both companies Valery Davydenkova.
He complains to the court that the publication of the Memorandum led to a drop in sales and loss of profits. In April of 2017 in an interview he confidently stated that the Memorandum on its business is not affected, and he carefully monitored the situation, and moreover, in April, they “received a record economic results.” Lawyers “Alexan” are now saying that this statement is their Director was correct only at the time of publication, and later the company still felt the negative impact of the Memorandum.
Conclusive signs of tampering
Lawyer, academician Yevgeny Alexandrov, the head of the Commission to combat pseudoscience Yaroslav Black, commenting on both the process, noticed that the homeopaths data on falling sales, allegedly occurred after the publication of the Memorandum, does not stand up to scrutiny. Instead of inviting qualified audit companies homeopathic company presented to the court some declarative information from their counterparties.
In his statement of claim the Director of both companies, is contesting the approval of the Commission to combat pseudoscience that homeopathy is ineffective. Trying to confirm the opposite – the effectiveness of so-called homeopathic products for animals, Davydenko recalls one of his doctoral in biology, one PhD and 12 master’s in veterinary medicine. However, experts of the Commission to combat pseudoscience are willing to challenge many, if not all, of these theses.
So, a member of the Commission, Vice-President of society of specialists in evidence-based medicine Vasily Vlasov in response to the request of Yaroslav Black reports that the dissertation, submitted as proof of effectiveness on the part of the plaintiff, “contain gross deviations from the established norms of clinical practice, performance studies is also unacceptably bad, the statistical analysis is missing or incorrect, there are strong signs of falsification of data”. This position Society evidence-based medicine experts were attached to the case.
From the responses to the Vlasov V. it follows that the two companies should never have to complain about the Memorandum. So, in response to attorney’s request Professor Vlasov wrote:
“The plaintiff in the text of the claim systematically calling their products “homeopathic” and associates the decline in sales, with the publication of the Memorandum “On the false scientific character of homoeopathy”; in fact (at the Complainant’s website) none of the drugs is not called a homeopathic registration certificates are issued for these drugs do not indicate that homeopathic medicines”.
Didn’t want to turn the trial into a scientific debate
However, the bankruptcy court is unlikely to try to understand whether the drugs “Helveta and Alexanna” homeopathic, it is more interested in the formal side of things – whether the publication of the Memorandum and expert reports of the Commission to combat pseudoscience diminished business reputation of a particular company and whether Academy of Sciences to compensate for it a certain reputational damage. In the case of OOO “khelvet” judge Chadov already answered this question in the negative. On 24 July, the process ended with the victory of the Academy of Sciences (on the website of the arbitration court are available only in the operative part of the decision). However, lawyers “Alexanna” involved in both processes may give for the appeal.
The representative of the head of the Commission on pseudoscience was ready to present meaningful arguments in disputes about homeopathy, but a judge. failed, OOO “khelvet” claims the suit, and J. E. Sudakova did not want to translate the trial in the format of a scientific debate. Instead, the court of arbitration is the document sharing – their study and present to the judge and to each other its counter-arguments.
However, to enjoy first victory of the Academy of Sciences yet. Lawsuits take lawyers wounds and the Commission to combat pseudoscience a lot of time and effort.
The fate of the two suits surely closely watching the so called and truly homeopathic company, in case of a victory of their colleagues are also prepared to accuse fighters with pseudoscience in that they have defiled their long-term reputation.