Dr. Stuart Montgomery, Imperial College School of Medicine, University of London and author of the [depression] monotherapy study, said: These study results are remarkable -- all of the doses of SEROQUEL XR examined provided improvements in MDD and GAD symptoms. Results from further studies that are still ongoing will add to our understanding of SEROQUEL XR in these conditions.What is remarkable is not that 'Quell had a slight advantage over placebo but that an "independent" academic psychiatrist is willing to pimp Seroquel so blatantly. It would appear that Dr. Montgomery is aware of who is putting butter on his bread. Finding a modest to perhaps moderate advantage for a drug over a placebo in treating depression and/or anxiety is far from remarkable, given that there are dozens of drugs and psychotherapies that have demonstrated similar or better efficacy. Then again, it is remarkable that Seroquel is related to increased risk of diabetes (1, 2, 3, 4), which is likely not the case for competing depression treatments. Of course, since the movement has now started to treat depression with antipsychotics (1, 2), perhaps we will see many people with depression moving toward an increased risk of diabetes. It might be worth noting that on the MADRS, which was the measure of depression reported in the press release, one question is regarding eating -- the more you eat, the better your score. So an antipsychotic linked to weight gain is set to do well in that those who eat a lot will score better on this item, which is then taken as a sign that they are less depressed.
I've been tracking the Seroquel for everything bandwagon for some time now (1, 2, 3, 4) and I can't wait to see where this is headed next.
Part 2. The Academic Salesperson. As Krusty the Klown might say, "I heartily endorse this event and/or product"...
Here are some other Stuart Montgomery quotes from press releases:
"Agomelatine is an interesting and potentially very valuable antidepressant that is effective in both moderate and severe depression", says Professor Stuart Montgomery from the Imperial College School of Medicine in London. "The new agent has a unique mode of action, improves sleep without affecting daytime alertness and its efficacy is not compromised by sexual side effects, tolerability problems or discontinuation symptoms.Escitalopram (Lexapro)
"These results are important because they show we have a treatment at our disposal which is effective without sacrificing the good side-effect profile obviously preferred by patients," commented study author Professor Stuart A. Montgomery, Imperial College School of Medicine, London, United Kingdom. "The ideal combination for any first line treatment is good efficacy and good tolerability - this study shows that escitalopram has all the potency of the non selective SNRIs combined with the good tolerability of the conventional SSRIs," he concluded.Lexapro (again)
“This consistent advantage really came out as a surprise,” marvelled Prof Montgomery. “These are shocking data that no one was expecting”. He added: “At that stage we already knew that there was something special about the drug”.One more piece on Dr. Montgomery may be of interest to readers (via The Guardian ):
Finally, Prof Montgomery mentioned results coming from further studies that he referred to as “staggering” – these were decisive in establishing Lexapro’s long term effectiveness in treating both GAD and SAD.
A leading figure in the world of psychiatry gave a pharmaceutical company advice on how to get its new drug approved while he was sitting on the committee which was deciding the licence application.Read the whole article and see what you think.
An internal memorandum from Pfizer, the world's largest drug company, says Stuart Montgomery would be happy to become a paid adviser and declare an interest to the Committee on the Safety of Medicines (CSM) once the drug, an antidepressant to rival Prozac, had been through the licensing process.
When Dr. Montgomery or other key opinion leaders with similar conflicts of interest speak, we are supposed to view them as independent expert researchers whose enthusiastic product endorsements are based purely based on science. The manner in which every drug company trot out eager academic spokespeople is a sign that academic medicine has become rotten to the core.