Friday, January 11, 2008

Zetia, Paxil, Medical Journals, Fraud, Etc,

I've been busy wiping up tears after the Frontline episode on medicating children with a wide variety of psychiatric medicines. Well worth watching. There are many thoughtful comments over at Furious Seasons. Feel free to add your voice. I may post on some of the highlights and lowlights of the Frontline piece later. Suffice for now to say that it sure is depressing that the media keeps up the dunce journalism of linking decreased SSRI prescriptions to an increase in suicide as if this was some sort of reliable finding. Please read my earlier posts (1, 2) for details on this constantly repeated yet incorrect interpretation of events.

Here are a few other posts worth reading:
  • Is "symptom remission" a realistic or even desirable goal when treating depression? A very interesting battle of letters in the American Journal of Psychiatry receives excellent coverage at Furious Seasons.
  • Roy Poses at Health Care Renewal demolishes an op-ed piece by Robert Goldberg (from the infamous Drug Wonks site). Also check out an incredible tale of kickbacks to a physician from multiple companies. If your hunger for bizarre tales in healthcare is not yet satiated, read about CellCyte, a company whose main product is apparently fraud.
  • Are medical journals asleep at the wheel regarding problems with Zetia? Aubrey Blumsohn seems to think so, and I think he might have a point. It would not be the first time that a medical journal dropped the ball.
  • Paxil for life. Go ahead, try to quit. What, you can't quit? A large group of individuals suing GlaxoSmithKline believe they've had difficulties quitting Paxil without significant problems. Worry not, friends, GSK said: "We believe there is no merit in this litigation... Seroxat has benefited millions of people worldwide who have suffered from depression.'' Read more about Paxil/Seroxat's special benefits. H/T: PharmaGossip.
  • While you can catch up on the national presidential derby from many sources, there is little coverage of the race for American Psychiatric Association president. Daniel Carlat (who is popping up everywhere these days, which is a good thing) provides his take on the upcoming APA election. To nobody's surprise, some have noted an issue with one candidate's potential conflicts of interest.
  • Pfizer = McDonald's + Estee Lauder?


meg said...

My prof was talking about this episode in class the other day. I will have to view it. I'm very anti-prescribing for anyone, but children as young as 3 taking meds for disorders that may or may not be manifest! Terrifying really. Great blog, by the way.

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Anonymous said...

Oh, this really upsets me. Parents don't want to be responsible for raising their kids any more. Why teach them discipline and good behavior while they can be chemically pacified?