A disturbing piece of ‘news’ from America. Today’s reports about an increase in the suicide rate in children in 2004 offer an opportunity to witness how the media unwittingly disseminates pharmaceutical industry generated propaganda.
I’m afraid to say that once you read the true facts of the matter, you can see that some parts of the media have fallen for an industry planted ‘news’ item inappropriately linking suicide rates and antidepressant use. The more cynical amongst us might even think that this is another part of Glaxo’s response to the Panorama programme of last week, which showed secret emails revealing that the UK’s biggest drug company distorted trial results Seroxat, covering up a link with suicide in teenagers. It also revealed that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) attempted to show that Seroxat worked for depressed children despite failed clinical trials. And that GSK-employed ghostwriters influenced ‘independent’ academics.
So now, alongside the work of ‘independent’ academics Drs. Ryan and Keller, we need to keep an eye out for the work of ‘independent’ academics Dr. Charles Nemeroff and Dr. David Fassler
The media has fallen for industry’s manufactured myths before. For example, the mythological ‘chemical imbalance’ in the brain of depressed persons who, it was claimed, needed an SSRI antidepressant to increase serotonin levels.
To read the full article on this story and find out more about Drs. Nemeroff and Fassler, I suggest you look here on the excellent AHRP Blogspot.
I hope that regular readers of this website are beginning to see the patterns that are formed by the way that Big Pharma goes about its business. Reports like this, by ‘independent’ academics like this don’t happen by accident – it’s all part of a carefully planned and orchestrated marketing and PR campaign. This story is not the work of ‘independent’ academics who are concerned about patient care – this is an advert.