Big Pharma Spin and Child Suicide Rates in the USA

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.


4 Responses to “Big Pharma Spin and Child Suicide Rates in the USA”

  1. Matthew Holford Says:

    Seroxat didn’t work when it was trialled. I can only presume that the MCA didn’t have sight of all the failed trials’ results, given that two positives were required for licensing. It wouldn’t be a surprise to discover that the failures were suppressed. If the MCA did have sight, and licensed the drug, anwyay, then we have a bigger issue, on our hands.

    Any discussion about whether suicide rates have risen or fallen, consequent to fewer of these things supposedly being prescribed is completely beside the point. We already know that they don’t work: the manufactuer has told us so. Why is anybody still trying to pretend that they do? We’ve moved beyond that leg of the argument, now.

    At the end of the day, the only fact that one needs in one’s possession is the manufactuer’s own evidence. They don’t work, end of story. These increasingly futile attempts to demonstrate efficacy just look laughable.

    GSK has manufactured the square wheel, and somehow it’s managed to convince a whole bunch of people to say that it’s the best solution. Unfortunately, the people thus convinced are the ones responsible for licensing it.


  2. seroxat secrets… Top posts for April « Says:

    […] Big Pharma Spin and Child Suicide Rates […]

  3. Charles Nemeroff caught with his hands in the Glaxo till… « seroxat secrets… Says:

    […] written about ‘Chuck’ in the past – here, here and […]

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