Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Why do doctors continue to believe studies funded by the very companies that produce the drugs?

And the article also has some interesting things to be said about examining the science and reproduciblity of results in general.

Paxil Isn’t Safe for Teens, According to Reanalysis of Old Study
he commonly prescribed antidepressant Paxil (paroxetine) is unsafe for teens, according to a new paper that reanalyzed data from a study published 14 years ago. The new paper, published Thursday in The BMJ (formerly British Medical Journal), contradicts the study’s original findings that the drug is “generally well tolerated and effective” for treating severe clinical depression in adolescents.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the maker of the drug, funded the original trial, Study 329, which compared the efficacy of paroxetine and imipramine, an antidepressant know to consumers as Tofranil, to a placebo. The study involved 275 adolescents, aged 12 to 18, with major depression. Each took one of the two drugs or a placebo for at least eight weeks. The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry published the original study in 2001.
I've taken Paxil, but only as an adult. If I were a parent with a child who had a mood disorder, I'd be very careful about putting him or her on any of the drugs with black box warnings. But GSK's practices really bother me. When news first broke that another GSK drug, Avandia (for diabetes), had an increased risk of heart-related problems, which has led to it be withdrawn from the market in several countries, I was on the drug and asked my doctor to take me off of it and prescribe something else. He handed me an information sheet from the manufacturer, touting its benefits. I love my doctor, but that was just wrong. I insisted, and was taken off it. I mean really, I know they schmooze and fund research and sponsor meetings, but when did Big Pharma really get to the point where it controls the decisions of the people who care for us?

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