Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

Networking For A Better Future - News and perspectives you may not find in the media

Networking For A Better Future - News and perspectives you may not find in the media

Health Supreme

News Blog

Site Map





Food for Thought


Human Potential






The Media

War Crimes


Articles Archive


See also:


Communication Agents:

INACTIVE  Ivan Ingrilli
  Chris Gupta
  Tom Atlee
INACTIVE  Emma Holister
  Rinaldo Lampis
  Steve Bosserman
  CA Journal


Robin Good's
Web sites:












The Individual - Human Ability:


Society - Politics:






June 15, 2004

Pharma Promotion Dishonest - Slanted Reporting of Paxil, Prozac Studies

Pharmaceutical manufacturers cannot promote the use of drugs for other uses than those approved for the label, however it has become normal practice to dishonestly slant the reporting of scientific studies to suggest such unapproved use of drugs or to hype the supposed benefits of certain medicines, while hiding their adverse effects.

GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of the antidepressant Paxil, released on its company Web site the reports of clinical tests of that drug in children and adolescents suffering from psychological conditions including depression, reports the New York times in a recent article, but not before New York Attorney General sued the company charging it hid unfavourable research results. The situation is so bad that there are now calls for a register of all clinical drug trials that will allow more transparency for the results of such trials.

Another example of slanted reporting is a recent study on Prozac, commented on by Jenny Thompson of the Baltimore Health Sciences Institute. While trumpeting the positive conclusions of the first twelve weeks of a study that lasted three times as long, the report hid the fact of five times as many suicide attempts in the Prozac group as compared with the children that did not get the drug.

See also an earlier article on psychiatric drugs in schools, which in my humble opinion should be outright forbidden.

And here follows the succinct analysis of Jenny Thompson...

Talk To Me

Health Sciences Institute e-Alert

June 14, 2004


Dear Reader,

When a clinical study is described by The New York Times as a "landmark government-financed" study, that's a pretty good tip off that we're all supposed to give a respectful bow and accept the results as gospel. After all, landmarks stand for the ages, and government financing, well, that's the gold standard of impartiality... right?

All of my skeptical alarm bells started clanging earlier this month when the Times and other mainstream media outlets reported that a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study showed that Prozac was more effective than counseling (or "talk therapy") in helping teens overcome depression.

And just as I suspected, there's a cow in the ointment, because: A) Drawing conclusions from the current results is ridiculously premature, and B) If you insist on jumping to conclusions, then the real headline is not about the effectiveness of the drug, its about the drug's danger.

There's your landmark right there.

The kids are alright

The new study won't be published until this summer. But drawing on reports from several news outlets we can piece together the basic nuts and bolts.

The NIH enlisted about 440 kids, aged 12 to 17, who were diagnosed with moderate to severe depression. The subjects were then assigned to four groups:

* Daily dose of Prozac
* Daily placebo
* Talk therapy with no medication
* Prozac and talk therapy combined

Treatments lasted for 36 weeks, but during the first 12 weeks, 61 subjects dropped out of the study for reasons unreported at this point. Using a common psychological measurement scale, the combined talk therapy and Prozac group had the best outcome, with 71 percent responding well to treatment. Among those who received only Prozac, 61 percent responded well, while 43 responded well to talk therapy alone. In the placebo group, 35 percent responded well.

"Case closed," was the general tone of the news reports. Combine Prozac with counseling, and well over two-thirds of the kids improve, they said. Don't want to bother with therapy? No problem - just back up the Prozac truck and plenty of kids will be chipper again in no time.

Unless they decide to harm themselves.

High stakes

As I mentioned above, these results are far too premature for the Times or anyone else to start throwing around a term like "landmark."

The subjects in the study were tested for 36 weeks, but the reported results are only based on an analysis of the first 12 weeks. So since we don't know what the analysis of the remaining 24 weeks might bring, maybe we should keep the corks in the champagne bottles for just awhile longer. Or at the very least, the NIH shouldn't deliver thumbs-up information that doctors and parents of young patients may act on.

But what received even less attention was the rate of attempted suicides among the subjects. Buried deep in the Times report is the information that among those who finished the study but didn't take Prozac, there was one suicide attempt. And among those who did take the drug: five attempts.

If I'm a parent with a depressed teen, I can't like those odds.

Pass it on

Most people never lay eyes on a drug company study - they get their information about studies from the mainstream media. And it's been obvious for a long time that some of the gritty and most revealing details of most of these studies never make the 6:00 o'clock news.

Of course, the media isn't completely to blame for this. When drug companies conduct studies that produce unwanted outcomes, the results may end up as part of the FDA's public record, but only the studies that deliver positive conclusions are promoted for high-profile publication and then given a big shove into the mainstream spotlight.

That's one of the reasons why New York State is suing GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), makers of the antidepressant Paxil. The NY suit charges that GSK suppressed four studies that concluded the drug was ineffective in treating adolescents. The suit also claims that the studies draw a possible link between Paxil use and suicidal thoughts among adolescent users.

Did you hear about those four studies on the news? Nope. Not a peep. Not until the NY attorney general decided to do something about them. And although the outcome of this lawsuit will be a long time coming, I'm hoping that the notoriety of it will be enough to create my favorite kind of regulation: Water Cooler Regulation. When people start talking about the dangers of antidepressants for kids around the water cooler, that will do more to inform the public than any number of government-mandated warning labels.

This article comes from the Baltimore Health Sciences Institute e-alert.

If you would like to get their regular health comments, you can subscribe here

See also:

Big Bucks, Big Pharma pulls back the curtain on the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry to expose the insidious ways that illness is used, manipulated, and often created, for profit. Focusing on the industry's marketing practices, the video shows how direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising glamorizes prescription drugs, and works to reinforce drug promotion to doctors. Pharmaceutical Research is seen as essentially uncontrolled and heavily skewed. Ultimately, Big Bucks, Big Pharma challenges us to ask important questions about the consequences of relying on a for-profit industry for our health and well-being.

Related articles:

You can see all of the letters the FDA has sent to pharmaceutical
companies for inappropriate advertising/labeling here:

Drugs companies are defrauding healthcare systems, conference hears - British Medical Journal - 23 October 2004

Makers 'ghost' drugs reviews
By Rosie Murray-West (Filed: 15/10/2004)
The pharmaceutical industry routinely bribes doctors and "ghostwrites" articles about drugs in major medical journals, MPs were told yesterday. Professor David Healy, of the University of Wales, told the Commons health select committee that as many as half the articles published in journals such as the British Medical Journal and The Lancet were written by members of the industry who had a vested interest in selling the drugs involved.

Glaxo settles New York drug suit
GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to publish results of clinical tests on its drugs, to settle a US lawsuit. The firm was sued by New York attorney-general Eliot Spitzer over allegations that it withheld negative information about its antidepressant pill, Paxil.

Drugmakers "Blackmail the Public"

Doctors' body accuses drug firms of 'disease mongering'

Scandals have eroded US public's confidence in drug industry

Pharmaceutical Study Fraud: Group Weighs Plan for Full Drug-Trial Disclosure

Consumer organisations criticise influence of drug companies - British Medical Journal

Drug Advertising Not Based on Facts

The disease racket

Giant Floating Purple Pills

Addicted by prescription

Food Additives, Sugar and IQ

Medical system is leading cause of death and injury in US

The Truth About the Drug Companies
The Once-Solid Foundations Of The Big Pharma Colossus Are Shaking says Marcia Angell, a former editor of the New England Journal Of Medicine in her upcoming book...

Pfizer Finds Two Failed Trials Equal One Coup for Zoloft

Aug 15, 2004 - Mosholder Report - M E M O R A N D U M


Hired Education
A hidden culprit in the drug scandals: the increasingly corporatized university.

Marketing of Vioxx: How Merck Played Game of Catch-Up
"Show me the money," appeared on an internal Merck document near Dr. Altman's name. He said those were neither his words nor his intent. He also said his involvement in the trial did not affect his prescribing. Merck's dinner with Dr. Altman, internal company documents show, was a brief stop in a long-running campaign by Merck to enlist the support of doctors for Vioxx or, at the least, to defuse their support for Celebrex - to "neutralize" them as the documents put it.

Ads for drugs under fire
Bringing a drug to market is an expensive endeavour. Building a market for a drug can be pricey too. Pharmaceutical companies contend drug prices must be high to fund research and development. Yet these same companies typically spend twice as much on marketing and administration as they do on drug discovery.

THE WASHINGTON POST - Doctors Influenced By Mention Of Drug Ads
Actors pretending to be patients with symptoms of stress and fatigue were five times as likely to walk out of doctors' offices with a prescription when they mentioned seeing an ad for the heavily promoted antidepressant Paxil, according an unusual study being published today. The study employed an elaborate ruse -- sending actors with fake symptoms into 152 doctors' offices to see whether they would get prescriptions. Most who did not report symptoms of depression were not given medications, but when they asked for Paxil, 55 percent were given prescriptions, and 50 percent received diagnoses of depression. The study adds fuel to the growing controversy over the estimated $4 billion a year the drug industry spends on such advertising. Many public health advocates have long complained about ads showing happy people whose lives were changed by a drug, and now voices in Congress, the Food and Drug Administration and even the pharmaceutical industry are asking whether things have gone too far.

Was Traci Johnson driven to suicide by anti-depressants? That's a trade secret, say US officials
Researchers trying to establish the truth about a new drug - now on sale in the UK - are being thwarted by a government agency whose job is to protect the public

UK: Crackdown on drug firm promotion
Drug firms will no longer be able to court doctors with prizes and lavish venues, following an overhaul of the industry's code of practice. Companies must only offer economy air travel to delegates sponsored to attend meetings, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry adds.

PROZAC BACKLASH - Trouble in Prozac Nation
"Woody's death was the most out-of-the-blue, out-of-character death," she told FORTUNE recently. "He had no history of mental illness." Kim Witczak, who lives in Minneapolis, has sued Pfizer, alleging that Zoloft induced the suicide and that the company failed to warn about the drug's potential to cause perilous side effects.

Pregnant women warned to avoid antidepressant Paxil
Pregnant women and those who plan to become pregnant should avoid taking the antidepressant Paxil if possible because of the risk of birth defects, a group of obstetricians said Thursday. Two studies of pregnant women who were taking Paxil during their first trimester have shown that their babies have heart defects at a rate that is as much as twice the norm...

Video: Fox News Big Story with Doug Kennedy on Big Pharma's Lie
Fox News Big Story with Douglas Kennedy on how Big Pharma leaves out the bad studies and downplays the nasty side effects of their highly addictive drugs.

Glaxo Hid Suicide Data In Paxil Studies
That's the angle the New Scientist takes on recently released court documents from a lawsuit against Paxil's maker, GSK.

"An analysis of internal GSK memos and reports, which were released to US lawyers seeking damages, suggests that the company had trial data demonstrating an eightfold increase in suicide risk as early as 1989. Harvard University psychiatrist Joseph Glenmullen, who studied the papers for the lawyers, says it's 'virtually impossible' that GSK simply misunderstood the data - a claim the company describes as 'absolutely false.'..."


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Tuesday June 15 2004
updated on Wednesday December 8 2010

URL of this article:


Related Articles

Pharma makers withhold suicide data in drug studies
According to an article in the Washington Post, the makers of popular antidepressants such as Paxil, Zoloft and Effexor have refused to disclose the details of most clinical trials involving depressed children, denying doctors and parents crucial evidence as they weigh fresh fears that such medicines may cause some children to become suicidal. Apparently the drug makers are free to keep data hidden contravening, if not the letter of the... [read more]
February 02, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

FDA Covers Up Report - Mosholder: 'Antidepressants Double Suicides in Children'
According to a recent article published in the British Medical Journal, a scientific report by one of its researchers, Dr. Andrew Mosholder, showing that antidepressant drugs double the suicide rate in children taking them, was suppressed by the FDA. Instead of owning up to its mistake and issuing generalized warnings, the agency has launched a criminal investigation to find out which employees leaked Dr. Mosholder's report. Apart from the FDA's... [read more]
August 12, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

Paxil, Zoloft, Xantax - Drug Induced Violence
23 August 2004 - The New York Times reports on the Murder case of Christopher Pittman coming up for trial. The 12-year-old has shot his grandparents and put their house on fire, but he says it was the effect of the drug he was on at the time - the antidepressant Zoloft. The case comes amid widespread allegations that antidepressant drugs cause many to commit suicide, a charge hotly denied... [read more]
August 26, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

Bush To Impose Psychiatric Drug Regime
Plans to screen whole US population for mental illness According to a recent article in the British Medical Journal, US president George Bush is to announce a major "mental health" initiative in this coming month of July. The proposal will extend screening and psychiatric medication to kids and grown-ups all over the US, following a pilot scheme of recommended medication practice developed in Texas and already exported to several other... [read more]
June 23, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

Eli Lilly Knew Prozac Causes Suicides, Violence - FDA Closed Both Eyes
Prozac, called fluoxetine by generic name, is a psychiatric drug prescribed to over 50 million people including millions of children. The drug was linked to increased suicides and violence as early as 1988, in a recently emerged document. Apparently the evaluation was known to Prozac's maker Eli Lilly as early as the 'eighties, but was never even given to the FDA. This is the preoccupying picture that emerged just days... [read more]
January 01, 2005 - Sepp Hasslberger

FDA Orders Antidepressant Suicide Warnings Over Psychiatric Association Resistance
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has been strangely resistant to the idea of warning patients of an increased risk of suicides when taking antidepressant drugs or SSRIs. One would think that psychiatrists should be the first ones to call for such warnings, but perhaps they fear to "lose ground" to natural alternatives in the treatment of mental disorders, which they have been persecuting for decades, concentrating their treatment efforts nearly... [read more]
October 16, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger




Readers' Comments

I was put on paxil in November 2004 for depression, at the end of December I started developing a cough, runny nose and body aches which I thought was the flu because I also developed fever and hoarsness of voice. I went off paxil while on an antibiotic for what was thought the flu, I went back on and off it twice since, and plan to go off permenitly as of tomorrow. I still have hoarsness, my chest is tight with congestion and cough, I spit up the congestion only once in a while, if I didn't know better I would say this is how an astmatic feels like. I only know this came on after taking paxil, and has continued non stop even with treatment with antibiotics and robitussin which my doctor said to take. I firmly believe this is all caused from paxil. It is now January 22,2005, I will see if these things I'm experiencing subsides with going off paxil. If anyone has had these same affects please contact me at

Posted by: victoria on January 23, 2005 05:57 AM


I am trying to go off of zoloft now after 13 years of being on it. Several doctors have given me no guidance in going off of the medication besides "taper down". In fact, they are not even aware of many of the withdrawal effects. The worst ones are homicidal rage, suicidal rage, loss of depth perception and balance and uncontrollable crying. Good thing I know what all of this is happening because of, because if I didn't something very bad may have happened to me or those around me.

Posted by: Sarah on January 30, 2006 09:19 PM



Posted by: LON on December 18, 2006 02:22 PM


Security code:

Please enter the security code displayed on the above grid

Due to our anti-spamming policy the comments you are posting will show up online within few hours from the posting time.



The Individual Is Supreme And Finds Its Way Through Intuition


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

These articles are brought to you strictly for educational and informational purposes. Be sure to consult your health practitioner of choice before utilizing any of the information to cure or mitigate disease. Any copyrighted material cited is used strictly in a non commercial way and in accordance with the "fair use" doctrine.



Enter your Email

Powered by FeedBlitz



Most Popular Articles
Lipitor: Side Effects And Natural Remedy

Lipitor - The Human Cost

Fluoride Accumulates in Pineal Gland

Original blueprints for 200 mpg carburetor found in England

Medical system is leading cause of death and injury in US

Aspartame and Multiple Sclerosis - Neurosurgeon's Warning

'Bird Flu', SARS - Biowarfare or a Pandemic of Propaganda?



More recent articles
Chromotherapy in Cancer

Inclined Bed Therapy: Tilt your bed for healthful sleep

European Food Safety Authority cherry picks evidence - finds Aspartame completely safe

Did Aspartame kill Cory Terry?

Retroviral particles in human immune defenses - is AIDS orthodoxy dead wrong?

Vaccine damage in Great Britain: The consequences of Dr Wakefield’s trials

Archive of all articles on this site



Most recent comments
Uganda: Pfizer Sponsored AIDS Institute Snubs Natural Treatment Options

Lipitor: Side Effects And Natural Remedy

AIDS: 'No Gold Standard' For HIV Testing

Lipitor: Side Effects And Natural Remedy

'Global Business Coalition' Wants More Testing: But Tests Do Not Show AIDS



Candida International

What Does MHRA Stand For??

Bono and Bush Party without Koch: AIDS Industry Makes a Mockery of Medical Science

Profit as Usual and to Hell with the Risks: Media Urge that Young Girls Receive Mandatory Cervical Cancer Vaccine


Share The Wealth

Artificial Water Fluoridation: Off To A Poor Start / Fluoride Injures The Newborn

Drinking Water Fluoridation is Genotoxic & Teratogenic

Democracy At Work? - PPM On Fluoride

"Evidence Be Damned...Patient Outcome Is Irrelevant" - From Helke

Why Remove Fluoride From Phosphate Rock To Make Fertilizer


Evolving Collective Intelligence

Let Us Please Frame Collective Intelligence As Big As It Is

Reflections on the evolution of choice and collective intelligence

Whole System Learning and Evolution -- and the New Journalism

Gathering storms of unwanted change

Protect Sources or Not? - More Complex than It Seems



Islanda, quando il popolo sconfigge l'economia globale.

Il Giorno Fuori dal Tempo, Il significato energetico del 25 luglio

Rinaldo Lampis: L'uso Cosciente delle Energie

Attivazione nei Colli Euganei (PD) della Piramide di Luce

Contatti con gli Abitanti Invisibili della Natura


Diary of a Knowledge Broker

Giving It Away, Making Money

Greenhouses That Change the World

Cycles of Communication and Collaboration

What Is an "Integrated Solution"?

Thoughts about Value-Add




Best sellers from