Thursday, 7 February 2008

Did GSK trial data mask Paxil suicide risk?

My interest was caught by this New Scientist piece, which Furious Seasons and Pharmalot have already looked at. This to Woods, copied to Johnson and Vara:

Dear Mr Woods,

I read with interest, recently, of the MHRA's decision to place a warning on SSRIs, concerning the risk of increased adult suicidality, but only with respect to adults between the ages of 18-25. I was also interested to read this piece, today:

Did GSK trial data mask Paxil suicide risk?

Regrettably, the NS piece doesn't mention the ages of the trial participants, but what's the betting that some of those who were made suicidal by paroxetine were over the age of 25? If you want to open a book, I'll have a score on it. OK? Now, remind me, how long have you been investigating the Bedford Massive, concerning allegations of suppressing negative data? It doesn't look good, Mr Woods, truly it doesn't. Did you even bother to look?

Now, as you may know, I have a very particular interest in this story. You see, I don't think that there's a whole lot of difference between the way that the SSRIs (don't) work, and in what they do to the human brain to cause the side effects that they do.

Quack, quack, quack.

Best regards

Matthew Holford

Addendum: Be sure to read Sen Grassley's letter to Chris Viebacher, at GSK, on the Pharmalot page.


Fiddy said...

The graph here ->
clearly shows that GSK have not been as forthcoming as the MHRA suggest they have.

It shows a far more higher rate of suicide attempts in patients OVER the age of 25!

So have the MHRA been lying?


Radagast said...

Like I wrote to Woods (he doesn't get any kind of title, any more): it doesn't look good.

Anyway, it might well have been lying, but it's equally possible that it just didn't look, because it was afraid of what it might find.


Fiddy said...


Don't you think it is more of a coincidence that they release a statement stating they are going to change the labelling on antidepressants only days before this court document is unsealed?

They now have a copy of this document - I sent it to them. Will it be another four years before they act upon it?

Radagast said...

God knows! I've given up guessing what the MHRA is going to do, given that it's made a career out of doing nothing whatsoever, as far as I can tell. It'd be a start if it started assessing drugs on its own account...