Thursday, January 06, 2005

Prozac Maker's Sleazy Fake Trial

The maker of Prozac, Eli Lilly, was sued ten years ago in a trial that many saw as an important test case for the principle that Prozac causes violence, in connection with a murder-suicide.

The lawsuit involved the victims of Joseph Wesbecker, a printing press operator who had killed eight people at his Louisville, Kentucky, workplace five years before, while taking Prozac. He then shot and killed himself. The trial was going poorly for Lilly, then suddenly the group of victims stopped testifying, and gave up mysteriously, and Lilly "won". This set a precedent that people who sue on this basis would lose in the future, discouraging additional suits of the type.

But it was later found out that Lilly secretly settled with the plaintiffs, but didn't reveal the settlement to the court. The judge was livid when he later found out. But the case has nevertheless had the desired effect, at least until now.

The thing that broke it open again was the discovery of evidence from that trial that had been "missing". The evidence was data about tests done by Lilly that prove Prozac makes many people homicidal and suicidal. Lilly did not publicly reveal the tests, but they were part of this lawsuit. Then they disappeared.

Now they have reappeared. Somebody sent them to a British Medical Journal, and it's once again front page news.

No comments: