Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Worm Turns On Public Perception Of Big Pharma

The winds are changing. I saw an episode of Law and Order where the detectives were investigating a series of suicides at a university and traced it to trials of an antidepressant. They further found that the drug company had mounted a series of trials, but bad results vis-a-vis suicide had caused them to brush the previous trials under a rug. They continued to start new trials in the hope that one would be positive so they could publish it. So they arraigned the CEO of the pharmaceutical company for murder!

And only one day later I found an article in the Wall Street Journal: Antidepressants Under Scrutiny Over Efficacy. The subheading is even more heartening: Sweeping Overview Suggests Suppression of Negative Data Has Distorted View of Drugs.

The article addresses the very issue raised dramatically in the Law and Order episode -- the manipulation of multiple trials to showcase the ones that are positive and scuttle the ones that are negative.

The WSJ Online requires a subscription, but if you have one, read the story. It's at

1 comment:

Grahame said...

This is good news. The entertainment industry has tremendous power over the public's perception of the world. The fact that there was such a Law & Order episode shows that the truth about antidepressants is getting out there and that the "worm" is indeed turning.

Perhaps soon a real Pharmaceutical company CEO will be arrested for murder!