Medical Journal's Spin Doctors Promote Controversial Studies

Cartoon doctorWriting on her blog "Honest Medicine," Julia Schopick points out that the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) used video news releases (VNRs) to promote two studies that later proved controversial, because the authors had neglected to disclose their financial ties to pharmaceutical companies. One study concluded that pregnant women risked relapsing into depression if they stopped taking antidepressants. The January 2006 VNR on the study featured lead author Dr. Lee Cohen, who is a "longtime consultant to three antidepressant makers, a paid speaker for seven of them and has his research work funded by four drug makers," reported the Wall Street Journal. The other study found a link between severe migraines in women and cardiovascular disease. The July 2006 VNR on that study featured lead author Dr. Tobias Kurth, who "has received research funding from the makers of Bayer aspirin, Tylenol and Advil, pain relievers sometimes used to treat migraines," reported the Associated Press. "If JAMA continues to produce and disseminate VNRs ... its staff must check the financial ties of their authors prior to publication," concludes Schopick.


I am afraid that the recent prozac paxil suicides that have just been highlighted in the national news are not going to be the last of them:

When I first heard about this phenomena ten or so years ago --- about "the brotherhood of anti-depressant drugs" as it was called --- it was clearly pointed out that the most dangerous times with these drugs were when one was getting either on or off them.

When people hear about the dangers of these drugs, if they are taking them, they might be tempted to think it wise to stop them suddenly. The way I heard it, that is where the worst of the murder-suicide problems lie --- in getting on or off the drugs. (If you can call it murder or suicide, when the person is literally out of their mind and they are both awake and yet in a subconscious state of dreaming when they are committing these acts --- like that Hartman guy's wife, or whatever his name was, the guy who was on the Saturday Night Live show. His wife killed him, then called a friend to say she didn't know what had happened but that she thought she'd just killed him. Then shortly thereafter she killed herself (while on the drugs). Apparently sometimes these acts are premeditated too though. But I am no expert on this subject and have no first hand knowledge of anti-depressent drugs. But there is a book called "Prozac --- Panacea or Pandora" (or something like that) that is supposed to explain it better --- certainly much better than I can, anyway.

But maybe the people addressing Congress who were giving the drugs raving reviews know what they are talking about --- unless they are like "singing for their supper" as so many of the p.r. agents do.

Anyway apparently this has all been covered up because the victims have been getting paid and settling for undisclosed verdicts in court, under the condition that they will go away and shut up about the whole phenomena. That's what I heard, anyway. This is just what I have heard and what I remember having heard about ten or twelve or so years ago.

Okay I am sorry I do not even have time to re-read the above to make sure it comes off like I mean it. I have got to go tend to life responsibilities and right now, as in schnell!