by Daniel Barker, Natural News:
In what has been termed “one of the biggest frauds in American healthcare history,” pharmaceutical giant SmithKline Beecham – now GlaxoSmithKline – was proven to have falsified data in clinical trials for an ineffective antidepressant drug that caused suicidal thoughts in more than 10 percent of children to whom it was prescribed.
Paroxetine, which was marketed under the names Paxil and Seroxat, was introduced in 2001, following the publication of a trial carried out by the company itself that claimed the drug was “generally well tolerated” by children and adolescents suffering from depression.
The drug was prescribed to more than 2 million American children the following year.
An independent re-analysis of the trial was recently conducted by The BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal). Their research concluded that paroxetine was no more effective than a placebo and caused suicidal thoughts in 12 of 93 children who took the drug.
The new study also revealed that the company ignored data related to the increased risk of suicide and noted that the original study – known as Study 329 – was typed up by a hired medical writer while one of GSK’s senior scientists involved in the trial was being investigated by U.S. authorities for his ties to Big Pharma.
Bribing the medical profession
GSK was ordered to pay a record $3 billion in damages for wrongly promoting the dangerous drug between 1997 and 2004. The company paid doctors to attend events promoting Paxil and provided them with other perks, such as hunting trips and spa sessions.
The promotion effort undoubtedly was a factor leading to the subsequent overprescription of the drug to millions of children.
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