A review by Jim Gottstein, Author of The Zyprexa Papers
Children of the Cure is first a deep dive into the fraudulent reporting of “Study 329,” the clinical trial of Paxil (paroxetine) that launched an epidemic of drug-induced suicides by children and adolescents in the United States and many other countries. It is an indictment of Paxil’s manufacturer, Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) and the many doctors who were paid to have their names appear on a study that was ghost-written by GSK. It is also an indictment of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), including trying to keep secret its own expert’s analysis that Paxil caused suicidality in children and adolescents. It chronicles the incredible persistence of researchers Joanna Le Noury, John M Nardo, David Healy, Jon Jureidini, Melissa Raven, Catalin Tufanaru, and Elia Abi-Jaoude in seeking to obtain access to the underlying clinical data to reanalyze it so they could honestly report the results. It also chronicles the stonewalling of the BMJ (British Medical Journal) until 2015 in publishing this corrective analysis of the fraudulently reported Study 329 published in the BMJ in 2001.
Along the way it becomes clear medical research has been corrupted by drug company money, the FDA is complicit, and the medical journals bought off. You learn harm caused by Paxil was deliberately hidden through various devices and artifices, including coding suicidality as “emotional lability.” Oh, and you learn by the way, that a large percentage of people who take this class of drugs suffer sexual dysfunction, many of whom are permanently disabled in this way even after they quit taking the drug. I have been contacted by people so harmed and it is heartbreaking. In many ways, Children of the Cure is complementary to my book, The Zyprexa Papers, which details similar fraud by Eli Lilly. Children of the Cure makes a compelling case that the raw clinical data must be made available for review by others. Otherwise, it is not science because science requires the opportunity to falsify the conclusions. It challenges the notion that drug companies should be allowed to own the data from volunteers who risk harm to themselves for the greater good. This book is for everyone who is interested in a blow-by-blow description of the lengths it takes to obtain honest reporting of clinical trials. Children of the Cure is also for anyone who would like to learn about the betrayal of patients by the current system of providing drug (mis)information. And the simple solution: access to the data for review by others.