Study 329, which was a trial of paroxetine for depression in adolescents, is often held up as the poster child for fraud in clinical trials of psychiatric drugs. In Children of the cure: Missing data, lost lives and antidepressants, David Healy, Joanna Le Noury and Julie Wood painstakingly detail the entire sordid affair, including efforts to get the study retracted and to reanalyse the patient-level data. However, they do so with a larger purpose in mind. Study 329 is not presented as an aberration, but rather as emblematic of a systemic failure in modern medicine (or at least in psychiatry), which leads to prescribing practices that do great harm.
Malcharist Review by Annie Bevan Malcharist bounds like a hound as Lee Majors spies with his own eyes, his master is unaware he is up-the-creek, without a paddle. Griffin Wagner is fighting the devil’s work and suddenly his botched-up visions give him a break into a new world where right is wrong and wrong is […]
This is a novel that takes the reader deep inside the Pharmaceutical Empire which invents diseases, creates “patient advocacy organizations” to sell these diseases to the public, manufactures and controls the evidence base purporting to show their nostrums are safe and effective remedies for these diseases, relentlessly gaslights those unfortunate victims harmed by their patent medicines, and smears all who question any of this as “Luddites, anti-vaxxers, tin-foil hatters, and Scientologists.”
A novel by Paul John Scott
A closely-observed, panoramic thriller about medical science gone wrong, and the people who make dangerous pills seem safe.
It’s Manhattan in the winter of 2010, and Shivani Patel is carrying the secrets of a trade that no one understands: medical ghostwriting. A Cambridge-trained scientist and wordsmith for the world’s largest drugmaker, she makes her soaring pay by delivering the sleight-of-hand needed to move new drugs into journals and onto market. Then she watches as a parade of aging males take credit for her work…
This week, Samizdat announces our long-awaited release of Malcharist, an accessible and unusually realistic contemporary fiction work by Paul John Scott. The book is a page-turner about the corruption of clinical trials told through a medical ghostwriter’s crisis of conscience. Set in Manhattan in 2010 and laced with dark humor throughout its fast 352 pages, it […]
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. A review by Jim Gottstein, author of The Zyprexa Papers
“I tried killing myself thirty times.” So says Vickie, a nurse from Philadelphia who was first prescribed Paxil at the age of ten for something called “social anxiety disorder.” For the past several years, I have borne witness to people like Vickie – wonderful, creative, caring people – who were turned into burned-out shells of their former selves after getting hooked on antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs. Most of these people began taking these drugs for the most banal reasons you could imagine… By Patrick D Hahn @Patrickhahn
Children of the Cure, at last, gives patients and their relatives the documented truth about how Pharma really operates, how the regulators and guideline makers are not quite the safeguarders of our health that so many of us long believed them to be. And worst of all, the influence the medical journals have on our health by sleight of hand. So many of us did begin to wonder, after appalling experiences about which we were never taken seriously. But in this book we have a talisman, something to generously give to our GPs, full of facts which cannot any longer be discounted. We cannot be brushed away with lies and obfuscations any more. A much needed, carefully researched and documented book which definitely should save lives.
If you lose your head, you lose your mind. Our healthcare system has lost its head, but also its heart, as seen in this excellent polemic by Dr. David Healy. A review of Dr. David Healy’s “The Decapitation of Care” by E. Kent Winward. This is a book about the black box pharmaceutical companies keep doctors and patients in about the side effects of the medications. A black box so dark and a system so effective for pharmaceutical companies that our life expectancies are shrinking. How short does you or your family’s life expectancy need to become before you pay attention?
In 1993, a proposal was developed to study the drug for use in adolescent “depression”, and Study 329 was launched. Study 329 did not show a clear benefit compared to placebo, and some study participants suffered serious side effects. The researchers played these down by coding suicidality as lability, and overlooking certain adverse events altogether.
The story is depressing and tragic, one of many similar tales that have appeared in the past two decades. Clinicians have the skills to assess new treatments, but their independence and financial support must be assured by independent non-industry sources. Children of the Cure is a frightening and tragic story that warrants governmental and public attention. A book review by Max Fink, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology Emeritus
StonyBrook University College of Medicine
When Samizdat published Children of the Cure on Amazon, there was discomfort in some quarters. The discomfort was practical for some. Mark Carter from Auckland told us it would take 154 NZ dollars to buy two copies and have then posted to him – he had to go through Amazon.com as Amazon.com.au for some strange reason does […]