Friday, March 20, 2009

Can We Trust the Efficacy of Our Pharmaceuticals?

Furious Seasons is a great blog to follow if you want to keep up with the various scandals involving psychological drugs and their researchers/developers/marketers. Philip isn't a doctor, but he does his research.

His latest post details the falsification of research involving the highly prescribed seroquel. If you read his blog regularly, he has been one of the best "watch dogs" on the next in keeping tabs on how the FDA and pharmaceutical companies are NOT watching out for our health as much as they are for their pocketbooks.

Seroquel Research Scandal At Univ. Of Minnesota

The St. Paul Pioneer Press has a fine article out today detailing how one University of Minnesota psychiatry professor, Charles Schulz, claimed that Seroquel's performance was superior to older drugs like Haldol when in fact the research data he was working with showed Haldol to be more efficacious. Schulz made this claim in 2000. From 2002 to 2007, he receieved $112,000 in fees from AstraZeneca, the drug's maker, plus about $450,000 from Eli Lilly, the paper reports.

The details of this are stunning, so read the article and remember that the anonymous blog referred to in the paper's account of Schulz, who defends his work, is none other than Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry: A Closer Look, authored by none other than CL Psych, which broke the news around Schulz on March 2. And that news came out of the Seroquel documents, which CL Psych got from this website.

Check out how the paper attributed to Cl Psych:

"An Internet psychiatry blog first raised questions March 2 about the research Schulz presented at the APA conference and why it lacked any of the company's findings.

"'It raises troubling questions when an independent academic author presents results that are in direct opposition to the underlying data,' wrote the blogger, an anonymous academic."

I've never before seen a paper attribute to an anonymous blog, except for some of those satirical blogs such as the one allegedly detailing Steve Jobs' life.

Meanwhile, AZ spokesman Tony Jewell issued this statement, which says in part:

"AstraZeneca believes the totality of the science around Seroquel – including company-sponsored studies, research sponsored by the federal government, and physician experience – confirms it is an effective and appropriate treatment choice for patients with serious mental illness."

Would AZ like to include unpublished studies and buried studies in the "totality of the science around Seroquel?" Or is the company planning to make Study 15 available to the public?

Here are a few other posts he has run on seroquel recently.

Washington Post Claims Uproar Over Seroquel, Cites No Evidence
How To Testify To FDA On Seroquel
Seroquel User Testimony
Seroquel Documents: Sex For Positive
Seroquel Studies Included Bondage, Corporate Espionage
Defending Seroquel, AstraZeneca Plays Race Card

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