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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Jury Trials In 2008 Expected To Expose SSRI Maker's Dirty Secrets

2008 Trials Expected To Expose SSRI Dirty Secrets




The blockbuster sales figures for the new generation of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants (SSRI's), which have resulted from their promotion for so many unapproved uses, represents the most profitable off-label marketing coup in the history of modern medicine. Sales total about $21 billion a year, according to IMS Health.

However, in the end these drugs will probably also hold the title for the most lawsuits filed against drug companies for overstating their benefits while concealing their serious side effects from as far back as 20 years ag o.


The SSRI's include Prozac by Eli Lilly; Paxil marketed by GlaxoSmithKline, Zoloft by Pfizer, and Celexa and Lexapro from Forest Laboratories. Cymbalta by Eli Lilly and Effexor by Wyeth are often called SSRI's, but they are actually serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI's). Wellbutrin sold by Glaxo is an inhibitor of the neuronal uptake of norepinephrine and dopamine. Several of these antidepressants now have generic counterparts.

In 2008, at least a dozen jury trials are scheduled all over the country for Paxil suicide-related cases, all of which allege that Glaxo failed to warn consumers and doctors about the known risk of suicide associated with the drug. Many of these cases will be tried by Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, the national law firm with the longest track record of handling SSRI cases.

Going into the trials, Baum Hedlund will be armed with the largest collection of internal GSK documents, depositions of GSK employees and experts, as well as the fruits of the firm's investigation of antidepressants and their makers for the past decade and a half.

During litigation, virtually every Paxil-related document obtained by Baum Hedlund was stamped "confidential" by Glaxo and sealed under a court order. However, through a series of legal challenges, the firm was able to unseal many of the documents, in part, by forcing Glaxo to admit that they did not contain trade secrets and should never have been sealed to begin with.

Read full article here: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0801/S00197.htm

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