News Flash: Researchers With Industry Ties Conduct Study Supporting Generic Firms

  • by: |
  • 07/11/2006

Here was the Headline:

Drug Interactions
Financial Ties to Industry
Cloud Major Depression Study

At Issue: Whether It’s Safe
For Pregnant Women
To Stay on Medication
JAMA Asks Authors to Explain

The article, by David Armstrong of the WSJ, dramatically begins:

“For pregnant women considering whether to continue taking antidepressant drugs, a study in a February issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, or JAMA, contained a sobering warning: Stopping the medication greatly increases the risk of relapsing into depression……But the study, and resulting television and newspaper reports of the research, failed to note that most of the 13 authors are paid as consultants or lecturers by the makers of antidepressants.”

But the article, and the endless tongue wagging that followed, failed to note that most of drugs mentioned in the study are now available in generic form.


That’s right folks. Big pharma and their hacks had nothing better to do than conduct research to advance the well-being of pregnant women suffering from depression knowing that the drugs in question were either off-patent or about to be. How is THAT possible?

The WSJ and Mr. Armstrong ignored the extensive literature looking at the genuine risks of treating depression to the fetus as well as the risks of not doing so. Not only are such women more likely to commit suicide or do harm to others, untreated depression during pregnancy itself is associated with impaired feto-placental function, premature delivery, miscarriage, low fetal growth and perinatal unwanted effects. Armstrong never looked at any other studies or cared to, just as he never looked at expiration dates on patents.

This article is nothing short of disgusting. It’s basis thesis is not even warranted by the facts but Armstrong goes along and eggs people into making comments that prejudge the research and researchers. Armstrong claims the study is clouded by financial ties to industry. But his article is devoid of even a nanobyte of objectivity. Whose judgement is clouded?


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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