Saturday, January 18, 2014
Forest Illegally Promoting Antidepressants For Kids!
Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Forest Laboratories, Inc. have been up to no good. Yet another pharmaceutical company who have, according to a new lawsuit, been holding back information concerning the effectiveness of two company drugs for the treatment of depression in pediatric patients. Those two drugs being the antidepressants Celexa and Lexapro.
The lawsuit, filed by two mothers from Missouri who are being represented by Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, PC and Pendley, Baudin & Coffin LLP, claims that "Forest marketed antidepressants Celexa (citalopram) and Lexapro (escitalopram) as effective for use in pediatric patients, even though studies showed evidence to the contrary".
The plaintiffs, Ruth Dunham and Tanya Shippy, allege "Forest deprived consumers of the ability to make an informed decision about whether to purchase or prescribe Celexa or Lexapro for their children by withholding information about the negative efficacy studies and engaging in an aggressive marketing campaign designed to mislead consumers and physicians".
A pharmaceutical company aggressively marketing drugs for kids when they knew the drugs weren't effective in kids?
Surely not, I mean stuff like this just doesn't happen, right?
U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton of Massachusetts stated in his ruling that the allegations are viable under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA). The MMPA prohibits “deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation, unfair practice or the concealment, suppression, or omission of any material fact in connection with the sale or advertisement of any merchandise in trade or commerce.”
Be interesting to see how this one goes. Forest will be up against it.
Baum Hedlund have represented more than 4,000 individuals across the US in personal injury and wrongful death cases involving harmful medications. They spanked those other pediatric suppressors, GlaxoSmithKline, on more than one occasion.
Celexa and Lexapro are antidepressants in the SSRi class, they work pretty much in the same way. Some believe [myself included] that Lexapro only ever came about because the patent for Celexa was running out. Change a molecule here and there, change the name, submit to the FDA and...VOILA...a new drug hits the market that does exactly the same as the older drug... in this instance does nothing, apart from causing suicidal ideation and self harm for pediatrics who take it!
Why promote anything that doesn't work? Moreover, why promote something that is dangerous for pediatrics?
Forest have, it appears, taken a leaf out of GSK's book here. Who can forget the Paxil 329 debacle?
Be interesting to see if any evidence comes out of this trial that shows yet more ghostwriting shenanigans or if Forest's reps were just as adamant as Glaxo reps to "get the sale" at whatever cost.
Grown men and women playing with children's lives. Don't you just love the pharmaceutical industry!
The full press release can be read on the Baum Hedlund website HERE.
About the Author :
Bob Fiddaman has been writing about the dangers of antidepressants since 2006. In 2011 he was presented with two human rights awards from the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.
Labels: Baum Hedlund, Celexa, Forest Laboratories, Forest Pharmaceuticals, Informed consent, Lexapro, Missouri, Ruth Dunham, Tanya Shippy