Generic Paxil Suicide Lawsuit

Citizens Commission on Human Rights Award Recipient (Twice)
Humanist, humorist

Sunday, September 16, 2018

No Action to be Taken Against GSK for Hiding Suicide Data

Earlier this month I posted previously unseen documents that clearly showed how GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) hid 9 suicide attempts from the results of a 1993 clinical trial posted on their website. See - GSK Study ID - 29060/356 - The Missing Suicide Attempts

The documents were sent to me by 'Kathy', who is the moderator of the Facebook page,  Australian Antidepressants Class Action & Awareness and an administrator for the Australians For Safe Medicines Facebook page.

After publishing my findings, Kathy wrote to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and asked if they would be taking action against GSK for failing to report the 9 suicide attempts in the Aropax clinical trials, known as GSK Study #356.

The TGA's response is staggering, to say the least.

Dear Kathy

Thank you for emailing the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). I acknowledge your concerns about the GSK clinical trial (A double-blind, multicentre study to compare paroxetine and fluoxetine in the treatment of patients with major depressive disorder with regard to antidepressant efficacy, effects on associated anxiety and tolerability) that was conducted in 1993-1994.  However, the TGA is unable to comment about the clinical trial as it was completed twenty four years ago.

As has been explained to you previously, the TGA’s safety monitoring is based on rigorous pre-market assessment and then the post-market signal investigation area of the TGA monitors the safety of medicines, to contribute to a better understanding of their possible adverse effects when they are used outside the controlled conditions of clinical trials.

Thank you for your interest in medicine safety.


Bernadette Barton
Assistant Director
Adverse Event and Medicine Defect
Pharmacovigilance and Special Access Branch


On the 'About TGA' section of their website, they state: "TGA's approach to therapeutic product vigilance is to continually monitor and evaluate the safety and efficacy (performance) profile of therapeutic products and to manage any risks associated with individual products.

Just to be clear, the results of GSK Study #356 failed to mention 9 suicide attempts, moreover, they failed to say which group these 9 suicide attempts pertained to. Study #356 had two active drugs, namely paroxetine and fluoxetine, both of which are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). There was no placebo group in the study.

As a regulator who claims to "manage any risks associated with individual products" I am utterly gobsmacked by their response above.

Surely a regulator should be asking GSK why they failed to include these 9 suicide attempts. Surely they should be telling GSK to publish the correct statistics and not a watered down version of what actually occurred during the study.

In essence, the TGA is saying, we don't care if the public doesn't know how many suicide attempts occurred in either the paroxetine or fluoxetine group. We don't care that GSK failed to report that the percentage of suicide attempts was a staggering 11.11%. We don't wish to manage these risks, even though we claim on our website that we do. We don't care the public isn't armed with this information when visiting their doctor or psychiatrist. We don't think 9 suicide attempts in a clinical trial is important.

I find the last line of the email kind of ironic: "Thank you for your interest in medicine safety."

Are they taking the piss?

Bob Fiddaman

No comments:

Please contact me if you would like a guest post considered for publication on my blog.