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The new warning alerts doctors and patients that in the first days and weeks of treatment, side effects such as agitation, panic, irritability, insomnia and severe restlessness may occur, contributing to an overall increase in the risk of suicide. More than a decade ago similar concerns over Prozac were beaten down in U.S. courts by an onslaught of "expert" testimony of industry-sponsored researchers and legal arrangements that gagged victims and their families with large monetary settlements.
[...] It seems that only the trial lawyers have a vested economic interest in following up on medications. That's a costly post-marketing surveillance system, both to the society that absorbs the legal costs and to the people hurt by a medication, before enough publicity or economic pain is felt by the manufacturer to change the label or withdraw the drug. Nearly 80 percent of respondents to a poll on my Web site said they'd pay at least a 1 percent surcharge on their medications to fund independent, systematic follow-up on pharmaceuticals.
The FDA decision to issue its warning on antidepressants is a
vindication, albeit a much delayed "bitter pill" to the families that
lost a child to suicide as a result of taking what might have been no
better than placebo treatment. How many more children must die from
other questionable drugs before our government takes the necessary
actions to "heal" the sick regulation of the pharmaceutical industry?