January 29

Reminder BBC Panorama-Secrets of the Drug Trial

The first in the BBC-Panorama series elicited more than 65,000 emails and phone calls.
The fourth report aired tonight, focuses on study #329, the largest of the Paxil pediatric trials. BBC will show evidence of how the published report of this trial was manipulated to deceive physicians about the safety and efficacy findings. [see Friday's Infomail below]

 Karen Barth Menzies, a partner in Baum Hedlund, one of the firms representing many of the families, shared with Panorama reporter, Shelley Jofre, some of the GlaxoSmithKline documents –from among the thousands which are stored, box upon box, in an apartment in Malibu, California.

Jofre was surprised to find that her own (2002) emails to one of the prominent child psychiatrists whose name is appended to the published 329 report, Dr Neal Ryan who forwarded Jofre's emails asking questions about the safety of Seroxat to GSK asking the company's advice on how to respond to her.

She also found an email from a public relations executive working for GSK which said:
"Originally we had planned to do extensive media relations surrounding this study until we actually viewed the results.
Essentially the study did not really show it was effective in treating adolescent depression, which is not something we want to publicise."

 Dr Ryan of the University of Pittsburgh, who was paid by GSK as a co-author of Study 329, claimed the opposite. In 2002 he stated at a medical conference sponsored by GSK, that Paxil could be a suitable treatment for children. He told Panorama that same year that Paxil probably lowered rather than raised suicide rates.

 BBC invites viewers' comments and queries after the airing tonight of its fourth in the series of investigative reports about what GlaxoSmithKline concealed about its antidepressant, Seroxat (Paxil):

·  If you are affected by any of the issues in the programme and would like to talk to someone in confidence for further information and support, please call the BBC Action Line on 0800 077 077. Lines open at 2100 GMT on Monday 29 January for a week and may be busy but the Action Line will be open from 0730 GMT until 0000 GMT. All calls are free and confidential.
Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav

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