I have briefly mentioned the latest LawSuit involving allegations of kickbacks and bribes committed by Forest Labs. For people who are not familiar with the pharmaceutical industry, let me explain, Forest are Lundbeck’s partner in crime, who market Citalopram and Escitalopram to the American public.
Forest have the dubious reputation of peddling their medication (off-label) to children. They previously paid 313 million to settle criminal and civil complaints for illegally promoted Citalopram/Celexa/Cipramil for use in children. This was despite a very clear black box warning that this drug could induce sucidality in young people (Under 25’s) and that the same drug was not licenced for under 18’s for that reason. NY Times.
The latest whistleblower suit unsealed in Maryland federal court last month, claim that Forest paid kickbacks and bribes to the main author of the STAR*D drug study, Dr. A. John Rush. The suit alleges that Dr Rush of the University of Texas was paid these bribes so that he would rig the STAR*D study in favor of the company’s drug Celexa. The STAR*D study (Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression) was conducted over 6 years, was funded by NIMH and cost $35 million; that’s not including Forest’s bribary stash account.
Robert Whitaker, whose book “Anatomy of an Epidemic” won an award for best investigative journalism book of 2010, has been campaigning for a full Investigation into the STAR*D scandal. Here.
STAR*D: What Have We Learned? In 2007 the American Journal of Psychiatry published a paper by Dr Rush entitled “STAR*D: What Have We Learned?” Link. In the last paragraph he says “Finally, on a personal note, large efforts like STAR*D are the ultimate exercise in “delayed gratification.” I bet it was.
His declared conflicts of interest:
STAR*D: What Have We Learned? Well I for one have learned that Celexa can cause extremely violent deaths. I have learned that Forest labs and Lundbeck are aware that their drugs can cause suicide and homicide. I have also learned that kickbacks and bribes are an integral part of their operation. Fancy doing a paper on that Dr. Rush?