‘Walking the Camino’ Explores a Treacherous Trek Through Spain

‘Walking the Camino’ Explores a Treacherous Trek Through Spain

Screens: In the Middle Ages, pilgrims walked the 500-mile El Camino de Santiago de Compostela as a pilgrimage to the tomb of Apostle St. James. It was an... By Stephen James Ross 10/22/2014
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

News: Data and records obtained by the Current show that between January 1, 2013, and early October of this year the... By Alexa Garcia-Ditta and Elaine Wolff 10/22/2014
5 Awesome Ways to Survive on Ramen

5 Awesome Ways to Survive on Ramen

College Guide 2013: Nearly every college student has lived off of ramen noodles at one point or another. What a lot of them didn’t know was that the classic just-add-water... By Mary Caithn Scott 8/20/2013
A Closer Look: The ins and outs of a few important races

A Closer Look: The ins and outs of a few important races

News: For more than a year now gubernatorial candidates Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott have dominated airwaves and secured way... By Mark Reagan 10/22/2014

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email



Cover 04/10/2013

Big Pharma's Troubling History of Pushing Drugs on Foster Kids

Photo: , License: N/A

In 2005, in reaction to the whistleblower lawsuit, Texas drafted the Psychotropic Medication Utilization Parameters for Foster Children, which were last updated in late 2010, authored by some of the same industry-friendly doctors outed by the Texas AG’s lawsuit. The current parameters cite a 2007 article that appeared in the European Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry boosting the pediatric profile for atypicals, ghost-written by Excerpta Medica and overseen by Janssen, according to an investigation report filed in the state’s lawsuit. The report cites a litany of emails that show Janssen helped craft the article.

Dr. Howard Brody, who heads the Institute for Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch, asserts such ghost-writing has “poisoned the medical literature” in recent years, particularly when it comes to atypical antipsychotics.

According to Brody, federal and state governments have sued Pfizer more than a dozen times over the past decade, resulting in millions of dollars in settlement payouts to quell allegations of illegal marketing of drugs, including Geodon.

Pfizer declined to comment on the allegations contained in any of the lawsuits against the company, saying through a spokesperson, “Pfizer remains committed to conducting its business with the highest degree of ethics and integrity, and providing patients, physicians, and the public with accurate, science-based information regarding our medicines.”

“Each time, they swear on a stack of Bibles, ‘Oh we’ll never do that again,’ and they just do it over and over again,” Brody said. “Industry treats this as nothing more than a cost of doing business.”


The FDA rejected Geodon in 1998, just five months after Jo Angel Rodriguez was born, fearing the drug’s tendency to cause cardiac arrhythmia was too great. While the effect is a common one in antipsychotics — known as QT prolongation — the FDA’s disapproval letter to Pfizer expressed concern that Geodon’s impact was worse than that of other antipsychotics on the market.

Pfizer quickly started more clinical trials. The manufacturer wanted to ensure good results, the feds have alleged, so, along with comparing the drug to other leading atypicals, Pfizer put Geodon up against Thioridazine, a highly potent antipsychotic that’s rarely used because of a strong risk of cardiac complications; the FDA had, in fact, already made Thioridazine a second-line treatment because of those concerns.

Some of the data from Pfizer’s clinical trials came from unsavory characters, according to federal court records. Early participants included Drs. Richard Borison and Bruce Diamons, former psychiatrists with the Medical College of Georgia who were later convicted and sentenced to prison for stealing more than $10 million in clinical research funds from their school. Another trial participant was Louis Fabre, founder of Houston’s Fabre Research Clinic, which the FDA blamed for a patient death during a 2002 clinical trial on another antipsychotic.

Recently in News
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus