Big Pharma's Poison Pill

The British medical journal The Lancet published a review of "six published and six unpublished trials" studying antidepressant use by children that concluded that, in most cases, "the risks exceeded the benefits." More disturbingly, the review found evidence that pharmaceutical companies "had been aware of problems but did not reveal them." In a memo leaked last month from GlaxoSmithKline, the company warned, "negative trial results could not be released" because it would damage the "profile" of the drug. An earlier review of cancer drug trials found that 5 percent of pharmaceutical industry studies reported negatively on the drug under examination, compared to 38 percent of studies carried out by independent labs.