Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Move Over, Zyprexa, Here Comes Seroquel

Y'all mosey on over to Danny Carlat's psychiatry blog--

--and read about the new scandal brewing about another "second generation" antipsychotic, Seroquel (quetiapine, manufactured by AstraZeneca). A class action lawsuit against the manufacturer for suppressing data on the medication's risks has created a trove of documents, and there are now calls to make them public, though as no trial has yet occurred the company is not legally obligated to do so. The whole matter is basically a reprise of the Lilly/Zyprexa case (see most recent post, Basic story line: drug is approved for psychosis (schizophrenia and bipolar disorder); company tries like heck to get it approved for marketing for more common disorders such as garden-variety depression and insomnia; lots of off-label prescribing ensues; a bunch of patients end up with severe obesity and diabetes.

For those interested in such things, there is also a sex angle to the AstraZeneca scandal, an element thankfully missing from the Lilly/Zyprexa case (at least so far as I am aware).

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