Why are troops killing themselves? The long awaited Army report, “Health Promotion, Risk Reduction, Suicide Prevention” considers the economy, the stress of nine years of war, family dislocations, repeated moves, repeated deployments, troops’ risk-taking personalities, waived entrance standards and many aspects of Army culture. What it barely considers is the suicide-inked antidepressants, antipsychotics and antiseizure drugs whose use exactly parallels the increase in US troop suicides since 2005.
Earlier this year, pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca announced it was ceasing drug-discovery research for psychiatric disorders such as depression and schizophrenia…”Basically, from a research perspective, we’re pulling out of the psychiatry space.”— neuroscientist Menelas Pangalos
AstraZeneca is to stop researching some disease areas that form the backbone of its current business — including schizophrenia and acid reflux — in a drive to focus R&D efforts and cut costs.
With drug giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) now stating it will abandon future antidepressant research, one can only wonder if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration noted GSK’s CEO Andrew Witty’s admission that it is “hard to prove that a depression drug is working” because “patient improvement is measured by subjective mood surveys, and not by the clear-cut blood tests and biological measures used in other diseases.”
The full scope of the ghostwriting problem is still unclear, but recent revelations suggest that the practice is widespread. Dozens of medical education companies across the country draft scientific papers at the behest of drug makers. And placing such papers in medical journals has become a fundamental marketing practice for most of the large pharmaceutical companies.