Paxil Unafraid to Demonstrate Bling in ’98 Memo

You may recall Paxil as the inspiration for several Law & Order episodes. In 2004, NY Attorney General began proceedings against Paxil makers GlaxoSmithKline after the company suppressed five internal studies between 1998 and 2002 revealing links between the drug and incidences of suicide among its users, especially children and young adults.

Why would a drug company hush up that it killed it’s pill poppers? Because of the money bomb, obviously.

According to our tipster, this memo “proves GSK knew that providing adequate safety warnings in Paxil’s prescribing language would cause doctors to severely curtail or not prescribe the drug. [This] company memo came about at a time when GSK was readying to unleash a HUGE marketing campaign to push the drug.”

Unforunately, those billions couldn’t afford corporate communications anything better than Microsoft ClipArt.

It’s certainly no smoking gun but we found it amusing. “Why is stopping Paxil-smithing bad? Because it makes us a lot of money. See fig. A: a big bag of money.” The item’s timing is notable, although not proof of anything in and of itself. We expect to see it featured prominently in Michael Moore’s forthcoming big pharma shock-doc, “Sicko.”

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