Friday, September 07, 2007

BLOGSCAN - Conflicts of Interest and the Study of Teen-Age Suicide Rates

A population-based study that showed an increase in suicide rates among teen-agers occurred the year after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) put a "black-box" warning on selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants got a lot of press, with some reports making a causal connection between the warning and the rate increase. On the GoozNews blog, Merrill Goozner critiqued the study, noting that the absolute increase in the suicide rate was small, and certainly could have been due to events from 2003 and 2004 other than the FDA warning. He also noted that the authors of the study had some relevant conflicts of interest. The latter issue was discussed in more detail on the PharmaLot blog, where Ed Silverman criticized main-stream media coverage of this story for failing to note these conflicts.

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