Drugwatch looks to ban drug adverts

Drugwatch has posted a new article focused on pharmaceutical companies and the $5.4 billion they spent in 2015 on direct to consumer advertising. Several groups wish to ban this advertising, such as the American Medical Association. Drugwatch is trying to raise awareness of these ads to help prevent misleading information from putting the public at risk. Visit its website for articles on Big Pharma Marketing, Health and Proton Pump Inhibitors.

Depression 'a physical illness'

Researchers have suggested that depression could be a physical illness, caused by inflammation of a part of the immune system. Clinical trials suggest that adding anti-inflammatory medicines to antidepressants improves symptoms and increases the proportion of patients who respond to treatment.

Guardian article

Test may predict suicidality

Patients who are at risk of antidepressant-induced suicidality could soon be identified by a test that detects genetic markers. Sundance Diagnostics is developing the test based on research carried out at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry.

Researchers at the institute found that when suicidality occurs, it is usually within two weeks of beginning medication or changing the dose. The phenomenon occurs in 8.1 per cent of patients.

The team also found that the risk of antidepressant-induced suicidality is not limited to people under 25, as claimed by the American Food and Drug Administration. The condition arises in people of all ages.

Scientists at Max Planck found 79 genetic biomarkers, giving a 91 per cent probability of identifying patients at risk.

Sundance will be applying for a licence to market the tester in 2015.

SSRI Stories is relaunched

The website www.ssristories.org has been relaunched, having been taken over by team behind RxISK.org.

The site is built around a searchable database of media stories in which antidepressants have been linked to a variety of adverse outcomes, from strange behaviour to suicides and school shootings.

SSRI Stories was started by Rosie Meysenburg who died in March 2012. Rosie was prescribed Prozac in 1992 to help her stop smoking. After eight weeks, the drug had caused such extreme changes to her personality and state of mind that she had to be hospitalised.

She later began a campaign to share information about the effects that SSRIs have on some people.