Friday, September 30, 2005
Three things came into my e-mail box this morning related to pharma. I teach ethics at a Pharmacy College and I somehow get on pharma news lists. First, Eli Lilly will be putting a “black box” warning on Strattera, a drug used to treat ADHD. This is the loudest possible warning that goes in a drug label. Why the warning? Data show that it causes suicidal thinking in some children and adolescents. This is the same kind of concern there is with Paxil. Second, I get a NYTimes book review for a cleverly named book, Generation Rx by Greg Crister: “baby boomers and their offspring have become the most medicated generation ever, devoted consumers from cradle to grave of every manner of pharmaceutical imaginable - pills that not only cure real diseases, but that also promise, in Mr. Critser's words, to "do everything from guarding us against our excesses of drink, food and tobacco, to increasing our children's performance at school, to jump-starting our own productivity at work, to extending our very time on this mortal coil." Top this off with an invitation to a film called Side Effects, whose www site warns me that before I pop my next pill I should watch their satire about life inside a pharmaceutical company. I think I will go. I need a laugh.