Paxil Study Under Scrutiny

A professor from the University of Pennsylvania recently filed a complaint with the federal Office of Research Integrity charging scientific misconduct for a 2001 study published by the American Journal of Psychiatry which looked at the impact of the Paxil antidepressant. He alleges that "the published manuscript was biased in its conclusions, made unsubstantiated efficacy claims and downplayed the adverse event profile of Paxil." In addition, several of his colleagues allowed their names to be added to the medical journal manuscript but gave control of the contents to GlaxoSmithKline Moreover, he alleges that the study was ghostwritten by Scientific Therapeutics Information who has been cited for ghostwriting activities in the past.

The complaint accuses the published authors of engaging in scientific misconduct by allowing their names to be attached to the study. The lead author, Charles Nemeroff, was a poster boy for undeclared conflicts of interest among academic researchers. Additionally, the professor claims that "most, if not all" of the authors were chosen by drug manufacturer, Glaxo.

The professor protested the methods by which the study was written, but his complaints fell on deaf ears. Glaxo claims that because the article was written more than 10 years ago, they do not have details about the development of the manuscript. Meanwhile, the Project on Government Oversight wrote President Obama this week to ask that Penn president Amy Gutmann be removed from her position as chair of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues because she has not been tough enough on ghostwriting.