Letters to the Editor

Letter: Study 329 must be retracted

By
Monday, April 7, 2014

To the Editor:

 

We wish to compliment you and Ms. Isobel Heck for publishing on April 2 the article “Controversial Paxil paper still under fire 13 years later.” While we strongly believe it is the moral duty for all of us to explore and protest wrongs, we appreciate that it calls upon one to have the courage to do so. Ms. Heck in her article brought to light the harm many of us as child and adolescent psychiatrists see as having been done to patients and their families by the publication in 2001 of a particular paper, now frequently referred to as S329.

In light of the decision handed down in the Department of Justice vs. GlaxoSmithKline case and despite the title given Ms. Heck’s article, the following strikes us as no longer controversial: S329 has clearly been judged to be fraudulent and ghostwritten. It was repeatedly re-edited, and the data manipulated until the paper represented more a marketing ploy than science. For this and other issues, GSK, the manufacturer of Paxil, was fined $3 billion, the largest amount ever levied against a pharmaceutical firm. It therefore seems to many of us in our field that it is considerably past time to retract S329.

 

Edmund C. Levin

George Stewart