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Forest Pharmaceuticals: Earth City Maker of Children's Anti-Depressant Blasted in Report

CelexaSuicide.jpg
jamestorlakson.com
James Torlakson is a father whose website pays tribute to his daughter who killed herself while on Celexa.
Not sure why Post-Dispatch writer Jim Doyle's scathing article today on Earth City-based Forest Pharmaceuticals wasn't featured in Sunday's paper where it would have attracted a lot more eyeballs.

Still, it's a great piece and worthy of some promoting here. The article tells how Forest Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Forest Laboratories, aggressively pushed its Celexa and Lexapro anti-depressants for use on children and teenagers even though neither drug was approved for pediatric patients and questions surrounded the drugs' effectiveness.

The company spent lavishly on doctors to prescribe the drug --  awarding them with sports tickets, fishing trips and allegedly paying them for speeches and other work never given or performed. Some 48 wrongful death lawsuits have been filed against Celexa and Lexapro alleging that the drugs contributed to patients committing or attempting suicide.

Last month, Forest Pharmaceuticals pleaded guilty to a felony and two misdemeanors in the way it marketed the drug and agreed to pay $300 million in penalties. Meanwhile, the guilty plea has done nothing to impact the stock price of Forest, which trades for around $30 per share.

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