The revelations contained in this press release from Vickery and
Waldner are remarkable. It is being sent to major news media
today, Monday, May 15th. Mark
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
PROZAC, ZOLOFT, MAYHEM & SUICIDE
Teicher & Cole – Together Again and Still Sounding the Alarm
The February 1990 article by Harvard psychiatrists Martin
Teicher and Jonathan Cole (along with their colleague nurse
Carol Glod) brought the issue of Prozac/SSRI induced suicidality
to the public consciousness. The article spawned immediate
regulatory interest and a whirlwind of publicity in the popular
Primed by company spin doctors, Lilly top scientist Leigh
Thompson blamed the publicity on the Scientologists and the
suicides on the underlying disease of depression. It was a
good public relations tactic, and it has been an effective
products liability stratagem for over a decade.
However, after ten years more experience, on May 7, 2000, in a
rare interview with the Boston Globe, Dr. Teicher said that he
stood by his work, and that the ability of Prozac to induce suicide
in a minority of patients “is a real phenomenon.” Meanwhile, on
April 28, 2000, Dr. Cole, who has been described by Pfizer
experts as a “pioneer” in the field of psychopharmacology,
signed a sworn declaration in a federal wrongful death case
concerning the tragic suicide of a 13 year old boy, only seven
days after he began taking Zoloft promotional samples. Dr. Cole
In 1990 I co-authored an article with my colleague Martin Teicher
. . . Our purpose in writing this article was to alert the
to an alarming, probable drug side effect which we had
observed. . . . The SSRI drugs, as a class, clearly have the
potential to cause, and in reasonable medical probability or
certainty do cause, akathisia in some patients. . . . they may also
cause emotional blunting or disregulation. Either of these
conditions could, and probably do, trigger or contribute to violent
or suicidal behavior. . . .
A side effect that occurs in a relatively small percentage of
patients, such as the treatment emergent suicidality which Dr.
Teicher, Nurse Glod and I reported on in 1990, is not likely to be
detectable in a standard RCT [clinical trial] or measured by a
relative risk calculation. That does not mean, however, that the
side effect is not real, not dangerous, and not caused by the
Although the drug companies continue to deny the existence of
this phenomenon in public and in court, in a 1986 report to the
FDA, Pfizer quietly admitted that “drug-induced activation is a
plausible explanation for the emergence of suicidal behavior in
our patient #4 . . .”, an 8 year old boy who mutilated his feet with
razor blade and tried to strangle himself with a necktie. And
Lilly? Well, it paid $90 million for a patent, the ostensible
usefulness of which is that it reduces a few really troublesome
side effects of the original Prozac: “nervousness, anxiety,
insomnia, inner restlessness (akathisia), suicidal thoughts, self
mutilation [and] manic behavior” .
A peer-reviewed journal article this month recounts the
experiences of two healthy, non-depressed volunteers who
became actively suicidal within two weeks of taking Zoloft.
Harvard psychiatrist Joe Glenmullen’s powerfully endorsed but
provocative book, PROZAC BACKLASH, continues to receive
wide public interest and to engender industry obloquy. And the
FDA? Hopefully, they are working right now on a proper warning
for Prozac II, and the entire class of SSRI drugs.
Vickery & Waldner May 11, 2000
www.justiceseekers.com Houston, Texas
Teicher, Glod, Cole, Emergence of intense suicidal
preoccupation during fluoxetine treatment. Am.J.Psychiatry
1990: 147: 207-210.
Dr. Thompson’s coaching came via a memo dated April 15,
1991 from the now current executive VP of Lilly, Mitch Daniels. It
was introduced into evidence as Px 123 in the case of Forsyth v.
Eli Lilly. Lilly’s hardball litigation tactics through the years
well covered in the Lilly’s legal tactics disarmed legions of
Prozac lawyers article by Indianapolis reporter Jeff Swiatek,
available online at the paper’s website, www.starnews.com. and
Leah Garnett, Prozac revisited: As drug gets remade, concerns
about suicide surface, available online at the paper’s website,
www.boston.com and ours, www.justiceseekers.com.
“Q. Is Dr. [Jonathan] Cole a man of considerable stature and
reputation in the field of neuropsychopharmacology in this
A. He’s one of the pioneers of the field.”
March 29, 2000 deposition of retained Pfizer expert
witness,pre-eminent suicidologist and psychopharmacologist, J.
John Mann, M.D. in case of Miller v. Pfizer, No. 99-2326 KHV
(United States District Court, Kansas). Another Pfizer expert, Dr.
Daniel Casey, not coincidentally the chairman of the 1991 FDA
advisory committee that considered this issue, agreed with Dr.
Mann’s description of Dr. Cole’s professional standing.
The term “RCT” refers to randomized, clinical trial. The industry,
which has never conducted such a study to test the hypothesis
that SSRI drugs induce suicidality, nevertheless argues in Court
that only such tests are truly “scientific.” All other opinions, no
matter who renders them or what they base them upon, are
merely “junk”. The Declaration is being filed in federal court in
Kansas City in the case of Miller v. Pfizer, docket number
99-2326 KHV. The case is set for trial before Judge Kathryn
Vratil and jury on July 18, 2000. A copy of Dr. Cole’s
is posted on our website, www.justiceseekers.com. Matt Miller’s
story, “He Never Said Goodbye” is available at
www.drugawareness.org and on our site,
Report, Suicide-Related Behavior in Children and Adolescents
in the Sertraline OCD Clinical Development Program, Pfizer, Inc.
(May 23, 1996), Pfizer Exhibit #40 in Miller v. Pfizer pretrial
motions. It based its determination of causality on the clinical
judgment of its own investigator and its scientists’ review of
published “anecdotal case reports” in a 1991 article.
U.S. Patent 5,708,035
Healy, Emergence of antidepressant induced suicidality, Primary
Care Psychiatry 2000, Vol.6 No. 1.
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