Tuesday, March 24, 2009

FDA approves use of Lexapro for kids despite pending lawsuit and unfavorable study

Just weeks after prosecutors accused Forest Laboratories Inc of illegally marketing its anti-depressants Celexa and Lexapro to children and paying pediatricians kickbacks, U.S. health regulators have approved Lexapro for depression in kids. Here's a comment on this published by The PopTort Blog: "Several weeks ago, we told you that the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston has filed a civil suit against drug maker Forest Laboratories, alleging the company illegally marketed Celexa and Lexapro, two versions of the anti-depressant, “citalopram,” for unapproved uses in children and adolescents. The complaint had accused Forest of burying an unfavorable study (with the help of the FDA) that showed the antidepressant was ineffective for pediatric use, and possibly even harmful. Be that as it may, the FDA has now decided that Lexapro is just fine for kids, approving the $2 billion per year moneymaker for children aged 12-17. According to Forest, the unfavorable test notwithstanding, the FDA concluded that the value of the drug’s use in children could be “extrapolated” from adult data and from comparisons of how Lexapro was absorbed by kids and adults."

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