As some of you may know the FDA is reviewing the use of Seroquel for all sorts of stuff at the bequest of AstraZeneca. I’ve covered it a bit here but many others have done a better job. Look here at Furious Seasons for good background info.
Here is the latest tid-bit from the LA Times:
This week, a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended that the agency should grant the makers of a second atypical antipsychotic drug — Seroquel XR — similar latitude. The drug giant AstraZeneca wants permission to market the drug as a treatment for depression or anxiety that has not yielded to antidepressants alone….
…In the process, the spreading use of these costly drugs is raising — for the nation as well as individual patients — the rates and the risks of weight gain, diabetes, strokes, fatal heart attacks, an array of movement disorders and potentially, suicide, according to a wide range of critics.
“This is very worrisome; frankly I have serious concerns about these drugs,” says Dr. Steven Nissen, who is chairman of the Cleveland Clinic’s cardiovascular medicine department and serves as an ad hoc advisor for FDA panels. Studies point to a “very questionable balance between efficacy and safety” for the class, he said. But that message, he said, has been lost in an apparent “marketing bonanza” for the companies that make the medications. A recent report by the consulting firm Decision Resources found the makers of the atypicals spent $993 million in 2006 to promote the drugs to doctors and patients. (emphasis mine–read the rest here)