NAMI and Judith Warner, docs still like pharma gifts, computers diagnosing depression, Paxil lawsuits, and being fat on drugs: Thursday news and blogs

  • Computer program detects depression in bloggers’ texts — Science Daily — It’s bad enough having people tell us how we feel. Now we can look forward to machines doing it too. The software, developed by a team headed by Associate Professor Yair Neuman in BGU’s Department of Education, was used to scan more than 300,000 English language blogs that were posted to mental health Web sites. The program identified what it perceived to be the 100 “most depressed” and 100 “least depressed” bloggers. A panel of four clinical psychologists reviewed the samples, and concluded that there was a 78 percent correlation between the computer’s findings and the panel’s.
  • GSK working to settle Paxil birth-defect suits — Fierce Pharma — The drugmaker has agreed to settle some 190 cases over allegations that the antidepressant caused birth defects, and an attorney involved in the litigation said another 100 or so claims have been settled as well. As Judge Sandra Mazer Moss, who’s coordinating the mass tort case, tells The Legal Intelligencer, GSK’s philosophy “is to try and settle what they can and to settle in groups.” — The settlement deals come on the heels of a loss in the only Paxil birth-defect case that has gone to trial in that Philadelphia mass tort. A jury awarded compensatory damages of $2.5 million to one plaintiff back in October. Every other case scheduled for trial since then has been settled, the Intelligencer reports. A GSK spokeswoman tells the publication that the company has agreed to settle some cases “despite its litigation defenses, in order to avoid the costs, burdens and uncertainties of ongoing litigation.”

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