Forest accused of hiding negative Celexa, Lexapro results

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a complaint against Forest Laboratories, the maker of antidepressants Celexa and Lexapro, accusing it of being underhanded in how it disclosed its research.

The DOJ is arguing that the company hid the results of a study suggesting that the medications didn't work for children and might even increase the risk of their becoming suicidal, while playing up other more-positive study results. The DOJ's complaint also asserts that Forest offered kickbacks to doctors who prescribed the drugs and promoted them for unapproved uses.

Apparently, the company submitted both positive and negative study results to the FDA in 2002. The agency rejected pediatric approval for Celexa, predecessor to Lexapro, based on the negative results presented. However, as is standard practice, the FDA didn't disclose what Forest had submitted.

To learn more about this story:
- read this piece in the New York Times

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