Singulair Michael R Trimble, Side Effects of Depression, Pfizer Drug, Pfizer Inc, Parke Davis
This testimony should help strengthen our case for warnings for Singulair. Neurologist Sought Warning for Pfizer Drug By JEREMY SINGER-VINE June 20, 2008; Page B10 A British neurologist who analyzed effects of the drug Neurontin told a court ... more »
This testimony should help strengthen our case for warnings for Singulair.
Neurologist Sought Warning for Pfizer Drug
By JEREMY SINGER-VINE
June 20, 2008; Page B10
A British neurologist who analyzed effects of the drug Neurontin told a court hearing Thursday that he advised its maker -- now a unit of Pfizer Inc. -- to include a warning on the drug's label for potential side effects of depression and aggression, but his advice wasn't followed.
The University of London neurologist, Michael R. Trimble, was testifying at a hearing to decide whether civil cases brought against Pfizer alleging suicides linked to Neurontin can proceed. The hearing was jointly held by judges for U.S. District Court in Boston and a New York state court who are hearing similar cases. In various lawsuits consolidated in the federal court, plaintiffs allege more than 100 suicides were connected to Neurontin usage.
Dr. Trimble described what he said was a "plausible biological pathway" that could lead from the compound gabapentin -- the chemical name for Neurontin -- to suicidal behavior, hostility, and aggression. Dr. Trimble said that in 1995 and 1996, he was hired to write two confidential reports for Parke-Davis -- now a unit of Pfizer -- because the company "was concerned about psychosis in relation to their drug." Dr. Trimble said he was unable to find a link to psychosis, but noted effects of depression and aggression.
Lawyers for Pfizer argued at the hearing that the evidence linking the drug to suicidal side effects wasn't scientifically sound. Under cross-examination, they challenged his description of a pathway as a patchwork of studies that didn't prove a biological connection. Neurontin and generic forms of gabapentin are approved for treating epileptic convulsions, but have also been prescribed widely "off label" for other conditions.
In five of nine patient cases he analyzed in 1996, Dr. Trimble said he saw depression and aggression in patients who had no previous symptoms of the side effects, so he said he recommended to the company that the drug "should carry some kind of warning" for susceptible patients.
Thursday's proceedings were the initial phase of a hearing requested by Pfizer to challenge the opinions of the plaintiffs' experts. Under cross-examination and a subsequent examination by the plaintiffs' attorney, Dr. Trimble said the biological pathway between Pfizer's Neurontin and suicidal events were plausible and supported by a series of peer-reviewed neurology research.