Steven B. Harris sbharris at ix.netcom.com
Sun Mar 22 15:08:40 EST 1998

In <35148AB3.FD2A4175 at servtech.com> Ed Mathes <emathes at servtech.com>
>Tom Matthews wrote:
>> Upjohn, the manufacturer of Halcion, is on the hot seat again. This
>> Halcion's sister drug, Xanax, is on trial in a Los Angeles court
room. A
>> consumer (Terri Mitchell) has taken the company to court for failure
>> warn about the dangers of this benzodiazepine.
>Sounds like someone trying to blame their addiction on someone other
>Ed Mathes

   What drug company in its right mind would make a drug to treat
*anxiety*?  Talk about asking for a lawsuit.  The kind of people who'll
be taking your drug are exactly the kind of people who'll decide it's
given them a dozen different incurable diseases, and brain damage. 
Even a drug to treat frank paranoia would not be as legally risky,
because really paranoid people generally look and sound crazy.  Anxious
people, by contrast, just create uproar whereever they are, and it's
very hard to see sometimes where the uproar comes from.

   I will agree with the lawsuit in one respect, however: in my
experience in practice, Xanax is indeed far more "addictive" or
"dependence-producing" than its manufacturers admit.  And far more
addictive, strange to tell, than it is in clinical trials, if you
bother to look up such things on medline.  Which trials are mostly
supported by UpJohn <embarrassed grin>.  Hey, I'm not entirely blind to
data that argue against my general beliefs.  There is a grain of truth
in the idea that what "information" doctors know is badly distorted by
who funds the studies.  But that's the nature of information.  It's
like what Churchill said about democracy-- it's a TERRIBLE system-- one
that is bound to produce injustice just by the very nature of it
(Arrow's theorum, etc, etc).  The only problem is that the alternatives
all seem to be worse.

                                          Steve Harris, M.D.  

More information about the Neur-sci mailing list