The past fifteen years has witnessed a major comeback for the marketing of new psychiatric drugs. There is almost no end to the therapeutic claims that have been made regarding these drugs, with the most popular among them, especially Prozac, obtaining a cult like status similar to that of LSD before it. A dark side lurks behind the multi-billion advertising campaigns and doctor endorsements for the newer psychiatric drugs. A dark side which includes inconvenient facts that have been known all along, such as the fact that patients who take the newer psychiatric drugs are more likely to kill themselves than if they hadn't taken the drugs in the first place. Or that placebo, a.k.a. sugar pills, have performed as well or better than the newer antidepressant drugs in clinical trials.
David Healy's new book Let Them Eat Prozac attempts to put into the public domain these and many other inconvenient facts about the marketing of the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) class of antidepressant drugs, namely, Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, et al. Drawing from his career as both an academic and practicing psychiatrist, and as an expert witness in lawsuits against the pharmaceutical industry, Let Them Eat Prozac traces Healy's development from a pharmaceutical industry consultant to independent critic of the industry, culminating in the withdrawal of a job offer from the University of Toronto and subsequent breech of contract lawsuit after delivering a public lecture. Let Them Eat Prozac should be of interest to anybody wanting to learn more about a history most people in the United States and beyond know little or nothing about. It should also be of special to interest to anybody planning to attend the upcoming February 2 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hearing on prescribing the newer antidepressant drugs to children.
Let Them Eat Prozac is currently only available through the Canadian publishing concern Lorimer. However, it can ordered by residents of the United States (I did so the day before I wrote this article and was charged .66 U.S. dollars for the book, plus shipping and handling. If you don't want to wait for the American edition of the book to come out this Spring, then you can order it from Lorimer by calling toll free 1-800-565-1975, Monday - Friday, 8am - 4pm Eastern time). In the interest of informing an American audience of the book before the convening of the upcoming FDA hearing, I conducted a brief interview with the author via e-mail. -Rick
Read the interview at the author's site at: