Antidepressant test sees fifth
INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Drug maker Eli Lilly has been
ordered to stop taking new patients for the trial of an
antidepressant after a fifth person committed suicide.
The New York Times reported Traci Johnson, 19, hanged herself
during the weekend at the company's Indianapolis dormitory-like
laboratory. She did not leave a note.
She was one of 25 healthy patients at the clinic who were being
given larger than therapeutic doses of duloxetine, which will be
known as Cymbalta if it is introduced as an antidepressant.
Four days before her death, Johnson was taken off Cymbalta and
given a placebo.
The study paid volunteers $150 per day plus meals.
Four other patients who were given the drug during earlier trials
also committed suicide, the company said. The drug is being tested
not only as an antidepressant but also as a possible treatment for
stress urinary incontinence.
A review board has told Eli Lilly to stop entering new patients
into the trial and to have all the current participants evaluated by
an independent psychiatrist.
Robert Smith, a Lilly spokesman, said the company did not believe
that duloxetine caused the suicide.