Below is an Excerpt from a July 12, 2006 article by the Alliance for Human Research Protection (AHRP), a consumer advocacy network dedicated to advancing ethical medical research practices.
David Armstrong of the Wall Street Journal documents violations of medicine’s foremost ethical principle, “first, do no harm,” by influential academic psychiatrists who promote psychotropic drugs for pregnant women that will cause harm to their developing infants. Specifically, thirteen leading industry-financed psychiatrists from Harvard, UCLA and Emory, published a report in JAMA (2006) whose aggressive promotion in the local and national media was designed to frighten pregnant women and to dissuade them from stopping antidepressants during pregnancy.
The authors emphasized a (previously unreported) risk of relapse, disregarding a body of evidence (documented since 1993) demonstrating that exposure to serotonin (SSRI antidepressants) in utero has caused birth defects, cardiac malformation, respiratory distress, and severe withdrawal syndrome in infants…
… JAMA’s failure to enforce its conflict of interest disclosure policy raises serious questions about the journal’s role as a promoter of industry’s marketing agenda rather than a gatekeeper protecting the integrity of scientific and ethical standards in research.