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Saturday, 4 February 2012

Seroxat PAXIL 329 University will not support Keller retraction - FIDDAMAN ** Exclusive counterpoint blog

The University will not support an effort to retract a controversial study co-authored by Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior Martin Keller, wrote Edward Wing, dean of medicine and biological sciences, in a recent letter to the global nonprofit Healthy Skepticism.

The study — commonly referred to as Study 329 — identified the drug Paxil as an effective combatant of adolescent depression. Since its publication in 2001, the study has raised concerns due to findings that link Paxil to higher rates of suicidal tendencies.

Citing claims that Keller's study intentionally misrepresented the effectiveness of Paxil by suppressing data, Healthy Skepticism asked the University to write to the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and request a retraction of the findings, The Herald reported in November.

Jon Jureidini, a co-author of the Healthy Skepticism letters and a professor at the University of Adelaide in Australia, received Wing's most recent reply on Monday. In an email to The Herald, Jureidini wrote that Healthy Skepticism would not be discouraged by the University's response, though he added he was unsure how the group would proceed.

"One hopes that universities are leaders in moral and scientific integrity, but how can they expect students to acquire such values when their behavior directly contradicts their stated policies?" wrote Healthy Skepticism co-author Leemon McHenry in an email to The Herald. McHenry is also a researcher, lecturer and part-time professor at California State University in Northridge.

Wing declined to comment, citing confidentiality reasons.

In its initial letter to the University last October, Healthy Skepticism expressed concerns that the study's continued citation is misleading doctors and harming adolescents. The letter accused Paxil's parent company GlaxoSmithKline of ghostwriting the study and alleged that the study's authors withheld data connecting Paxil usage to suicidal tendencies to protect GlaxoSmithKline's profits.

The allegations have their roots in several ethical examinations of Study 329, including an investigation by the Senate Finance Committee, a documentary by the BBC, a 2008 book and several journal articles.

Keller acknowledged in a 2006 deposition that he had received tens of thousands of dollars from GlaxoSmithKline and its affiliates over the years, The Herald reported in 2008.

Wing first responded to Healthy Skepticism's letter in November. "The University takes seriously any questions about the soundness of faculty-conducted research," Wing wrote in the letter. "I would caution you not to confuse the University's policy of confidentiality with inactivity."

Healthy Skepticism replied in December, reiterating its call for an open letter requesting retraction and asking for a date by which the University would complete its internal review of the charges against Keller. Wing's most recent reply did not include an estimated date.

Keller, who stepped down as chair of the psychiatry department in 2009 but remains a professor, did not respond to multiple requests for comment

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