Before 2000, the FDA rarely highlighted suicide as a possible side effect. But in 2004, after years of controversy, the agency reversed course and issued warnings to doctors and patients that some popular antidepressants are linked to suicidal thoughts and behavior in adolescents.

It was a long hard battle by a number of dedicated individuals to bring this problem to the agency’s attention and get it to be taken seriously. Science writer Alison Bass has talked with many of them. We talk with her about the struggle over Paxil and the implications for other drugs.

Guests: Alison Bass is a science writer. She teaches journalism at Brandeis University. Her new book is Side Effects: A Prosecutor, a Whistleblower, and a Bestselling Antidepressant on Trial. Read her blog at

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  1. Balance

    What disturbed me most about this interview is that while the influence of money on the pharma industry and doctors was vociferously attacked, no one at all questioned the influence of money on the author. After all, scandal does sell more books . . . A fair and balanced report would acknowledge the good that has come from the pharma industry and doctors, even those who want to make a fair profit.

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