Cymbalta Promotion Questioned

From the FMS News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton
Without prejudice
Courtesy of
Date Published: Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Eli Lilly recently spent millions promoting Cymbalta as a treatment for the controversial disease, fibromyalgia. Now, the Epoch Times places the figure donated by the company to nonprofits to “educate” doctors about the disease at nearly $4 million. Fibromyalgia, a chronic, widespread pain condition of unknown origin, is a controversial diagnosis with no biological diagnostic tests, nor links to any environmental or biological causes.

Some criticized Lilly for seeming to ignore established diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s in order to fund research on fibromyalgia, said the Epoch Times, noting that Cymbalta—generically known as duloxetine—is Lilly’s second highest selling drug.

Cymbalta has long been linked with suicidal problems, yet is being researched for a wide and growing array of ailments. Approvals are expected for its use in the treatment of chronic knee and low-back pain and, said the Epoch Time. According to the report, it is also being studied as a treatment for binge eating, social phobia, chronic fatigue, restless legs disorder, seasonal affective disorder, migraines, attention deficit disorder and childhood depression. Research is also looking into Cymbalta as a possible remedy for PMS, menopause, alcoholism, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, kleptomania, and tennis elbow.

The drug, which is linked to serious pediatric risks, continues to be looked at for treatment of childhood depression, the Epoch Times said.

The Epoch Times detailed some troubling situations involving Cymbalta (some were outlined in the February 2008 Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology by four physicians from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Kansas Medical Center), including:

* The hanging death of a 19-year-old test subject in a Cymbalta Clinical Trial at the Lilly Clinic in 2004 who had no prior history of mental illness.

* The carbon monoxide suicide attempt by a man in his late 30s after taking Cymbalta for back pain for a couple of months

* Suicidal ideation in a 63-year-old man with no prior history of such ideation and who was prescribed Cymbalta for fatigue, insomnia, and sadness.

* A Texas man prescribed Cymbalta for peripheral neuropathy suddenly killed himself.

* A 19-year-old college student recently prescribed Cymbalta hanged himself after completing some routine job search tasks.

* A 21-year-old college student recently prescribed Cymbalta, took his own life three minutes after speaking to his family while driving home and sounding fine.

Soon after the first suicide, an unflinching U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Cymbalta as an antidepressant and for diabetic nerve pain in 2004, said the Epoch Times. It 2007 it was being prescribed for general anxiety disorder and maintenance treatment of depression; and, in 2008, it was being prescribed for fibromyalgia.

WA Today reported that in Australia, Lilly was making a “concerted effort” to promote Cymbalta off-label at up to “twice the approved dose” for depression-related physical pain. In that country, WA said that Lilly was fined $100,000 and had to remove all promotional material. Lilly appealed, claiming its material was “educational”; the appeal was dismissed. Lilly mailed an apology to all Australian doctors for “any unintentional confusion” over the marketing of Cymbalta, admitting the material might have been misleading, and might have suggested using a higher than appropriate dose of the drug, reported WA Today.

Eli Lilly has faced scandals over drug promotions before. It recently agreed to pay $1.42 billion in the U.S. to settle claims it illegally marketed Zyprexa.


About jeanne hambleton

Journalist-wordsmith, former reporter, columnist, film critic, editor, Town Clerk and then fibromite and eventer with 5 conferences done and dusted. Interested in all health and well being issues, passionate about research to find a cure and cause for fibromyalgia. Member LinkedIn. Worked for 4 years with FMA UK as Regional Coordinator for SW and SE,and Chair for FMS SAS the Sussex and Surrey FM umbrella charity and Chair Folly Pogs Fibromyalgia Research UK - finding funding for our "cause for a cure" and President and co ordinator of National FM Conferences. Just finished last national annual Fibromyalgia Conference Weekend. This was another success with speakers from the States . Next year's conference in Chichester Park Hotel, West Sussex, will be April 24/27 2015 and bookings are coming in from those who raved about the event every year. I am very busy but happy to produce articles for publication. News Editor of FMS Global News on line but a bit behind due to conference. A workaholic beyond redemption! The future - who knows? Open to offers with payment. Versatile and looking for a regular paid column - you call the tune and I will play the pipes.
This entry was posted in 13606, 16816416, 16816701, Awareness, Britain, Britain feeds, Brussels feeds, Brussels news, Drugs, Europe, Europe feeds, feed://, Feeds, feeds://feedburnercomwordpressmytb-2, Fibrohugs, Fibrohugs News, Fibromyalgia, Fibromyalgia Blogs, Fibromyalgia News, Fibromyalgia News UK, Fibromyalgia Press Releases, FM, FM drug companies, FMS, FMS Global News, Food and Drugs Administration, Global News, Health,,,,, Jeanne Hambleton, Journalist UK, Lilly, London, London UK, London UK Feed, Medicine, Michigan feeds, News, News UK, News USA, Pain, Pain Management, Pharmacologic, Pharmacological, Research, RSS, RSS Feeds, Support Groups, Tenderpoints, UK feeds, Uncategorized, US, USA, Washington D.C. City Feed, World, World News, World Wide, Worldwide and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s