Combat veterans suffering post-traumatic stress disorder were recruited for clinical trials of drugs linked to suicide and mental disorders, ABC reports. In a trial involving the smoking-cessation drug Chantix, the VA did not warn patients of the drug's serious potential side effects until 3 months after the FDA and the drug's maker had issued warnings.
The VA has defended its decision to keep the study going, but medical ethicists slammed the use of already-troubled vets to test the drugs. "They never told me that I was going to be suicidal, that I would cease sleeping," said one Iraq vet who suffered a mental breakdown during the Chantix study. "They never told me anything except this will help me quit smoking."