Vets Used to Test Drugs Linked to Suicide

VA accused of treating troubled patients like 'lab rats'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2008 2:33 PM CDT
A US. Army sergeant demonstrates a PTSD treatment in this file photo.    (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
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(Newser) – 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."