AGP to Probe Undisclosed Industry Ties of Doc Who Recommends Antidepressants for 3-Year-Olds

The journal Archives of General Psychiatry will "look into" whether an author who recommended antidepressants for preschoolers failed to disclose her financial ties to Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Shire, companies which make such drugs, according to Philip Dawdy of Furious Seasons.

Dr. Joan Luby, a professor of child psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has authored several papers asserting that children as young as three years old can suffer from depression and bipolar disorder, and that treatment with antidepressants and antipyschotics may be appropriate. In a recent paper for the AGP, she wrote:

Preschool depression, similar to childhood depression, is not a developmentally transient syndrome but rather shows chronicity and/or recurrence.
She did not disclose any ties to industry. However, Luby has past ties to J&J's Janssen unit, AZ and Shire (makers of Risperdal, Seroquel and Adderall XR, respectively).

Dawdy points out that a typical disclosure period is five years -- meaning authors must disclose financial relationships going back that far. Luby was funded by Shire and AZ in 2004.

BNET readers first learned of Luby in August, when we noted that in 2007 Luby authored two papers in the Journal of Child and Adolesent Psychopharmacology (one on pyschotropic prescriptions in preschoolers and another urging the "responsible" treatment of young people with medications). Neither of those papers disclosed her industry ties, even though Luby authored a 2006 article in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, also about depression in preschoolers, which disclosed ties to the three companies.