Brand Watch reveals extent of GP concern over Seroxat

Two fifths of GPs say patients have raised concerns about anti-depressant drug Seroxat as a result of something they had read, seen or heard about the product in the past three months, according to PRWeek’s inaugural Brand Watch.

More than eight out of ten GPs recall having read, seen or heard something about the GSK brand in the past three months, according to research by NOP World Health, which polled 201 GPs via GP Net in November.

TV shows were the main source of patient information on Seroxat; GPs also said patient concern had been roused by articles in the broadsheets and tabloids.

Almost two thirds (65 per cent) of GPs described the information that they had seen on Seroxat as negative – and almost half (48 per cent) are only prescribing it to certain restricted patient types. A further fifth (18 per cent) of GPs have stopped prescribing Seroxat altogether.

Drug regulators banned Seroxat for under-18s last year after fresh evidence showed it can cause young people to become suicidal.

A GSK spokesman said: ‘We have real concerns that one-sided reporting of the risks and benefits of anti-depressants in some parts of the media may discourage people from seeking treatment for depression when they need it most.’

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