Amid the sudden British ban on Halcion (triazolam) by the Committee on the Safety of Medicines, Upjohn has admitted that data on some adverse effects were missing from the summary originally submitted to the American Food and Drug Administration for
Halcion was banned because of fears that it caused more psychiatric reactions than other benzodiazepines. Some 390 cases have been brought to light, including 190 cases of psychiatric reactions. The committee decided that triazolam causes “frequent and disabling psychiatric adverse reactions at doses of .5 to 1 mg when given to young and middle aged patients with no mental illness.”
The drug was also in the news last summer when an American called Ilo Grundberg, who killed her mother while on the drug, sued Upjohn and settled out of court for an undisclosed sum, reportedly £8 million. Although the settlement includes non disclosure of studies thought to be presented in favour of Grundberg, the Health Research Group is applying for immediate access to all evidence in the case through America’s Freedom of Information Act.
Upjohn also faces numerous lawsuits from British patients claiming to have been similarly damaged.