The British Medical Journal (BMJ) has published a retraction of its allegations that Eli Lilly hid documents linking use of its antidepressant Prozac with a heightened risk of suicide.
BMJ said the documents went missing during a 1994 lawsuit, in an article published earlier this month. The suit against Lilly involved a gunman who killed eight people in a workplace shooting in Kentucky and had been prescribed Prozac.
"As a result of the investigation, it is clear that these documents did not go missing," the BMJ retraction said. "The BMJ accepts that Eli Lilly acted properly in relation to the disclosure of these documents in these claims. The BMJ is happy to set the record straight and to apologize to Eli Lilly for this statement, which we now retract, but which we published in good faith."
The apology and retraction, which is available in this week's online and bound BMJ edition, references the journal's investigation into these documents after receiving a complaint from Lilly.
"We were disturbed by the initial BMJ article that inaccurately reported about Prozac and made negative inferences regarding our company's conduct," said Eli Lilly chief executive Sidney Taurel. "The apology and retraction is an important step in gaining closure on this unfortunate event . . . We accept the apology and retraction with the understanding that both our organizations are committed to providing doctors and patients with accurate information about medications."