Media Conflicted About FDA Investigation into Singulair
After anecdotal reports that people who used the allergy drug Singulair may develop suicidal tendencies, the Food and Drug Administration announced March 27 that it would investigate. How big the problem might be depends on what network you watch.
Even though CBS's "The Early Show" and NBC's "Today" included statements from Merck (NYSE:MRK), the manufacturer of Singulair, analysis of the investigation was mixed.
On "The Early Show" CBS anchor Maggie Rodriguez stressed "disturbing" questions about the drug, and correspondent Kelly Wallace alleged information about new behavioral side effects were not easily accessible on Merck's Web site.
But NBC's Dr. Nancy Snyderman put the investigation into perspective on "Today," explaining the small number of cases where suicide and use of the drug coexisted.
"Let me caution, with 31 million prescriptions written we're talking about 3 or 4 cases of suicide reported to the FDA," Snyderman said.
She urged everyone taking prescription medication to be alert for any changes in their mood or other symptoms that arise when one begins a new medication.