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(Army Times) Editorial: VA adds fuel to fire

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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-08 05:40 AM
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(Army Times) Editorial: VA adds fuel to fire
Editorial: VA adds fuel to fire

The Department of Veterans Affairs, buffeted by a string of controversies in recent years, has another to add to the list.

This one involves the smoking cessation drug Chantix, which is being used in a VA study involving 945 veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The smoking rate among vets with PTSD is twice that of the general population; the studys goal is to see whether smoking-cessation therapy and PTSD treatment are more effective when combined.

But on Nov. 20, the Food and Drug Administration issued an alert: Chantix users can suffer from side effects including suicidal thoughts and behavior obviously a special concern for PTSD victims.

Although the FDA did not advise health care professionals to discontinue using the drug, VA sent the notice to all its health care professionals on Nov. 21. But not until the FDA issued another alert Feb. 5 did VA begin rousing itself to let its patients in on the potential risks of Chantix and even then, the notices trickled out between March and June, months after the FDAs initial alert.

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