Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The suicide of Traci Johnson at Eli Lilly Laboratories: the original newspaper reports

When Traci Johnson, a 19 year-old healthy volunteer, hanged herself in a Phase I trial of Cymbalta at the Eli Lilly Laboratory for Clinical Research in 2004, it seemed like a major research scandal -- an episode to be studied and taught. Eleven years later, however, the original reporting on the case has disappeared from the Internet, as well as from the standard newspaper databases such as Factiva, Lexis and ProQuest.

The best source of information about the Traci Johnson case on the web now is Jeanne Lenzer's article for Slate, "What the FDA Isn't Telling."  Lenzer's article is an excellent (and alarming) piece of reporting, but when I was putting together the syllabus for an honors course on medical research scandals this term, I found myself wishing I had access to more information.

Which I eventually managed to get.  It took some work, but I obtained microfiche of the original newspaper reports that J.K. Wall and John Tuohy wrote about the Traci Johnson case for the Indianapolis Star.  A few weeks ago I scanned and uploaded the articles to Scribd. You can find them here. 

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