Clinical Trials Bill Press Conference

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March 20, 2006

Baum Hedlund
12100 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 950
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Clinical Trials Bill Press Conference

Baum Hedlund client and activist, Kim Witczak, will be joining Minnesota State Senator John Hottinger tomorrow morning to discuss a new Clinical Trials bill providing for clinical trial registration, civil penalties and proposed coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes.

Senator Hottinger has asked Kim to share her husband, Woody's story to illustrate why clinical trial registration is important and will save lives. (For more information regarding Kim and Woody's story, see below.)

Senator Hottinger's Press Release:

Clinical Trials Bill press conference

State Senator John Hottinger (DFL-St. Peter) will be joined by Kim Witczak, a Minnesota resident whose husband committed suicide after taking a drug with side effects found during clinical trials, at a press conference for a bill requiring that pharmaceutical companies disclose side effects found during clinical trials.

Also speaking at the press conference will be Liz Foley, a Campaign Organizer for Consumers Union, and a representative from the MN Senior Federation.

The bill is SF 3342 and its companion is HF 2869.

The press conference will be held on Tuesday, March 21 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 125 of the Minnesota State Capitol.

For more information, contact Eric Steen 651-296-4870.

Eric E. Steen
Media Liaison - Senate Majority Research 651-296-4870 [email protected]
mailto:[email protected]

Additional Information:

Timothy (Woody) Witczak was a 37-year old dynamic and upbeat, happily married man who was prescribed Zoloft because he was having difficulty sleeping due to job-related stress. He was on Zoloft for about five weeks with an increased dose before he committed suicide (by hanging himself from the rafters in his garage). He had no history of mental illness or suicidality.

His symptoms after Zoloft and before his death included profuse sweating, worsened insomnia, horrible nightmares, headaches, agitation and an odd feeling in his head (he told his wife that he felt like his head was "detached from [his] body").

Kim Witczak has traveled to Washington D.C. on numerous occasions to lobby Congress to increase FDA scrutiny and raise awareness of the risks of antidepressants. She testified at the FDA advisory committee meeting in September 2004, which resulted in black box warnings concerning the increased risk of suicidality in children and adolescents.

The Witczak's story was covered in an I-Team feature on WCCO TV in Minneapolis and Ms. Witczak has been quoted in a number of news stories, including a recent feature article in Fortune Magazine. She has a website devoted to her husband's memory and raising awareness about the risks of antidepressants:

Ms. Witczak is represented by Baum Hedlund, a national pharmaceutical products liability law firm. The firm represents many clients in SSRI-related suicide cases.

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