Amy C. Russell
National Foundation for Depressive Illnesses
Cynthia Cotts replies: For some depressives, Paxil is a lifesaver. However, SmithKline Beecham also markets the drug as the only FDA-approved treatment for "social anxiety disorder." This is a serious condition. But according to Michelle Cottle ("Selling Shyness,"The New Republic, August 2, 1999), social anxiety disorder is a heavily promoted "hot diagnosis" that may not be as widespread or worthy of steep Paxil prices as its makers would have us believe.