Monsanto Roundup Lawsuit

Monday, May 28, 2007

What we have here is... a failure to communicate 2

Following on from my correspondence with three leading figures for mental health patient support groups HERE I now will turn my attention to Dr Chris Manning with whom I had brief correspondence with via email. If you read my first post on this subject you will have learned that the author of Seroxat Secrets had unearthed what seemed like very close ties between Depression Alliance, Primhe, Healthwell and pharmaceutical marketing.

On closer inspection I learned that Primhe were funded by pharma and on their site they boast Primhe is the UK primary care professional charity dedicated to mental health and the care of those with mental illness in primary care settings. Our mantra is “bringing ‘mental’ into the mainstream”.

I wrote to Primhe because I was unhappy to say the least that the Pharmaceutical funding Primhe were receiving was from Lundbeck who have a bad history of manufacturing bad pills.

I wrote the following:

Dear Primhe

Why is it that you are associated (funded) by Lundbeck when the three antidepressants they manufacture are all known to cause serious side effects?

I thought Primhe was set up to HELP patients with mental illness?

Total reports: 75
Reported deaths: 9
Reported hospitalizations: 30
Learn about CIPRALEX serious adverse events reported to Food and Drug Administration

Total reports: 413
Reported deaths: 71
Reported hospitalizations: 136
Learn about LEXAPRO serious adverse events reported to Food and Drug Administration

Total reports: 74
Reported deaths: 15
Reported hospitalizations: 39
Learn about SEROPLEX serious adverse events reported to Food and Drug Administration

Dr Manning wrote back thanking me for raising the issue and adding that Primhe have excellent working relationships with funders (including pharma). At the end of his email he asked what it is I do? I replied sometime later telling him I was a campaigner speaking out against GlaxoSmithKline, The MHRA and Seroxat... his response? "Well, you can continue to do that. Primhe has other fish to fry".

I asked him if he thought the public were confident in the light that Primhe were funded by pharma to which he replied, "I have no idea; you clearly are not".

I told him I would applaud Primhe if they were to carry warnings on their web page regarding the drugs their funders manufactured - His reply came as a bit of a shock:

"Then we can agree to disagree and there is no way that the charity can, or will, do as you suggest"

Make of that what you will folks.

He also went on to tell me that Suicide rates have fallen in every country where SSRIs have been prescribed (and there are now rises in US states in children and adolescents where SSRI prescribing rates have fallen. This, as we know, is a myth and more than likely Pharma spin (SEE HERE). He also added "The charity does not promote any single medicine or inform professionals or patients as to what specific medicines or interventions they should prescribe or take".

I replied to Dr Manning and he responded with which was to be his last email to me.

I asked: Do you not feel, as a doctor, you should warn patients that the Patient Information leaflet in certain drugs does not tell the whole story of side effects?

He replied, Whilst in practice, I was meticulous in this regard. Primhe cannot do everything and I am confident that there are more than enough people (including yourself) and other organisations tackling this issue.

I guess that's a fair comment - Set up a charity to help people with mental health problems yet leave it to the layman to warn those same patients of the serious adverse effects certain antidepressants can cause. Do you wish Dr Manning was your GP folks?

It seems those that DO NOT speak out against SSRi's constantly bang the same drum, always asking 'What other alternative is there'? Dr Manning was no exception.

Just because there is one remedy, that for all intents and purposes is causing great distress amongst thousands of patients, DOES NOT mean that it is ok to continue taking it because no other remedy seems to have been scientifically proven to help depressives. I find this attitude ignorant and it smacks of burying ones head in the sand regarding the problems patients are having to endure at the hands of these drugs.

Dr Manning continued with his 'pro ssri stance' by informing me that he had personally witnessed people, who as a direct result of various programmes and articles had stopped taking vital medications causing them serious adverse effects and in two cases suicide.

I assume that he is referring to Panorama here. I cannot recall Panorama ever telling anyone to suddenly stop taking their medication. I have not come across any article that suggests that either.

Dr Manning further wrote, "I have learned that everyone on this plant has agendas of one sort or another and I make it my general habit to be very sceptical of any single lobbying voice, however well motivated".

I pointed out that he only needed to type the word 'Seroxat' into Google to see there were many lobbying voices speaking out against this drug - his reply? "It's ok, I know you are not alone. Perhaps I'll start a website for those who feel they are helped by their SSRI...or would you just call them deluded? (I met two yesterday)".

Whilst Amelia Mustafa, Dr Chris Manning and Jim Thomson robustly deny they promote any pharmaceutical product, it seems they do a great job in defending them, which pretty much amounts to the same thing don't you think?

Dr Manning is what his titles says, he is a doctor, one that is in a position to offer advice to patients suffering from withdrawal from Seroxat. With comments like 'Perhaps I'll start a website for those who feel they are helped by their SSRi', it seems Dr Manning has made his mind up that SSRi's are beneficial. Hardly surprising seeing as Primhe receive funding from Pharma who manufacture antidepressants.

Or am I just being cynical?

As always, I offer Dr Manning the chance to reply via the comments section on this blog.

He hasn't replied via email

You can read more about Dr Manning, Amelia Mustafa and Jim Thomson HERE, HERE. Or just pop over to Seroxat Secrets where the research into mental health charities and funding has proved to be very popular with Seroxat Secrets readers... including Jim Thomson