Dear Health Canada,
It is very obvious that Paxil poses a serious threat to the life and liberty of children and adults in Canada. It seems equally as obvious that there is an overprescribing issue. Tonight I found a website created by GlaxoSmithKline. The sites intended purpose is pre-screening for shyness which they feel their drug is suited well for. I find that extremely difficult to believe. (Both the fact that shyness is a mental illness at all and that the benefits of Paxil would outweigh any risk)
I'm not going to sit here and try to convince you of Paxil's mounting death toll and the 16 yr wake of needless suffering. I know you know about it so let's not debate the obvious.
I did some research on the side effects of other known disasters you have pulled from the shelves such as Vioxx and Thalidomide. I am wondering why, in spite of the fact that SSRI drugs have a much higher number of reported severe side effects than either drug mentioned above; you have done very little about it.
I would suggest Paxil be removed from the shelves but someone is making far too much money for that request to be realistic.
1) When you are going to demand GlaxoSmithKline to make their warning labels more visible? I have seen the warning label and it does not stand out at all which was also reported on the evening news which focused on the senseless death of Sara Carlin and Ontario Chief Corners office. I don't think that this is an unreasonable request especially considering a more visible label could have saved some of the Canadian lives we have already lost and will save some in the future which should be Health Canada's main focus.
2) When can the public (Paxil addicts) expect a withdrawal program?
You, along with doctors have been made aware of how difficult it is to withdraw from Paxil. Leading experts suggest greater than 40% of users will experience severe withdrawal complications. This is hardly a number to ignore. I am also wondering how many people have been forced into poverty and live off of disability as a result of this health care disaster that is out of control and has been for many years.
After corresponding with world experts on SSRI withdrawal it is my understanding there is no withdrawal program in place and that you have never requested one in spite of how debilitating withdrawal can be and the threat to one's life. GlaxoSmithKline suggests a two week tapering period. Experts like Dr. David Healy have regarded this as nearly an impossible challenge for patients and a very dangerous one at that. After being prescribed Paxil for PMDD (bad PMS) and spending two years getting off these drugs, I can assure you that the experts are not exaggerating. I don't know how I survived it. A child with an uninformed doctor and ignorant parent or caregiver does not stand a chance. Don't reply to me and tell me that Paxil is not licensed for children. It is being prescribed off label every single day for children and we both know it.
Considering the number of people taking SSRI drugs I feel strongly that these issues should have been addressed carefully long before now. It seems to me that Health Canada has demanded the bare minimum from a company guilty of tax evasion and collusion in the United States, Half a billion dollars worth of bribery in Italy, Illegal drug trials in New Jersey, ghost writing, and faced criminal charges for knowingly promoting a drug proven ineffective and extremely dangerous in children. I'm sure I have missed a few but surely you get my point. With the latter in mind it has come as a shock to me and other consumer advocate groups that GSK is planning on a second attempt at a pediatric license in Japan.
If I were to pull any one of those stunts would you continue to do business with me and bend the rules in my favor or would I be behind bars? If I were your neighbor would you trust me to watch your child?
Of course you would not trust me with your child. But you have been telling Canadians to trust GSK with their children knowing the company is promoting an unsafe drug for our most vulnerable members of society and the very people that will be running this country one day.
GlaxoSmithKline has been selling life saving drugs for a very long time. However, this does not give them a license to intentionally deceive Health Canada, Canadian doctors and consumers.
It has always been your job to protect and defend the health and safety of Canadians. I feel that in regard to Paxil, you have failed us.
I would really like a reply to this but not a cut a paste of a standard reply. I intend to report on this as it will be the focus of a paper I have been working on.
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