To: Morgan, Sarah ; MHRA Information Centre ; KENT WOODS ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; ALASDAIR BRECKENRIDGE ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com
Cc: Gregor, Simon ; GISELA STUART ; David Healy ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com
Sent: Friday, July 24, 2009 8:51 AM
Subject: DNA Drug Sensitivity Testing
I am sure that you are all aware that clinical factors such as age, sex, weight, general health and liver function can alter a patient's response to drugs, genetic factors being the most important.
For the past 4 years or so I have been at loggerheads with the Medicine's Healthcare and products Regulatory Agency [MHRA] regarding the safety and efficacy of Selective Serotonin Re-Uptake Inhibitors [SSRi's], in particular the safe way to withdraw or taper from these drugs.
It appears that SSRi's are the most widely reported drugs with regard to adverse drug reactions [ADR's]. It also appears that very little is being done about this problem, apart from fairly recently where the MHRA have started corresponding with the British National Formulary [BNF]
It's widely suggested that the MHRA's current Yellow Card Reporting system is quite flawed and that the actual number of SSRi ADR's is a lot higher than what the Yellow Card System identifies - some quarters suggest that any yellow card ADR's could possibly be multiplied by 10 to get a more precise figure of the actual problem.
There is certainly a possible solution to help patients from suffering from SSRi toxicity/withdrawal/addiction that seems to have been largely overlooked by the NHS/MHRA.
I take it you are all aware of DNA drug sensitivity testing? I also assume that you are all aware that a simple screening of patients deficient in CYP2D6 could possibly save any patient suffering and possibly reduce ADR's?
CYP2D6 acts on one-fourth of all prescription drugs, including SSRi's and tricylic antidepressants (TCA's). Approximately 10% of the population has a slow acting form of this enzyme and 7% a super-fast acting form. Thirty-five percent are carriers of a non-functional 2D6 allele, especially elevating the risk of ADRs when these individuals are taking multiple drugs. Drugs that CYP2D6 metabolizes include Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Effexor, 4 of the most popular SSRi's/SNRi's prescribed by doctors.
I do fully understand that to screen every single patient for this deficiency would cost the NHS an enormous amount of money but believe that it would be money well spent:
A, Time off work for the debilitating side-effects caused by these drugs.
B, A huge saving of money from prescribed medication funded by the benefits system in the UK.
C, An end to needless patient suffering. The needless suffering includes toxic poisoning, debilitating withdrawal symptoms, financial loss because of time off work and suicide ideation.
With this in mind, I wish for all of you included in this email to consider putting a DNA drug sensitivity test in place and to put aside the red-tape and money factors. This is about people, it's about a deficiency that cannot be seen by talking, it's about people who put trust in their GP's and trust in the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the drugs they take. You ALL know this deficiency exists, you ALL know there is a solution.
You are ALL responsible for the welfare of patient safety and you ALL have a duty to protect patients.
I'd like all of you to reply to this mail. I do not wish for it to be passed on to the current Health Minister, who in turn will either cut and paste from the MHRA or NHS website with Expert Working Group Discussions et al.
I am bringing this to your attention and for the sake of humanity I want you all to do something about it. I strongly feel that by ignoring such an obvious solution is infringing basic human rights
A copy of this email will be published on my blog, Seroxat Sufferers [http://fiddaman.blogspot.com] - Any replies and/or lack of responses will also be published.
It's high-time you ALL stopped burying your heads in the sand. The talking is merely stalling. Patients need action and they need it now.
This email is also for the attention for the following people whom, for one reason or another, do not have contact email addresses:
I would be grateful if this email could be passed on to the following:
Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP, Secretary of State for Health
Gillian Merron MP, Minister of State for Public Health
Ann Keen MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Health Services
Sir Liam Donaldson, Government's chief medical officer
Professor Louis Appleby CBE, National Director for Mental Health
Professor Dame Carol M Black, National Director for Health and Work
David Colin-Thome OBE, National Clinical Director for Primary Care
Professor Bob Fryer CBE, National Director for Widening Participation in Learning
Surinder Sharma, National Director for Equality and Human Rights
Jonathan Mason, National Clinical Director for Pharmacy
Martin Stephens, National Clinical Director for Pharmacy
Author of Seroxat Sufferers
BCC To interested parties
 MHRA now in discussions with BNF regarding information given to doctors regarding SSRi tapering.
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'THE EVIDENCE, HOWEVER, IS CLEAR...THE SEROXAT SCANDAL' By Bob Fiddaman
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