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Thursday, August 13, 2009

SEROXAT IN THE MEDIA

GlaxoSmithKline's Seroxat seems to have had a lot of coverage in the mainstream media over the past couple of weeks. All for the wrong reasons it seems.

Any time the words 'antidepressant ' or 'SSRi' are used, Seroxat seems to be in the forefront of any particular news story, in the UK at least.

I cannot think of any other product that has received so much bad press that still remains on the market. The manufacturers, GlaxoSmithKline, continue to robustly defend it whilst the UK medicine regulator [MHRA] remain tight-lipped about the current news events.

Personally, I cannot see why Seroxat still remains on the market. With reports and academic papers suggesting that it causes a vast array of severe problems, I am astounded as to why it has not been either recalled or banned.

Seroxat is one of many SSRi's, prescription figures would have declined due, in the main, to four [count them] programmes on BBC TV's Panorama that have highlighted the dangers of this particular SSRi.

What would the consequences be if Seroxat was pulled from the market?

It's pretty obvious really, well to me at least. If Seroxat was pulled from the market it would raise concerns about other SSRi's, concerns that are only raised by campaigners and get very little coverage in the mainstream media. Seroxat seems to be the daddy of all SSRi's, the Coca Cola of the soft drinks world. Remove it from the market and the mainstream media would probably focus on the next SSRi.

I can see no benefit of Seroxat, none whatsoever. The longer it remains on the market will mean countless suffering for people on other SSRi's. Once removed, it will open the doors for other SSRi's to be thoroughly investigated and maybe other bloggers, campaigners, advocates can start banging the drum and asking the regulator about Prozac, Zoloft and other SSRi related drugs.

In Seroxat we have one drug of a whole class. To play down it's side-effects is playing down the side-effects of every other SSRi. Seroxat is a celebrity, it's one that the media have got their fingers into. Once this celebrity is dead and gone they will move on to something else. Then, and only then, will other SSRi's get the press coverage other advocates seem to be calling for.

As far as I'm aware Seroxat is the only SSRi in the UK that is currently going through the High Court with regard to it being a defective product. With the recent press reports, it would appear that it is defective. GSK lawyers can argue that it is only as defective as other SSRi's on the market - not much of an argument but one that they will no doubt use. Probably another reason why the MHRA won't intervene and say 'enough is enough.' To pull Seroxat would have a devastating effect on the outcome of any lawsuit.

I never used to be in the camp of banning Seroxat but if one looks at the bigger picture you will see that it is the only way forward. There is no benefit of Seroxat... and even if it could be argued that there was then the risks would far outweigh any benefit. When a drug is licensed by the MHRA the main focus on whether it is safe and effective is the risk/benefit ratio. Somewhere along the line we have been lied to - either that or we have a bunch of very incompetent people regulating the drugs you, I and our children take.

Ban Seroxat... then start looking closely at the other SSRi's. Glaxo are not the only pharmaceutical company who have been less than forthright with the truth.

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12/08/2009 Depression pills 'double suicide risk in young adults'

08/08/2009 Doped and duped

08/08/2009 GPs still handing out antidepressants linked to birth defects

07/08/2009 Women given antidepressant that can cause birth defects

More HERE


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'THE EVIDENCE, HOWEVER, IS CLEAR...THE SEROXAT SCANDAL' By Bob Fiddaman
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