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Dear Mr Witty,
I thought I would make this public rather than send it to you direct, if there was an address where people could email you direct that is.
I'm pretty pissed off you see.
This week I have had two members of the public write me, both are struggling at the hands of Seroxat, both have electric-like zaps ripping through their bodies, both have profuse sweating and horrific nightmares, both have been on Seroxat for over 9 years.
I'm not a doctor Mr Witty but I have experienced Seroxat withdrawal, you will know it as 'discontinuation' but let's be clear, it's withdrawal. I don't know if you have ever experienced an addiction to a prescription drug Mr Witty, it isn't very pleasant, particularly when you have spokespersons for the manufacturer of that drug claim that "discontinuation will last approximately two weeks." My discontinuation lasted 22 months, the two people that have contacted me this week have a combined 'discontinuation reaction' of over 8 years.
With all that said, I take umbrage to GSK Japan trialling out Seroxat in children. By your company's own admission, Seroxat is not safe for children...yet here we have your Japanese branch recruiting and drugging children with Seroxat. I am left wondering if these Japanese children or their parents were informed that deaths due to suicide have occurred whilst children were on Seroxat, or do you deny that Seroxat caused this?
Pushing Seroxat aside, for the time being, I'd like to focus on another story concerning your company, GlaxoSmithKline PLC.
A current trial in India where your company is comparative testing to see if rosiglitazone, more commonly known as Avandia, is associated with more risk for patients.
As I understand it, both the MHRA and FDA have pulled your product, Avandia, from the shelves because of its high risk of causing heart attacks/strokes. To administer a banned drug in a comparative trial is a tad naughty Mr Witty and, dare I say it, highly unethical. Are the sites of this proposed trial in Bangalore, Karnal, Kottayam, Vijaywada, Mumbai, Nasik, Pune, Trichy, and two sites in Kochi, aware that Avandia has been banned in the USA ans Europe?
Are you still trying to defend Avandia by comparing it with another drug? Is this how your company works Mr Witty? One of your drugs gets lambasted and you yell like a school child and make claims that there are other drugs that are just as bad.
While we are on the subject of comparative studies, why have you never compared the severity of Seroxat withdrawal...sorry, discontinuation, with other SSRi's? Are you [your company] fearful of the outcome of such a study?
You know, Mr Witty, Seroxat withdrawal does not end two weeks after stopping, it continues long after stopping. The more adverse reactions to prolonged use of your drug are things like sleep disorders, short term memory loss, intolerance to sudden loud noises...there are more.
Now, the above reactions may seem trivial to you so I'd like to play out a scenario with you Mr Witty, if I may?
I come to you for a job interview. My record is impeccable and, it appears, I'm the right man for the job. All seems good until I ask you if provisions can be made for me should I be successful in my application. I ask you to show leniency with me should I fall to sleep at my desk, I also ask you to make sure there are no sudden loud noises around my workstation and further add that I should not be reprimanded for forgetting things.
All of a sudden Mr Witty, I'm not the right person to fill in the vacancy am I?
Never mind eh? I can always claim benefits, although that is proving more difficult as there is no acknowledgement from your company that long term Seroxat use causes any of the above reactions. So I and many others like me are left in limbo due to a drug your company manufactures.
You see Mr Witty, your product, Seroxat, has left me with those impairments. You, just like your highly paid law team, argue that I may have been left with those impairments had I have taken a similar product. That, Mr Witty, is the school child yelling again, it's shirking your responsibilities.
All I have left is the silence of my one bedroom flat, a keyboard and a willingness to see this through to the end. I will keep on questioning the ethics of your company and I will keep on telling those who contact me with severe Seroxat withdrawal problems that they have to take it nice and slowly. I'll still offer them the chance to give me a call should they feel suicidal, I'll still try and talk them down off the ledge because the zaps are so intolerable to them that they just want to end it all, I'll still offer them documented evidence that shows Seroxat withdrawal is a huge problem and that they should provide their doctors with that evidence - despite what your reps have told them.
Now, you can throw out the tired and tested GSK spin if you like, "Seroxat has benefited millions of people world-wide." At this point may I become the school child and compare my reaction to your product with someone that took a placebo?
Your company professes to be a leading healthcare company that helps people to do more, feel better and live longer.
Testing Avandia on subjects, a known drug to cause heart attacks, and Seroxat on children, when your own company have said that Seroxat is not effective in children and can cause suicide, laughs in the face of your company statement Mr Witty.
I'd like to meet with you Mr Witty, no lawyers, no intimidation tactics, just you and I in a coffee bar, a quiet one if you wouldn't mind. I want to tell you my story of Seroxat withdrawal, I want to look into your eyes whilst I tell you how bad your drug is and then I want you to tell me what advice I should give to people who contact me because your company will not offer them any advice at all. Oh, please don't invite Alistair Benbow along either, his public comments about the safety of Seroxat make me want to wretch and I don't want to vomit over your expensive Armani suit Mr Witty.
If you don't want to meet with me, tell me where to send a copy of my book to you. It makes great bedtime reading and pretty much shows the state of your company during the reign of your predecessor JP Garnier.
So, you up for a coffee and a chat? It would make great headlines don't you think? 'GSK CEO MEETS WITH COMPANY CRITIC'
Oh, by the way, call off the wolves [Addleshaw Goddard, King & Spalding] they have nothing in their armour that can harm me, your drug did all the harm.
You up for it?
PS - If you deem accepting my book as a gift as a possible admittance of guilt then you can purchase it HERE