Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Jaws and the Pharmafia
We remember it all, well most of us. The scary musical score from John Williams, Da-dum... da-dum, dum-dum-dum-dum-dum-dum. Then the shark, the great white, the killing machine. Next came the chief of police, (Brody) played brilliantly by Roy Scheider. Brody is told one morning that the cause of death of a mangled and mutilated body recently washed up on Amity beach is down to a shark attack. On hearing this news he does what any sane human would do - he attempts to close down the beach until the problem is fixed (the shark is killed)
The Mayor of Amity, Mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) realizes that by closing the beaches he, along with all the retail outlets on Amity island, will lose money. He somehow convinces the coroner to lie to Brody about his original 'shark attack' report. Brody, knowing no better, decides not to warn the public about the danger roaming the Amity waters.
Sadly, just days later, Brody witnesses a young boy (Alex Kitner) being killed by a shark. The beaches are closed and days later a shark is caught. The Mayor is obviously delighted, but for all the wrong reasons. He's delighted because the cash can once again flow. However, there's one voice who questions if the fishermen caught the shark responsible for the two shark attacks - he tells them that the bite radius on the first victim do not match with the shark they caught. They ignore him and the beaches are reopened - more deaths ensue.
Now, does any of the above remind you of the way pharmaceutical companies, mental health specialists and medicine regulators behave regarding antidepressant use?
Jaws (the novel) was written byPeter Benchley, he, along with Carl Gottlieb, wrote the screenplay for the movie. The message, to me at least, is obvious - it's all about the money, baby.
I'd like to say that Messrs Brody, Quint (Robert Shaw) and Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfruss) represent the medicine regulators (MHRA/FDA). Sadly they represent everything that the current medicine regulators aren't about. Three working class men who wish to right a wrong because they care about the safety of the residents of Amity.
My experience of the British drug regulator is that they do not care about the safety of you, I or our children. If they did then they would have moved hell and earth to thoroughly investigate the link between antidepressant use and suicide (not just in children but in adults too) - Making recommendations is simply not good enough.
Next time you sit down with your kids (who may have not yet seen the movie Jaws) tell them that it is purely fictional - in fact shark attacks are rare.
Induced antidepressant suicide on the other hand...
This quote goes out to medicine health regulators globally.
"I think that I am familiar with the fact that you are going to ignore this particular problem until it swims up and BITES YOU ON THE ASS!"
Quote from the movie JAWS