The Famous Grouse review of the history of Study 329 is different in as much that Healy offers information almost as a teaser, that tease delivered with a glint in the eye, an all knowing eye that has, along with other astute academics, revisited Study 329 and have gained access to the raw data that was never seen by ghostwriter, Sally K. Laden and the Study 329 authors who were, and to an extent still are, the bees knees when it comes to matters of pediatric depression. All were paid handsomely by GSK to lend their names to the 329 review, each and everyone of them have been approached and asked to support a retraction of the review, all have declined.
I dislike the authors and ghostwriters of 329.
Healy's talk set my pulse racing, a maze of pharmaceutical and academical greed hiding suicidal behaviour in children and adolescents just so a drug (Paxil) could be aimed at children. There are many instigators behind this whole debacle - Alistair Benbow (the former GSK Head of Psychiatry who once tried to sue me) also makes it onto Healy's slideshow presentation - it leaves you in no doubt that Benbow erred when interviewed by BBC journalist Shelley Jofre - question is, was Benbow lying, as some would suggest, or was he fed the wrong information from the hierarchy at GSK? Did Benbow play the part of Pinocchio in front of millions of TV viewers or was he merely your average dummy, complete with fist up his backside, speaking on information given to him?
329 is a stain on GSK and, as Healy presents it, raised red flags for Shelley Jofre when she read it. Something didn't quite sit right with her and much of the plaudits should be sent in her direction because without Jofre's gut instinct we would all be sitting here today wondering why so many depressed kids were killing themselves. I truly believe Jofre's tenacity has kept that figure down.
And what of the boy in the photograph?
You may throw your coffee mug at your screen when learning through Healy's presentation how GSK used a photograph of a youngster to play down the risk of suicide in teenagers to their employees. The photograph, just one in a series of four, all appear in the presentation and it, to me at least, highlights the fact that Jofre got to them and she got to them big time.
The video lasts for about an hour. This, ladies and gentlemen is reality TV.