A post grabbed my attention earlier on Facebook.
The post was from Olga Leclercq, mother of 11 year-old, Eline (Pictured)
Here's Olga's post. My comments and research follow...
I lost my beautiful, sweet and lovely 11 year old daughter in March '12.
The bus driver was withdrawing from Seroxat at that time, not gradually but just took half his original dosage in the few weeks before the crash. According to a statement in the media by his widow, he had not taken his medication that day.
On the 13th of March '12 he drove his bus into a concrete wall in the tunnel in Sierre at 100 km/h, killing himself and 27 others.
22 children, 4 teachers and his colleague died that evening, 24 children survived but are traumatized for life.
She was on her way back from an 8 day school trip to Switzerland with her classmates and children from another school.
The case is closed now and to the outside world it was just an accident, we hired independant forensic experts who confirmed our fears, it was a deliberate act. He had to make a few complicated steering manoeuvres to be able to end up against the wall the way he did.
We need the truth to come out, there is no way we can raise awareness about the dangers of these drugs when horrible cases like this one are being swept under the carpet.
Journalist Douglas de Coninck wrote a book about the bus crash in (THE BUSRAMP IN SIERRE: 1 PILL, 28 DEAD) unfortunately it's in Dutch, but we will try to have it translated to English someday soon.
Photo's: my daughter Eline, the bus drivers marriage photo (3 months before the crash, also before changing his dosage), the last 40 metres of the trajectory (done by Swiss investigators) and the cover of Douglas' book.
The truth needs to be told, because our children still matter and we want to help save lives in the future.
I have wrote about the Sierre bus crash on this blog here, and here.
I've even wrote to both the British drug regulator and the European drug regulator, namely the MHRA and the EMA. Both have passed the buck. In the case of the EMA I posed the following question to them...
Now you are aware that Seroxat (paroxetine) is suspected to have played a part in the 2012 Sierre bus crash, can you tell me if information regarding the implication of Seroxat has been forwarded to GlaxoSmithKline via the EMA?
Their response was typical of a regulator devoid of any compassion and common sense...
Please also note there are robust systems in place to pick up and evaluate suspected side effects. Companies marketing SSRIs and the national authorities that approved them will be aware of published reports suggesting that a product may have been linked to a tragic incident.
In others words, we don't know if Glaxo are aware of it, but if they are they will carry out their own investigation. If Glaxo aren't aware then we, as a drug regulator, do not feel we need to bring it to their attention.
It's criminal that we have such limp-wristed regulators in place - remember, these are the people that regulate the drugs you and I take.
I've been in touch with journalist Douglas de Coninck whose own investigation implicated Seroxat - not once have GlaxoSmithKline made any attempt to learn of his findings - safe to assume then that Glaxo haven't bothered investigating the Sierre bus crash themselves.
Eline, along with 21 other children perished on that fateful day. Evidence has revealed that the bus driver, Geert Michels was either taking or withdrawing from Seroxat. Scientific evidence shows us much in this case - Michels drove deliberately into a wall. Scence also shows us that Seroxat can, for some people who take it, induce akathisia. Glaxo define akathisia (on the Seroxat patient information leaflet) as thus...
Some patients who take Seroxat develop something called akathisia, where they feel restless and feel like they can’t sit or stand still.
And that's basically it. What Glaxo fail to mention is this.
Akathisia is a disorder, induced by SSRI medications, which can cause a person to experience such intense inner restlessness that the sufferer is driven to violence and/or suicide.
Two recent posts on my blog have, collectively, amassed almost 4,000 hits in recent weeks, both cover the subject of akathisia. (1) (2)
The MHRA, EMA and GlaxoSmithKline want the investigation into the Sierre bus crash to go away - they don't want questions being asked. We owe it to the beautiful Eline to keep asking questions.
(1) Advocates Against Prescribed Akathisia
(2) Guest Post: Let's Bring Akathisia Out of the Darkness