Much like the rock group, The Police, the medicines regulatory agency in the UK, The MHRA, seem to talk gibberish when questioned about the safety and efficacy of antidepressants, I'm reminded of the classic, De do do do, de da da da lyrics penned by Sting because he probably couldn't think of words to write.
The MHRA are constantly promoting the use of their Yellow Card reporting system, a system whereby patients and professionals are invited to submit suspected adverse reactions to prescription drugs - thing is, the MHRA get these reports, file them and...well, they do nothing. Isn't this like reporting a crime to the police and the police writing it down but not investigating it?
Caller: Hello, is this the Police?
Caller: I'd like to report a break-in
Operator: Can you tell me if the break-in is currently being carried out?
Caller: Yes it is.
Operator: Okay, do you have an address where the break-in is happening?
Caller: Yes, it's 222 Bowling Lane, Camberwick Green.
Operator: Thanks, we will log the complaint.
Caller: But I think the person who lives in the house may be in danger?
Caller: Because the person breaking-in has a gun.
Operator: Oh, I see, but the gun may not be real, it may not be loaded, it may just have blanks.
Caller: Um, so what are you going to do?
Operator: We will just write about it, no point in sending out an officer to the scene because, the person who owns the property may not be in danger?
Caller: Um, yeh, but they may be in danger?
Operator: We have given you our position on this matter.
This is how the MHRA seem to operate.
Caller: Hello, is that the fire brigade?
Caller: I'd like to report an electrical fence that hasn't been turned off, it's close to a children's play area and I fear children may touch it and die.
Operator: Can you give me the address please?
Caller: Yes, it's 555 Bowling Lane, Camberwick Green.
Operator: Okay, thanks for this, we will log the complaint.
Caller: But are you going to send someone out to investigate and maybe either turn off the electric supply or, at the very least, put up warning signs?
Operator: No, we just log reports of dangerous fences, even if someone dies touching it does not neccesarily mean the electricity caused their death.
Caller: Are you serious?
Operator: Yes, absolutely. We have warnings about touching fences on our website.
Caller: But children are hardly going to read the fire brigade website if they are playing?
Operator: The matter is closed. Goodbye.
You'd be up in arms if any emergency services treated reports this way, right? - Key word here is 'service'.
The MHRA are a public service and they are supposed to protect the public from unsafe drugs. Their idea of protecting seems to be gathering suspect reports of adverse events to drugs then adding them to a database - they do not follow these reports up, pretty much in the same way as the police and fire brigade in the analogies above.
When asked why there are so many serious adverse events reported with a prescription drug, the MHRA can therefore claim that no direct association has been made with a product causing a death - they will agree that reports have been associated but nothing has ever been proven. Of course it hasn't - why would it if the investigative 'police' fail to follow up the report?
Welcome to the world of the medicine police, folks. The only police force in the world that are allowed to shrug their shoulders, twiddle their thumbs and sit on information that may harm the public.
The problem is global, it's not just the British regulatory agency, the FDA in the US, Health Canada and the TGA in Australia are three other policing agencies that sit shrugging their shoulders after reports of possible harmful drugs are sent to them. They read, log and continue to get paid, ironically by the very same people who manufacture the suspect drugs in question.
And yet each regulatory agency reitterate the importance of reporting adverse events to prescription drugs - begs the question, why?
When you strip away all the excuses the regulatory agencies claim in defending their apparant 'policing' policies, you'll see that, in essence they are not protecting the public, in fact, they are doing quite the opposite by failing to carry out their own investigations into adverse reporting and by failing to interview witnesses who may, or may have not seen, the change in the person once the drug was administered.
This isn't rocket science, it's basic policing!
2017 rant over.
The CEO of the MHRA is Dr Ian Hudson.
Dr Hudson is the former World Safety Officer for GlaxoSmithKline (then SmithKline Beecham)
The Mechanics of the MHRA