Generic Paxil Suicide Lawsuit

Citizens Commission on Human Rights Award Recipient (Twice)
Humanist, humorist

Monday, May 21, 2007

New Section - The Matthew Holford Rant

Matthew has been active behind the scenes as it were for some considerable time now. He has copied me and others in with his correspondence to the MHRA et al.

My recent post on here about Pharma TV prompted this response from Matt (Below)

He writes with fluency and a level head and he deserves to be heard. Therefore, I am giving him a regular slot on Seroxat Sufferers.

Here is Matthew's Rant on my post 'Coming soon, the shopping channel run by Pharma'

It wouldn't be so bad if there was some sort of counterbalance. When somebody's trying to sell something, it's absolutely natural that they're going to big up the positives, and ignore or play down any less attractive features. That's fine, although irritating, if we're talking about a cheap CD player, which gives up the ghost 13 months after purchase. It's not OK in a drug.

We know all about the concerns surrounding the efficacy and safety of Seroxat, but we're still being told it's a wonderdrug, and that everything's under control, when the very people who are saying this have a vested interest in our believing every word we're told, just so that we'll go on buying the product. That is, we have 17 years of new information in the public domain, which undermines the original claims made of the drug. We've moved on in our understanding, but GSK, and others, are still trying to sell us that CD player, when there's a history of design faults.

"We're keeping an eye on it" just doesn't wash, when it's fairly evident that even that isn't true. My own experience advises me that NICE's guidelines are not being followed, in any real sense. I wasn't being monitored in a "close and continual" manner, or whatever the language is. I was completely isolated. So, the drug's crap, and the back-up's crap. The rules/guidance/whatever are utterly meaningless, if they're too much trouble for everybody to comply with. Or there's a perceived benefit in not complying.

Is this the prevailing pattern, then? We've got any amount of legislation, guidance, and so on, which ought to ensure that things are very closely monitored, before, during and after licensing. And every party under scrutiny argues that they have the highest standards, just by dint of these rules. Well, I don't believe that follows. Does it really need stating that the existence of a rule doesn't necessarily guarantee compliance? Moreover, if there's a benefit to be accrued by not complying, a more immediate benefit than knowing that one has done all one could to ensure that the general public are safe from shite drugs, then what is the individual likely to do?

I already know that the MHRA doesn't have a Procedures Manual, although the presence of one wouldn't necessarily improve matters, unless there were compliance spot-checks, regularly. How on earth does it know that it's people are complying with the legislation and guidance, as set down, in the circumstances? It doesn't. And it doesn't because it has never thought about how that compliance should be achieved. If it had, it would have written it down, so that everybody knew what was required of them, because otherwise they'd be working in the dark, making up their own stuff, as they went along.

The question is, why hasn't it thought about how compliance should be achieved? Because those at the top already know how to do it, and take it for granted that those lower down know? Or because those at the top don't really care if those lower down know, because they think that provided the underlings are controlled sufficiently closely, there won't be any fuck-ups? Or because they genuinely don't want the underlings to know how to regulate, because then they'd understand that no such thing was actually happening, and regulation was not the interest of the people at the top? Or something else, that I haven't thought of?

So many possibilities; so few answers from those in a position to provide them.


Copyright Matthew Holford, 2007

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