Generic Paxil Suicide Lawsuit

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

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sara Carlin - Preliminary Hearing [Inquest]

Yesterday Dr. Bert Lauwers, the coroner involved in the Sara Carlin inquest, heard submissions in order to decide whether Drug Safety Canada [DSC], chaired by Terence Young, should be given standing at the inquest.

A party with standing can call witnesses and cross examine witnesses for other parties with standing. The presiding Coroner heard a very good & detailed submission from the DSC lawyer Peter Rosenthal as to why DSC should be given standing due to the organization’s unique expertise in the area of prescription drug safety and that they are the only party seeking standing for the public interest.

Health Canada is not seeking standing [quite arrogant if you ask me]. The other parties with standing are GlaxoSmithKline and the lawyer for the doctors who have no particular interest in protecting the public.

The coroner also heard submission from Amani Oakley, the Carlin family lawyer supporting the DSC application for standing. Not surprising The lawyers for both GlaxoSmithKline and the doctors in this case, both gave submissions that are not in support of DSC. Bottom line is they probably don’t want in DSC for fear of what might come out about Paxil, the drug that Sara was taking when she killed herself.

The lawyers for the Carlin’s also told the coroner that they will ask for Dr. David Healy to be called as the family’s medical expert. The Coroner will probably deliver his rulings on these matters within the next several days.

**Drug Safety Canada's lawyer, Peter Rosenthal, represented Dr David Healy when he sued the University of Toronto in 2001 [CAMH rescinded a job offer after Healy gave a talk on SSRI & suicide]

It comes as no surprise that Glaxo lawyers are not supporting the request for Drug Safety Canada to stand at the inquest. It's Chairman, Terrence Young, has long been an advocate regarding the way prescription drugs are handed out to teens in Canada. His daughter, Vanessa, died at the age of 15 after taking a stomach pill called Prepulsid. She was on the medication to treat an eating disorder.

Prepulsid was not supposed to be given to people with eating disorders because it can cause severe, and sometimes fatal, heart disturbances.

Sara Carlin was prescribed Paxil, she should not have been. To highlight this, the Carlin's wish for an experienced head to support and offer information to the inquest.

Glaxo don't want them to.

It's bad enough having to go through that fateful day again - worse still when Paxil manufacturer object to this poor family offering as much information as possible to the coroner.

Personally, I hope the Carlin's get David Healy on board. Lawyers in the Tobin v SmithKline case and more recently in the Kilker v GSK case know how influential his expert evidence can be.

Sara Carlin should not have died. No doubt it will be argued that she was depressed and that's why she killed herself. She took Paxil, a drug that was not recommended for kids her age. The jury in the inquest will be made aware why it was not recommended - they SHOULD be made aware why GlaxoSmithKline took an eternity for this information to come out - had they acted with speed and efficiency and not suppressed data [Paxil Study 329] then Sara's doctor's would have surely known how dangerous this SSRi was. They practically handed Sara a piece of rope when they prescribed her Paxil.

As for GlaxoSmithKline, the fact that they have recently been found guilty of Paxil causing heart defects in children won't bode well for them - they wasn't forthcoming with that information either!

The full inquest into Sara Carlin's death starts on November 2nd 2009. Throughout the month of November this blog will be reporting on the proceedings.



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