Zantac Lawsuit

Researching drug company and regulatory malfeasance for over 16 years
Humanist, humorist

Thursday, July 28, 2011


One of the most consistently funny bloggers out there has to be Pharma Giles.

His daily swipe at the pharmaceutical industry is a delight to read. Tonight he posted a story about his son, "Junior Giles", and Elvis that left me in a complete state of apoplexy!

Giles, you are a genius and I offer you this small token.

Be sure to add the Pharma Giles blog to your favourites.




Psychiatric Drugs - Even Psychiatry Isn't Sure.

A recent article on the CNN Health web page asked the question, Is it OK to be on antidepressants for years?

The answer, given by a psychiatrist, should embarrass those that manufacture these drugs, it should embarrass those that regulate these drugs. It should embarrass those that continue to prescribe these drugs.

Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Ten years ago my answer to this question would have been, "Certainly not."

A year ago my answer would have been, "Almost certainly not."

Now, unfortunately, the most honest answer I can give you is, "I'm not sure."

Coming from a guy who has treated thousands of people over the years with antidepressants, I have to admit that my uncertainty both shocks and distresses me.

I should probably get over my sense of shock. One of the glories of science is that it keeps moving forward, and as it does so, it usually sweeps old certainties into the dustbin.

Psychiatry's commitment to the unqualified goodness of antidepressants is one of those old certainties. That I'm distressed is understandable.

Dr Raison's full response HERE

If you put all the pieces of the jigsaw together, the picture becomes so much clearer folks.

Now watch the video:




Wednesday, July 27, 2011

**Breaking News - Family of Shane Clancy Let Down By the Irish Medical Council

Shane Clancy - Victim of Cipramil

In August 2010 the parents of Shane Clancy made a complaint to the Irish Medical Council [IMC] about their son's treatment from the Doctors he saw in his last 17 days.

The basis of their complaint was “Why were these doctors not aware that when a person starts an antidepressant, there is a markedly increased risk of suicide ideation and also that there is a certain percentage of people who can react violently and deadly to this medication?”. They also wanted to know why Shane was allowed to get a prescription for a months supply of this drug and if this is common policy, then surely this practise should be revised.

The IMC have now conducted a preliminary hearing. The response to Shane's parents can be viewed on the Leonie Fennell Blog HERE




Ontario Government To Fund the Smoking Cessation Drugs Champix and Zyban

In what can only be described as a sheer act of lunacy, the Ontario government have decided that they will fund the smoking cessation drugs Champix and Zyban by adding them to the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan.

Health Minister, Deb Matthews

"The list of medications covered by the province could cost between $10 million to $15 million a year", said Health Minister Deb Matthews in an article on

Back in June, the FDA, the American food and drug regulator, issued a warning regarding Pfizer's Chantix, known as Champix in the UK. "FDA Drug Safety Communication: Chantix (varenicline) may increase the risk of certain cardiovascular adverse events in patients with cardiovascular disease."

Chantix was the subject of a freedom of information request I made back in April 2010. I had learned that the Federal Aviation Administration [FAA] had changed their policy regarding pilots being allowed to operate aircraft whilst under the influence of SSRi-type medication.

It's great to see that the Canadian Health Minister really has her finger on the pulse. FDA release a warning that a drug can increase cardiovascular adverse events, the Canadian government decide to add the very same drug to the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan, thus making it easily affordable to people on low income. Way to go Canada!

Glaxo's Zyban, which is basically Wellbutrin [SSRi] rebadged, is classified as a Category C medicine by the FDA, meaning that it could potentially cause harm to your unborn child.

More info on Champix/Chantix:

58 Page document from the Federal Aviation Administration

Dying for a Pfizer Pfag [Chantix]

Passenger Safety - The Champix Scandal

Monday, July 25, 2011

FDA Kick Diamond Food, Inc in the Nuts!

FDA:  "...your walnut products are drugs."

The Food and Drug Administration [FDA], the American version of the MHRA, have issued a warning letter to Diamond Food, Inc because they have determined that walnuts are drugs!

Roberta Wagner, Director for the Office of Compliance, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, issued the letter back in Feb 2010. Apparently, Diamond Food, Inc's labeling for their "Diamond of California Shelled Walnuts" was in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Wagner writes:

Based on claims made on your firm's website, we have determined that your walnut products are promoted for conditions that cause them to be drugs because these products are intended for use in the prevention, mitigation, and treatment of disease. The following are examples of the claims made on your firm's website under the heading of a web page stating "OMEGA-3s ... Every time you munch a few walnuts, you're doing your body a big favor.":

and adds:

Because of these intended uses, your walnut products are drugs within the meaning of section 201 (g)(1)(B) of the Act...

Well, knock me down with a feather!

It's a great pity the FDA didn't come down on the pharmaceutical companies who claimed their antidepressant type drugs corrected a chemical imbalance...when there was no proof that a chemical imbalance ever existed...then again, why would they? The FDA, like their British counterparts, the MHRA, rely on money from the pharmaceutical industry to help pay their wages. Had they been in the pocket of Diamond Food, Inc then I doubt if this would be an issue.

Some time ago GlaxoSmithKline were busted for making claims that their soft drink, Ribena, was "full of vitamin C". Two New Zealand schoolgirls had carried out a science experiment and found that Ribena wasn't full of vitamin C at all. Did the FDA send Glaxo a warning letter about that particular claim?

Medicine regulators seem hell bent on going after the small man. Any natural remedy is, it appears, deemed as a threat to pharmaceutical products. Maybe this will open the door for pharma who may add, "Every time you take our antidepressant, you're doing your body a big favour." to their labeling?

The FDA warning letter can be read HERE.

**In other news: Former Soft Cell frontman, Marc Almond, has been sent a warning letter by medicine regulators for promoting the use of almonds.




Sunday, July 24, 2011

DSM-5 Written for Lunatics...By Lunatics

A great article by Allen Frances MD has appeared in the Psychiatric Times with regard to the updated version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [DSM]

The DSM-5 Scientific Review Group have already accepted the proposal of the wacky white coated buffoons new 'diseases'. That's right folks, it now means Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder [DMDD] can be added to, an already, long list of mental disorders.

So, how do these lunatics define DMDD?

Well, in a nutshell [pardon the pun] DMDD is a temper tantrum. We've all had them and, as parents, have all witnessed them. Now, it would appear, the white coated pill pushers wish to suppress yet another form of human expression. Guess what folks? This 'illness' is treatable but us adults have to be alert. The DSM-5 ask parents, teachers and peers to be observant.

A. The disorder is characterized by severe recurrent temper outbursts in response to common stressors.
1. The temper outbursts are manifest verbally and/or behaviorally, such as in the form of verbal rages, or physical aggression towards people or property.
2. The reaction is grossly out of proportion in intensity or duration to the situation or provocation.
3. The responses are inconsistent with developmental level.

B. Frequency: The temper outbursts occur, on average, three or more times per week.

C. Mood between temper outbursts:
1. Nearly every day, the mood between temper outbursts is persistently negative (irritable, angry, and/or sad).
2. The negative mood is observable by others (e.g., parents, teachers, peers).

They've pretty much covered every human emotion now with the various updates over the years. Are you happy, are you sad, do you feel angry, do you feel lonely, are you shy, are you tired, do you have too much energy, do you wet the bed...the list is endless - all treatable 'diseases' by way of pharmaceutical drugs designed to fuck up the chemicals in the minds of the young whose brains have not yet fully developed.

The DSM is the Bible of psychiatry, I don't know how that term was ever coined, it would be feasible to suggest that they [white coated loons] coined it themselves. They want to play God, they want to alter the chemistry in young brains before they are given a chance of life and if that child dies as a result of these powerful medications, tough titty - they just blame the illness... that they invented. Talk about cornering a market!

Not content with diagnosing if a child presently has a 'mental disorder' other psychiatrists now believe they can predict if a child will fall into the cesspit of invented disorders. "Well, Mrs Jones, your 6 year old son may not have psychosis now but we believe he will develop an onset of schizophrenia in his, give him one of these daily." **Hands Mrs Jones a packet of Ritalin.

Never one to miss an opportunity to lampoon these mindless cretins, I've created a further two mental disorders that the lunatics missed out on. Special thanks to Australian psychiatrist, Patrick McGorry, for use of his time-travelling DeLorean.

Fictional character, Rab C Nesbitt has a severe form of TSD

A. TSD - Talking Scottish Disorder
1. The accent is indecipherable, almost gibberish. The onset of TSD starts at birth. Recommended that the families move across the border to England, further south than Newcastle, further north than Cornwall [See TGD - Talking Geordie Disorder and TCD - Talking Cornish Disorder] This disorder also applies to children born into Welsh families who use the Welsh language, TWD.

Male midlife crisis - "Quick, where's my bandana!"

B. PMCD - Preventable Midlife Crisis Disorder
1.Midlife crisis affects both the male and female adult population of the western world. Mid 40's to early 50's males can be seen wearing earrings, or sporting baseball caps or bandana's. Extreme sufferers shave their heads upon the onset of baldness [see GBS - Going Bald Syndrome]. It's a given that the human psyche will fall foul of this vanity disorder. With the aid of the EIVP - [Early Intervention Vanity Program] psychiatrists can now predict that 90% of males born will, between the ages of 45 and 55, develop MCD It can be treated with cardigans, smoking jackets and smoking pipes and prevented at an early age with psychiatric drugs.

Female midlife crisis - "Robbie just made eye contact with me."

2. Females with MCD - More often than not females between the ages of 40 and 55 will congregate at reunion gigs by bands their daughters once liked, some examples would be Take That, Boyzone, Boys II Men and Westlife. Many will consume alcohol and relive their daughter's teen years. Extreme sufferers will scream and cry as their daughter's idols take the stage, resulting in running mascara and delusions that lead singers of the aforementioned boy bands actually made eye contact with them in the 80,000+ crowd. Once again, this can be prevented by offering adult sufferers knitting magazines or cook books. With the EIVP female children can be offered a course of psychiatric drugs.

"If one could bottle psychiatry, one could retail it in garden centres around the world - be sure to place the bottles in the fertilizer section." - Bob Fiddaman




Saturday, July 23, 2011

Canadian Parents Put BC Premier, Christy Clark, in the Picture

Amery and Christiane Schultz, whose son, Matthew, survived just 2 hours, have lobbied the British Columbia Premier, Christy Clark, in an effort to raise awareness regarding the way their son died.

The three page letter has also been sent to other MP's and various media outlets, in the hope that they may be able to provide answers as to how their son was allowed to die and how his death [Effexor exposure] has still not been recognised.

Once again it is left to the parents of the bereaved to find answers, the Canadian government and their limp-wristed medicines regulator, Health Canada, continue to remain tight lipped.

As for the BC Coroner's Office, they've been about as useful as a one-legged man in an arse kicking contest and about as tactful as a turd in a swimming pool! [Back story]

Amery's letter can be read in full HERE




Lawyers of Psychiatrist, Patricia Casey, Pile on Pressure for Grieving Mother

Professor Patricia Casey, Professor of Psychiatry, UCD and Nora Broderick, product manager psychiatry, Lundbeck (Ireland) Ltd

Last month I wrote about Leonie Fennell, the mother of Cipramil victim Shane Clancy, and how she had received a letter from Brophy Solicitors, a law firm representing Irish psychiatrist, Patricia Casey.

Fennell had posted a series of articles on her blog,, that linked Casey to Lundbeck, the pharmaceutical company that manufacture the SSRi Cipramil.

Casey has, in the past, supported the use of SSRi type drugs and, according to Fennell, has publicly stated that there is no evidence to suggest that antidepressants can cause suicide or homicide. Fennell's son, Shane, who was prescribed Cipramil, had took the life of a young man before stabbing himself in the chest [19 times].

For a psychiatrist to contact solicitors over someone who has an opinion is a strange move. Casey either thinks the Leonie Fennell blog reaches out to millions or thinks she is important enough to suppress the opinions of what people have to say about her. Fennell posted the threatening letter from the law firm on her blog HERE.

Fennell removed the offending comment back in June but it appears Casey's solicitor's won't let the matter drop.

Yesterday Brophy solicitors wrote once again to Fennell.

It is extremely disappointing that your reply to this letter consisted of you posting it on your blog along with the comment in bold “I will never be bullied, intimidated or silenced by Lundbeck or Professor Casey”

It's disappointing that the client they represent holds the views that there is no evidence to suggest that antidepressants can cause suicide or homicide...when there is much evidence to suggest that they do. I don't see LeonieFennell employing the services of solicitors to quash Casey's claims.

We need to point out to you that when our client first came to us, we advised her that the comments you have now removed from your blog were seriously defamatory and that she would be quite entitled to issue legal proceedings against you. She did not wish to do so because she has enormous sympathy for the tragedy you have suffered.

I find this very odd. Fennell removed the comments and that should have been it. Even by their own admission, Casey did not wish to issue legal proceedings against Fennell - begs the question why Brophy solicitors felt the need to write again? Maybe the next few paragraphs of the letter will explain why?

You have removed the defamatory comments from your blog but you now accuse our client of bullying you and trying to silence you. This is despite the fact that we specifically stated that our client did not want you to remove your blog but only wanted you to remove the defamatory comments you made about her. What part of this constitutes bullying? What part of this constitutes an attempt to silence you? Are you saying that the simple fact that you received a solicitor’s letter asking you to remove certain defamatory comments which you subsequently removed, constitutes intimidation?

We must now insist that you remove this sentence from your blog as it is absolutely clear that our client is not trying to bully you or intimidate you or silence you. What she is trying to do is to protect her good name and she will not allow herself to be defamed again. We hope you will accept that the allegation that our client is a bully and that she is intimidating you and trying to silence you is both wrong and extremely damaging for her.

It's unusual for a law firm to ask questions in a letter, Brophy's have asked three!

1. What part of this constitutes bullying?
2. What part of this constitutes an attempt to silence you?
3. Are you saying that the simple fact that you received a solicitor’s letter asking you to remove certain defamatory comments which you subsequently removed, constitutes intimidation?

Quite why Brophy's, or indeed Casey, wish to pursue this matter has bamboozled me. If Casey thinks one person's opinion can damage her reputation then she needs to join the long list of psychiatrists whom have been the subject of various opinions over the years, the long list of pharmaceutical companies that have a vast army of critics and even bloggers whom have each had to endure various mud-slinging critics because their opinions don't fit in with the blinkered views of the small minority who support the use of SSRi type drugs in children and adolescents.

What is wrong with any person offering an opinion that he/she feels intimidated and bullied by a letter? Wasn't that the effect that Casey wanted? Send a letter to the blogger and let's hope she removes what she has wrote about me - why else would such a letter be sent out?

The final paragraph answers the three questions above:

We have strongly advised our client that she should issue proceedings to prevent this repetitive defamation but once again our client has said that she does not wish to do so given the background to this case but she absolutely insists that you remove the defamatory comments that are appearing on the website at the moment and confirm that you will not repeat any defamation in the future.

Yours faithfully,


What we have here is the good cop/bad cop scenario. Casey playing the role of the good cop whilst Brophy's appear as the bad cop, at least that's the way I see it.

What does Casey have to gain by taking a grieving mother to court? Does she honestly believe that highlighting the opinion of a blogger will make the matter go away? Does Casey think the letters will do the trick and stop Shane Clancy's mother from offering an opinion?

I can just picture it. The Irish newspapers awash with headlines, 'Irish Psychiatrist to Sue Grieving Mother', Irish Psychiatrist, Patricia Casey, "I Am Not A Bully"'

I'm not a lawyer, nor am I in a position to offer any legal advice but I'd bet my left nut that the last thing Irish psychiatrist, Patricia Casey, wants is her name plastered all over the Irish press, she won't like the journalist's who dig and find and make association to her connections with Lundbeck. They will and I am sure they will print their findings too. If Casey thinks the opinion of a lone blogger is tarnishing her good name then the audience that awaits her if she does decide to pursue a case of defamation will do far more damage.

Are Brophy solicitors going to issue letters to other bloggers that have commented, do they wish to silence the opinion of everyone and anyone?

They may wish to look at the laws of, where Leonie Fennell's blog is hosted.

Defamation, liability: is an internet service provider. We are based in the US, as are all of our servers. As such we are covered by section 230(c) of the US Communications Decency Act which states that internet service providers are not held liable for content (such as allegedly defamatory, offensive, inaccurate, or harassing content) that is posted on the sites they host for their users. We host millions of web sites for our users and are not able to control or police the hundreds of thousands of blog posts our users create every day. However, if you have a complaint about one of our blogs, please follow our complaints procedure.

Rather than put pressure on a grieving mother with an opinion maybe Brophy's time and money would be better spent following the procedure set out by Wordpress.

Short-cutting this procedure serves only one purpose as far as I can see, I'm of the opinion that Casey/Brophy's are intimidating and trying to stifle.

If my opinion is deemed defamatory then Brophy's, or indeed Casey, may debate with me.

Brophy's latest letter to Leonie Fennell can be read in full, HERE.




Friday, July 22, 2011

GSK's Non -Executive Director James Murdoch, "Mistaken"

Breaking News from Sky...

James Murdoch, who is a non-executive director on the board of GlaxoSmithKline, has had part of his statement challenged by two former News of the World executives.

For those new to this story, Murdoch gave evidence to MP's about what he did or didn't know about phone hacking at the News Of The World. That evidence has now been challenged.

Sky News has the scoop HERE

GlaxoSmithKline continue to stand by James Murdoch.




Numb - A Documentary by Phil Lawrence

Phil Lawrence, who shot and directed the documentary 'Numb' kindly sent me a screener to view. I'm wishing he didn't. Watching it has made me angry...very angry.

I always advise fellow bloggers not to write whilst feeling angry, I'm ignoring my own advice because I want to share with you all what I have just witnessed.

NUMB Produced and Directed by Phil Lawrence - Creative Edge Productions.

Phil Lawrence takes us through his childhood and High School years before moving onto college where he struggled with anxiety attacks and abnormal bouts of blushing. Shortly after college Phil married his girlfriend Pamela and in 1993 their first child was born.

Sometime later, and still struggling with anxiety issues, Phil saw his doctor, he had seen adverts on TV telling him about Paxil, a drug to cure anxiety and shyness. Within 10 minutes Phil's doctor was writing him out a script for GlaxoSmithKline's wonder drug.

10 years on and Phil decided to document the whole tapering process, a tapering regime that Glaxo officials would have you believe does not exist. It does, Numb is evidence of that.

Phil's doctor recommended that he cut his 20mg dose by half to 10mg, this is in line with what Glaxo recommend on their updated Seroxat patient information leaflet here in the UK. I'm unsure what it says on the US version.

Watching Phil go through the ordeal of withdrawal is like my own story, it's a constant reminder of what I endured and also a reminder of the countless stories I have been sent and those I have read over the years...stories that GlaxoSmithKline poo-poo with lines such as, "Paxil has benefited millions of people worldwide."

Phil quest to seek help is shown by him telephoning those departments whom he felt could help him, namely the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), The American Psychological Association (APA), and The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). They all declined to help him.

By day 5 we see Phil experiencing the sensation of buzzing noises inside his head, these turn into severe headaches and electric zaps blitzing his brain, all of which are eloquently described by Phil.

In essence, Phil has installed a window for us all top look through, a window of transparency that makes for some disturbing viewing [courtesy of GlaxoSmithKline]. Phil is creating an awareness that Glaxo just don't want you to see.

Numb also shows us the conflict of interest that clearly exists between the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA, footage from 1991 sees parents, mothers, fathers confront the FDA with regard to SSRi type medications causing suicide to loved ones, the result of that particular confrontation saw the FDA give SSRi's a clean bill of health, they saw no link in the suicidal thoughts.

Numb shows how Phil's emotions go up and down, his anger, his bouts of sadness, all highlighted by his wife Pamela, a woman full of understanding and much love for her husband.

Every single doctor should sit down and watch this powerful documentary, every single Judge presiding in a case brought by claimants against GSK's Paxil should also be shown this. In fact any one who has ever considered Paxil as a pill to cure their ill should take heed.

Numb is a documentary for the people, it's a view of the psychopharmaceutical monopoly and how they do everything to prove their abuse of minds is right and that those abused are wrong.

Phil Lawrence's journey is one of the roughest you will see hit the small screens, he is one of the many hundreds of thousands who struggle at the hands of SSRi drugs, one of the many who feel isolated because medicine regulators around the world are so limp-wristed that they dare not acknowledge that they are part of the problem. Nobody can offer a safe and effective way to come off these drugs, they can only offer a guidance, a guidance that was put into place by the small handful of psychiatrists that have spoken about about the dangers of SSRi withdrawal.

I abhor GlaxoSmithKline for what they did to Phil Lawrence. I abhor them for what they did to me. I abhor them for their constant denials and refusal to acknowledge that the withdrawal problem is far bigger than what they claim. They created a monster and people, just like Phil Lawrence, have to battle against that monster with little more than a pill cutter because the very same people who manufactured the drug won't help him.

The documentary should make those that see it reach for their keyboards to lobby someone, anyone, for answers. They will never get answers from the likes of GSK, they will never get answers via litigation [it's all about money and not GSK's bad behaviour.]

6 months into tapering is where the documentary ends. Phil was still having horrific withdrawal symptoms.

You each owe it to yourselves to purchase a copy of Numb. You owe it to family and friends. You owe it to humanity.

Numb is being premiered at the Tulsa International Film Festival between Sept 22-25, in the meantime, you can read more about it HERE

Hopefully, Phil can get it aired over here in the UK.

Mr Lawrence, I salute you, your bravery and spreading of awareness is admired and people should live forever in your debt for that.

Here's a trailer:




Thursday, July 21, 2011

Glaxo's Pandemrix Vaccine Restricted Use Review

The European Medicines Agency [EMA] today issued a press release regarding GlaxoSmithKline's Pandemrix vaccine. It's more bad news for Glaxo as the EMA have decided to restrict its use in children and teenagers because of a link to narcolepsy.

Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder, or dyssomnia, characterized by an excessive urge to sleep at inappropriate times and in Finnish and Swedish studies there was a 6- to 13-fold increase risk of narcolepsy in young people who had received the Pandemrix vaccine.

The EMA have recommended a labeling change that limits the vaccine's use in children and teens to when protection is needed and seasonal trivalent vaccine isn't available. In other words, it won't be used as a first line treatment.

GSK have issue a press release on their webpage, the end paragraph is classic:

GlaxoSmithKline – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information please visit

Pardon the pun but...Zzzzzzzzzzzzz




Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Patrick McGorry's Headstrong DeLorean Posse Part I


One only has to spend a few minutes browsing the Internet these days in search of resources regarding mental health before they stumble across time-travelling DeLorean psychiatrist, Patrick McGorry. You'd normally have to land on pages from McGorry's country of residence, Australia, so, as you can imagine, I was kind of surprised to see him sitting proudly on the board at Headstrong, the national centre for youth mental Ireland!

That DeLorean certainly has clocked up some miles.

The vision of Headstong is : " Ireland where young people are connected to their community and have the resilience to face challenges to their mental health."

Their 2009 annual report sees their [then] Chair, Deirdre Mortell, speak highly of McGorry. The opening of the 2009 annual report reads:

Headstrong continued to advocate for better mental health services for young people, with a special focus on the need to intervene early. We were fortunate to have Professor Pat McGorry of Headstrong’s Board, on sabbatical in Ireland for six months. Pat, who is an international pioneer in youth mental health, used his time in Ireland to share his knowledge about the merits of developing a youth model with an early intervention focus.

6 months?

Mortell continues with: "We were pleased to end the year with a significant grant over the next three years from The Atlantic Philanthropies."

Significant is an understatement. In fact, Headstrong received a massive $1,509,350 from The Atlantic Philanthropies. [1]

Today's Headstrong website sees not only McGorry but also a change of Chair in Sheelah Ryan. Deidrie Mortell is listed as Co-Founder of The One Foundation. That's quite a sabbatical for McGorry. Maybe he keeps flicking the time dial on the DeLorean dashboard because he loves Ireland so much that he wants to remain it in the future...or in the past.

What concerns me here is the stance taken by Headstrong regarding the 'merits' of developing a youth model with an early intervention focus. I suspect there will be DeLoreans at the dozen for Headstrong's board members.


Sheelah Ryan (Chair) - Consultant to the Public Sector.

Dr. Ryan previously chaired the National Breast Screening Board and held this position until the creation of BreastCheck

What I am trying to mull around here is why a Dr, who was part of a breast screening program would now be Chair person of a mental health charity?

Ryan's role before chairing the National Breast Screening Board was chief officer of the Health Service Executive (HSE) West [2]

In December last year a new HSE inpatient facility for young people in crisis was opened in Merlin Park, Galway with plans of a similar unit in Cork in 2011. Would this be the reason why [in 2011] Sheelah Ryan is the Chair of Headstrong?

Headstrong's 2010 Newsletter announced Sheelah Ryan to their Board, adding:

Sheelah qualified as a doctor in NUI Galway and went on to specialise in Public Health medicine. After ten years as Director of Community Care services in the Midland Board, and a further five as Programme Manager of Hospital services in the North-East region, she became C.E.O of the Western Health Board (eight years), and oversaw the transition of the Board into the HSE. In parallel with this, she was the foundation Chair of Breastcheck and continued to Chair the three subsequent boards overseeing its transition into the National Cancer Screening Agency, until finally, the organisation was subsumed into the HSE on the 1st ofApril 2010. During her career, Sheelah was a member of many boards, including Bord Altranais, Comhairle na nOispideal and St Lukes’ Hospital. Since taking early retirement from the Health Services, she provides Consultancy services to the Public Sector on public health issues, organisation development, and governance.

Tony Bates, founder director of Headstrong, wrote in 2010: "...we are in a better position than ever to offer young people a welcome alternative to being admitted to adult psychiatric facilities." [3]

His article, "Good news for young mental health patients", goes on to 'big-up' the Orygen service in Melbourne, Australia, whose founder and clinical director is one Patrick McGorry.

Vroom vroom!

In fact McGorry was quoted, once again in the Irish Times, as early as 1998. In what can only be described as ridiculous and non-scientific, the article, entitled, "New drugs for schizophrenia enable more effective treatment" [4] reads:

New medications to treat schizophrenia are resulting in fewer and less severe side-effects, a leading US psychiatrist has told a medical conference in Dublin. Dr David Pickar, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Health Sciences, Maryland, said the new generation of medicines was enabling more effective treatments of all stages of the illness.

Addressing the St John of God/ Eli Lilly conference on schizophrenia (which affects one in every 100 people during their lifetime), Prof Pickar said new drugs were resulting in less social withdrawal, introversion and depression, invariably associated with older medicines.

The St John of God is a hospital in Stillorgan, Dublin, whose Adult Mental Health Research Committee proclaimed in 2009 that they were, "pleased to announce a one day conference with an international line-up of distinguished academics and clinicians. The conference will address important developments in service provision, treatment, outcome and diagnosis of early psychosis." [Fig A]

Fig A

Notice one of the key speakers in 2009? Our time-travelling friend, Patrick McGorry.

Going back in our DeLorean we can see the 1998 Irish Times article,  "New drugs for schizophrenia enable more effective treatment", actually quotes McGorry:

Early recognition and treatment of schizophrenia have significant implications for the future psychiatric and social well-being of the patient, according to Prof Patrick McGorry of the University of Melbourne.

The average delay between the beginning of psychotic symptoms and treatment is about one year. "Everybody who works with or is involved with young people, such as parents, priests and educators, should watch out for consistent changes in behaviour and functioning," he said.

When doctors see young people who may be exhibiting changes in behaviour, they should continue to see them regularly and monitor them closely for emergence of psychosis, Prof McGorry said.

"This helps to reduce the delay before a referral to the appropriate service is made and treatment is started."

Hmm, treatment is started eh? And what of the sponsors of that 1998 conference,  Eli Lilly? Would it be safe to assume that they have/had a vested interest in improving the outcome of psychosis?

Call me a cynic if you want.




[1] Headstrong Grantee Summary
[2] HSE makes new plans for hospice patients [Irish Times - Friday, April 15, 2005] Subscription Needed
[3] "Good news for young mental health patients" [Irish Times - Tuesday, December 7, 2010]
[4] "New drugs for schizophrenia enable more effective treatment" - [Irish Times - Saturday, October 17, 1998] - Subscription Needed

Related Articles:

Patrick McGorry: "Hey... Paddy... Leave Those Kids Alone"

Patrick McGorry - Torn Asunder Down Under

Early Intervention, McGorry, Politics & TV Shows

Psychiatrist Patrick McGorry Slams His Critics [Diddums]

Is Australia's "Number One Man" Misleading The Public?

Pre-Mental Disorder Screening & Drugging - THE PHARMACEUTICAL DELOREAN

Patrick McGorry's Delorean Pulls Over For New Passenger

Patrick McGorry & Co Under Fire

Hickierie Dickory Doc - McGorry Turns Back the Clock

Psychiatrist's Assessment of Patrick McGorry

Patrick McGorry's "Back to the Future" 2008 Study

Australian Doctor Magazine Sees Patrick McGorry Defend His Position

Australian Member of Parliament, Martin Whitely, also speaks out against McGorry's Headspace initiative HERE.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Murdoch to Remain on Glaxo's Board

Under-fire James Murdoch is to remain as a non-executive director to GlaxoSmithKline. According to a GSK spokesperson, "With regard to the activities that are alleged to have taken place at News International, we believe that the full facts must be established and the ongoing investigations be allowed to take place and come to a considered conclusion,"

Murdoch, who is the heir to his father, Rupert's, News Corp, was said to have made a "a strong contribution" in joining Glaxo's board in 2009.

James Murdoch was paid £98,000 in shares for serving on GSK's board in 2010. He is member of both GSK's corporate responsibility and remuneration committees.

"We believe that the full facts must be established and the ongoing investigations be allowed to take place and come to a considered conclusion."

It's a pity Glaxo don't take that position when applying for a licence for drugs such as Seroxat [Paxil] and Avandia.

Pharma Giles has a great parody of recent affairs up on his blog, it's entitled, "The Dilemma Of St. Andrew..."

Another interesting post has appeared on the COTO Report website. They write:

Andrew Wakefield was a respected British gastroenterologist who began research into digestive problems in autistic children in collaboration with other doctors in the UK, after being called by parents seeking help. His work indicated severe digestive issues and he asked for more investigation of the MMR vaccine.

Brian Deer is the reporter who savaged Dr Wakefield from the pages of the Sunday Times, a paper managed by Rupert Murdoch’s son James Murdoch who is on the board of GlaxoSmithKline which makes the MMR.

It appears that there are a number of interesting weeks ahead for GlaxoSmithKline.

Coming soon - My open email to Glaxo's CEO, Andrew Witty regarding his snubbing of thousands of Seroxat patients. It's a long post and I'm just adding the finishing touches.




Monday, July 18, 2011

Health Canada Continue to Ignore the Voices of the Dead

Sara Carlin

One of Canada's biggest selling newspapers, The Globe and Mail, last week featured an update on the recommendations made last year at the inquest of Oakville, ON, teen Sara Carlin.

It was made apparent for all to see that Health Canada, the nation's drug regulator, intend to do nothing to warn doctors and patients about the dangers of children and adolescents being prescribed SSRi type drugs.

Personally, this comes as no surprise to me, Health Canada are basically the same as other drug regulators around the world in as much that they are a limpless machine churning out the same old bullshit when a drug they are supposed to regulate comes under fire.

Back in June last year I covered every day of the Sara Carlin inquest, I labelled it the 'Sara Carlin Vs GSK and friends inquest' because it was pretty obvious from the start that the Coroner wished to completely exonerate Glaxo's Paxil [known as Seroxat in the UK] from causing 18 years old Sara Carlin to take an electric piece of wiring, wrap it around her neck and hang herself in the basement of her family home.

Halfway through day one of that inquest saw Coroner's counsel, Michael Blain, appear in front of TV camera's outside the inquest. Here's what he had to say:

Nice of Blain to offer his opinion halfway through the first day of the inquest!

The jury in the inquest, who actually waited until the inquest was complete, made 16 recommendations, one of which was a call for an independent drugs regulator, it was apparent that they too were not confident in Health Canada's role of monitoring drugs.

Last week the Globe and Mail issued a statement from Health Canada regarding this one particular recommendation, a statement that merely highlights their lack of care and buck passing because they don't want to take accountability for their own incompetence in monitoring drugs such as Paxil.

Health Canada, writes the Globe and Mail, responded by saying it already implemented that recommendation, citing the 2002 creation of the Marketed Health Products Directorate within the department that focuses on surveillance of drugs. It also noted the government set up the Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network, which operates as part of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Health Canada's full response is posted on their website, a labyrinth to navigate around.

Here's what Health Canada failed to add.

Health Canada, in typical buck-passing style, responded by stating that they had, in 2002, already implemented the creation of a board that would operate independently from Health Canada. What they didn't add was that Pfizer Canada VP, Dr. Bernard Prigent was appointed to the governing board of Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) which oversees the Drug Safety Effectiveness Network (DSEN) - the very same body that Health Canada tout as an independent Drug safety agency!

This conflict of interest raised eyebrows with the Canadian House of Commons Committee back in 2009.

Prof. Jocelyn Downie (Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, Professor of Law and Medicine, Dalhousie University addressed the committee and made three points regarding Pfizer's Dr. Bernard Prigent's appointment:

First, Dr. Prigent's ability to bring his expertise in innovation and commercialization to the GC table is fatally limited by the fact that he is currently a Vice-President at Pfizer. A qualified candidate must not only have certain knowledge and skills but must also be able to use his knowledge and skills. This is a significant problem for Dr. Prigent.

Second, commercialization is not CIHR's objective. Rather, it is but one means for realizing CIHR's objective, which is, in fact, “the creation of new knowledge and its translation into improved health for Canadians, more effective health services and products and a strengthened Canadian health care system”.

Third, not only are innovation and commercialization only a means to CIHR's objective, but they are not the only nor the most important of CIHR's statutorily mandated means of achieving its objective. The CIHR Act requires CIHR to meet its objective by, among other things, “promoting, assisting and undertaking research that meets the highest international scientific standards of excellence and ethics”. By contrast, “encouraging innovation, facilitating the commercialization of health research” is but one of 12 means available to CIHR.

It's amazing isn't it? Time and time again these lilly-livered drug regulators shirk their responsibility and think everything will be just peachy clean if another board is created to help regulate drugs...providing that board has someone at the helm who has an Oh so obvious conflict of interest.

Health Canada's response to this particular recommendation smacks of a 'couldn't give a shit' attitude. It highlights their failure to protect children and adolescents from harmful drugs and shows their lack of care when it comes to giving impartial voices to 'independent bodies' that actually wish to protect the patients rather than the pharmaceutical industry.

I'd love to meet with Health Canada, it would be like Groundhog Day for me as I have already met with their British counterparts, the MHRA. I wonder if Health Canada would nod their heads and show empathy just as the MHRA did to me. I wonder if Health Canada would pretty much ignore the problems patients are facing once I left the meeting table...just like the MHRA did with me.

To be honest, I've got far better things to do than to meet with limp-wristed cowards who are severely lacking in the gonad department. I'd rather bang my head against a brick wall than meet with medicine regulators whose sole purpose is to protect themselves from their own failures at the expense of human life.

I'll be in Canada later this year, I'll pay my respects to Sara Carlin in a private moment by her resting place. I'll tell her I tried my hardest to give her a voice and I'll tell her that, in her death, she has created an awareness for many parents across Canada, an awareness that the limpless folk at Health Canada should have been on top of years ago.

The Globe and Mail article can be read HERE - The comment section sees the pharmacuetical shills at work once again. Those who have left appalling comments and sided with GlaxoSmithKline and their shills should be utterly ashamed of themselves. [1]


Sara Carlin - Death by Paxil Inquest [PDF]

[1] The Inquest of Sara Carlin and the Moderation of Yahoo Groups

Sara's Voice [Over 6,000 views]




Laura Kemp: Guardian of Seroxat

We live in a world where opinion is a right and debate of that opinion is equally a given right.

Lat week an article appeared in the Guardian, a popular newspaper from the UK. The article, by Laura Kemp, was about GSK's controversial antidepressant, Seroxat, known as Paxil in the US and Canada and Aropax in Australia.

Kemp can clearly put her point across eloquently, one wouldn't expect anything less from a qualified journalist.

Her opinion regarding the efficacy of Seroxat is, in the main, down to her own personal experience, however I must conclude that it is poorly researched, choosing instead to come from a 'power to the women' angle.

Kemp covers Seroxat in garlands, dismissing any of the negative anecdotal and officially reported side effects, of which there are thousands.

I am happy that Kemp has found her rock in life, her shoulder to lean on at time of woe.

Reading her article one is left with the impression that Seroxat is the best thing since sliced bread. Many may finger point and say the article has a more sinister point, that being that Kemp is a shill for GSK. For the record, I don't think she is, I just believe she hasn't researched Seroxat well enough. Kemp's only motive, it appears, is that Seroxat has kept the blues at bay for her and help her through 15 years of depression. Quite why her depression hasn't yet lifted after 15 years on Seroxat, is not mentioned by Kemp.

I find it odd when I read the rare article that actually promotes Seroxat, odd because Seroxat has been the subject of four Panorama investigations, a suicide/homicide case in the US [Settled out-of-court], a class action lawsuit regarding the withdrawal effects in the US [Settled out-of-court], a lawsuit where it was found that a child was born with heart defects because its mother took Seroxat whilst pregnant [The jury found Glaxo guilty by a majority of 10/2, Glaxo appealed then later settled out-of-court with the family] - a further estimated 800 other child defect cases were, or are in the process of being, settled. I also find it odd that it would be promoted in such a fashion despite the controversy that surrounds its manufacturer, GSK and the way they hired key opinion leaders to say it was safe for use in children and adolescents...when GSK knew that it was actually the opposite.

Kemp has been taking Seroxat for 15 years, it's not known if she has ever tried to stop taking it. Why would she want to? Her article suggests that she is happy to take it for the rest of her life, despite not knowing the possible implications of taking Seroxat long term. Maybe Kemp should write to GSK and ask them what the impact is of taking their drug for 15 years. She won't get an answer from them.

If Kemp should change her mind and one day decides to stop taking Seroxat I'd love her to keep a diary and make a note of the zaps she may get jolting through her head, the visionary disturbances, feelings of dark thoughts such as violence and suicide.

15 years on Seroxat has kept Kemp ticking over nicely, a pill to suppress emotion may be seen as a godsend for her but not for the many thousands that have struggled at the hands of Seroxat's stranglehold when trying to taper from it. Nor for the families left devastated by its trail of destruction as loved ones chose the option of suicide whilst taking it.

Maybe the 800 or so families whose children were born with defects and whom were paid in out-of-court settlements by GSK, will echo Kemp's sentiments that Seroxat is a "beautiful blue pill"... then again, maybe not.

Kemp's article falls short of warning the women, it seems to be aimed at, that Seroxat is a teratogen. It also comes across as women need a chemical fix because they aren't strong enough to cope with what life has to throw at them, that's my take on it anyhow.

Kemp has merely sampled half a steak and gave it the thumbs up. If she were ever to finish her meal [withdraw] then, I feel, she will be in a much better position to write an article, particularly one aimed at women, many of whom could be of child bearing age.

15 years on an antidepressant suggests that Kemp is either addicted to Seroxat or just does not want to face what life has to throw at her. One thing is apparent, Kemp now has a chemical imbalance, the Seroxat taken over 15 years would have caused that. 15 years ago she would have been told that she was prescribed Seroxat because her depression caused a chemical imbalance, that has never been proven.

The article is a fine example of the lines spun by GSK every time Seroxat comes under fire. "Seroxat has benefited millions of people worldwide."

What I found more worrisome than Kemp's naivety was the fact that she has been taking 30mg of Seroxat for 15 years, she claims that she is happy to do this for the rest of he life. What she probably doesn't know is that her prescribing GP obviously isn't reading his or her British National Formulary [BNF]. The recommended daily dose of Seroxat for mild depression is 20mg, anything over that does not work, in fact the more she has been feeding her brain, the harder it will be for her to stop taking it. She may also wish to ask her doctor for some blood tests...just to see how her liver is coping after 15 years of taking Seroxat.

I'm grateful that the occasional article pops up in the mainstream press that 'bigs up' Seroxat. It gives me, and people like me, a chance to set the record straight.

Patients [former patients] shouldn't be angry at Kemp, they should be writing her and warning her that her sugar-coated article is deeply flawed.

With all that said, I wish Laura Kemp a healthy future. I wish her a safe withdrawal. Only research into the heartache and devastation Seroxat has caused over the years may sway her opinion. If she ever does decide to withdraw maybe she won't be so quick to claim that a teratogen like Seroxat is "beautiful" anymore.

Her article, "Antidepressants are a lifeline for women like me", can be read in full HERE




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