Zantac Lawsuit

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

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

“My Chemical Imbalance”

Whilst out in Los Angeles I met some wonderful people. One such person was Ernest Pith Garnell, a real work of fiction, a nom de plume if you will.

Ernest Pith Garnell, like many who live in Los Angeles, is a struggling writer who had wrote a short screenplay. He was hoping that he could find the right people to star in his short skit or, better still, to have his skit aired on national TV... Hollywood rejected him.

On first reading it I had one of them Nescafe of the monitor moments...and then I realised the message Ernest was trying to portray.

Here's that skit.

“My Chemical Imbalance”

By Ernest Pith Garnell 
Storyline: A lunatic psychiatrist sees a patient who questions his prescribing authority and convinces him he is a fraud.

Cast of Characters:
Psychiatrist: Dr. Wolfgang von Wissensquell

Assistant: Helga

Psizer Rep: Brad Hardsell

First Patient: Darleen Le Blanc

Second Patient: Sidney Smiley

Third Patient: Gertrude Guilderstern

Voiceover: “Today psychiatry has advanced by great leaps and bounds thanks to the devotion of scientists who create the hypotheses that illuminate our understanding of the disorders of the human mind; disorders that just yesterday remained a mystery; disorders that just yesterday didn’t even exist.  This is the story of one such pioneer in the burgeoning science of psychopharmacology, Dr Wolfgang von Wissensquell.”

(In the Doctor’s office)
Wolfgang: (Reading the American Journal of Psychiatry and intermittently swatting at imaginary flies with his pen)  “Idiots!  What do they know of science?  Helga, are there any patients today?”

Helga: “Yes Doctor von Wissensmell, but not until 11:00 o’clock. The Psizer Rep is here now.  He has been waiting to see you. ”

Wolfgang: “That’s von Wissensquell!  How many times do I have to tell you?  von Wissensquell.  von Wissensquell! von Wissensquell!  And what does Psizer rep want with me again?  Pills, pills, pills.”

Helga: “Sorry, Doctor.  He said he has a gift for you.”

Wolfgang: “Thinks he can bribe me with another trip to Hawaii for Zoldoff scripts, eh?  Alright, alright, alright. Show him in.”

Helga: “Yes, Doctor.”

Enter Brad Hardsell

Wolfgang: “Yes, yes, yes. Come in. Come in. Come in”

Brad: “Doctor von Dissensdell, how good to see you again.  I bring good news from the latest research developments in Psizer labs—it’s the serotonometer.”

Wolfgang: “von Weissensquell! von Weissensquell! von Wissensquell!”

Brad: “Sorry”

Brad produces a box with something that looks like a big thermometer and hands it to Wolfgang.

Wolfgang: (Opening the box and inspecting the serotonometer) “What this thing, serotonometer? What, what, what?”

Brad: “It’s the most accurate measuring device for the diagnosis of psychiatric disorders--depression, social anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, schizophrenia-- you name it, the serotonometer does the trick.  And it’s absolutely free—a gift to you from the good people of Psizer pharmaceuticals.” (Trumpet sound.)

Wolfgang: “Do you mean to say that we now have way of measuring chemical imbalance?  How does it work?  How? How? How?

Brad: “Yes, we found out that all that talk about measuring the metabolite of serotonin in the cerebrospinal fluid was non-sense.”

Wolfgang: “Non-sense?”

Brad: “Non-sense. Now we know better.”

Wolfgang: “Better?”

Brad: “Better. You see Doctor, our researchers have discovered that saliva contains serotonin, so all you have to do is insert the serotonometer into the patient’s mouth to get an accurate reading of the serotonin.  Look here at the meter.  (Pointing at the meter in the Doctor’s hand).  On the bottom, ‘low,’ ‘too low,’ and ‘really too low’–not enough serotonin.”  That means depression, social anxiety disorder, you know, things like that.

Wolfgang: “Singing Da Blues?”

Brad: “That’s right, it’s time for Zoldoff.”  And on the top, ‘high,’ ‘too high,’ and ‘really too high’--too much serotonin.” That means mania or schizophrenia.  Now when the meter reaches this point, it is time for Zoldoff too.”

Wolfgang: Dementia praecox?

Brad: “Yes exactly, certifiably barking mad.  Like howling at the moon-- totally bonkers.”

Wolfgang: “Ah ha, just want I need.”

Brad: “Oh, I almost forgot. (Handing the doctor the journal) I have also brought for you the latest issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, with an article by the top opinion leaders in the field that proves the efficacy of our serotonometer, ‘Accurate measurements of 5HT (5-hydroxytryptamine) detected in saliva by Psizer serotonometer,’ by Dr. Charles Semerov, et al.”

Wolfgang: “You know I have heard rumor that these things are ghostwritten by the manufacturers themselves.”

Brad: “Yes, Doctor, just a rumor, a scandalous rumor circulated by anti-drug fanatics and Scientologists.  Have a look for yourself.  (Opens the journal before the Doctor’s face.) Can you doubt the things you read in the top medical journals? (Snaps it shut.) ”

Wolfgang: “Well, you must be right.  After all what would we doctors do for accurate information without pharmaceutical reps?”  (Angelic Choir.)

Brad:  (Shakes the hand of Wolfgang) “You are too kind, Doctor.”

Wolfgang: “Helga, please show Mr. Hardsell out.”

Helga: “Yes, Doctor and your 11:00 o’clock appointment is here, Mr. Sidney Smiley.”

Wolfgang: (Mutters to himself) “Sidney not-so-Smiley.  Another low-grade miserable”…and says to Helga: “Yes, yes, yes. Very good.”

Helga: “The Doctor will see you now. (Showing Sidney into Wolfgang’s office.)

Wolfgang: “How is that Prozac I prescribed for you last time, Mr. Smiley?”

Sidney: (In a depressed monotone voice.) “Not too good, I am still as depressed as ever, can’t get any sleep, my mojo is kaput and, quite frankly, well, it made my hair turn white. (Pointing to his completely white hair.)  Sometimes I think I would be better off with nothing at all.”

Wolfgang:  “Non-sense good man. We just need to do little test here.  Helga, bring in serotonometer.”

Helga: “Yes, Doctor von….”

(Helga enters with a box containing the serotonometer, and hands it to Wolfgang.)

Wolfgang: “Now if you would just open your mouth.”  (Inserting the serotonometer like a thermometer into Sidney’s mouth opened wide.)  Consulting his watch he says: “One Mississippi, Two Mississippi, Three Mississippi…(Wolfgang waits, removes the serotonometer and inspects it for a result.)  “Ah ha!  Just as I suspected.  You have chemical imbalance.  Serotonometer says ‘too low,’ not enough serotonin.”

Sidney: (Still in depressed but questioning monotone.)  “Not enough serotonin? What does this mean?”

Wolfgang: “Don’t you worry.  Medical science is advancing every day, you know.  Now we have measuring device for accurate diagnosis, and miracle pharmaceuticals for correcting chemical imbalance.   You see right here, Sidney, (pointing to a chart “How Paxil Works.”)  In depression too little serotonin is available to be released and received by nerve cell in the brain.  This interferes with message sent and results in symptoms of depression.  Now our miracle drugs target messengers and re-supply brain with right amount of chemical.”

Sidney: (Seemingly hopeful) “My goodness.  That is amazing.”

Wolfgang: (Consulting his Medical Reference Cards for Psychiatry.)   “Let’s add some Zoldoff 100 mg to that Prozac, Halcion for insomnia, Viagra for zat other little problem, and Grecian Formula 700.”  (Writing out a script for Zoldoff, etc, tearing it off the pad and handing it to Sidney) "Here you go."

Sidney: “How can I thank you, Doctor?”

Wolfgang: “Visa, American Express, will be fine.  Helga.  Ready for next patient.”
(Putting serotonometer back into the box and returning it to Helga.)

Helga:  “This is Ms. Darleen Le Blanc, a new patient referred to you from Camarillo State Hospital.”

Wolfgang:  “Hello Ms. Le Blanc.  Good to meet you.  Now, just exactly what is problem?”

Darleen: “People keep staring at me and I am hearing voices. You see, you see, why do you keep staring at me like that? (Staring straight at Wolfgang and shaking her head from side to side in the direction of the imaginary voices.)  What did you say?  What did you say?”

Wolfgang: “Now, now, now, may I call you Darleen?  It’s just me, your Doctor here now.”

Darleen: “How do you know?” (Shaking her head from side to side in the direction of the imaginary voices.)

Wolfgang: “Let’s just consult your history for your medications.  (Looking at Darleen’s chart.)  I see you have been on Zyprexa, Ambilify, Paxil, Prozac, Triazolam, Clonazepram, Risperdal, … “ (interrupted by Darleen)…

Darleen: “You think I’m crazy?  You just wait. And you too.  (Looking in the direction of another imaginary voice.)

Wolfgang:  “No, no, no, my dear, you just need little modification and everything will be right….  Helga, Serotonometer again.  ( Helga complies.)  Here open your mouth so that we can find out.”

Darleen: “You think you are going to stick that nasty thing in my mouth? No telling where that’s been.”

Wolfgang: “Now Darleen this is a sterile scientific instrument.”

Darleen: “Well if you say so…” (Opens mouth wide.)
Wolfgang: (Consulting his watch) “One Mississippi, Two Mississippi, Three Mississippi…” (Removing serotonometer and inspecting the result) “Ah, too much serotonin.  You have schizo—mania—psychotic disorder.”

Darleen: “Schizo-mania-psychotic disorder,” what is that?

Wolfgang: “New chemical imbalance just discovered in new edition of Psychiatric Diagnostic Manual.  You will need BIG Zoldoff pills for that one…  Helga, 2500 mg Zoldoff.”

Helga: “Coming right up.” (Helga enters with two huge Zodofft tablets.)

Darleen: “Ha, I’m thinking suicide just looking at those things.”

Wolfgang: “Now, now, now.  You see, nothing wrong with you, just little chemical imbalance corrected by medicine.”

Darleen: “Well, ok, I guess you are the Doc.” (Darleen leaves with her two huge Zoldoff tablets.)

Wolfgang:  “Now, Helga, next patient.”

Helga: (Shows Darleen out and Gertrude in.)  “Doctor, Ms. Guilderstern is here..”

Wolfgang: “Yes, yes, yes. Gertrude, good to see you again. How are we doing?”

Gertrude: “Just a bit stressed and overworked.  Maybe it is just life but I thought I needed to see you again.”

Wolfgang: “Have you been taking medicine?’

Gertrude: “No.”

Wolfgang: “Well, you know, Gertrude, this anxiety you experience is co-morbid symptom of affective disorder.  You are depressed.”

Gertrude: “Depression? No, not really. I just go for a good run or play volleyball when I feel down.”

Wolfgang: “We need scientific measurement, because many people are depressed but don’t know this.  Oh, burdens of undiagnosed depression.  Bad, bad, bad.”

Gertrude: “Really? But how do we know.”

Wolfgang: “Latest scientific advance in serotonometer.  Helga, serotonometer.”

Helga: “Yes, Doctor von…”

Wolfgang: (waving finger at Helga who is about to mispronounce his name again.) “Eh, eh, eh!”

Helga: (brings in box with serotonometer, removes serotonometer and hands it to the doctor.)

Wolfgang: “Now, please open wide.”

Gertrude: “Ahhhhhhhhh…..” (opens mouth.)

Wolfgang: (Inserts serotonometer) “One Mississippi, Two Mississippi, Three Mississippi…” (Removes serotometer and inspects it.) “Just as I thought. Too low.  Depression. You need Zoldoff.”

Gertrude: “How can you be so sure?”

Wolfgang: “Serotonometer says so.”

Gertrude: “Hey, wait a minute. Let me see that thing.  (takes serotonometer from Wolfgang’ hand.)  It’s rigged.  There are only two measurements—too high and too low.  That means everybody’s on Zoldoff and nobody is normal.”

Wolfgang: “Now, now, now.  You are patient.  I am doctor.  We all have our place, don’t we now?”

Gertrude: “Look at what happens when you peel off the Psizer sticker.  (peeling off the Psizer sticker.)  This is just a candy thermometer.  It says so right here (pointing to the place where the sticker was removed.) —‘Cooper Candy thermometer.’”

Wolfgang: “What? This is scientific instrument.  How do you question authority of science?”

Gertrude: “You better start shopping for another ass, Buster, because I’m going to sue the one you have right off your backside.”

Wolfgang: “But Psizer Rep gave it to me.  This was developed by expert scientists and confirmed in medical journal.”

Gertrude: “Why don’t you just fess up? You don’t know what the hell you are doing, do you?  All you do is put people on pills that do no good at all and you call it ‘medical science’.”

Wolfgang:  “Wait, wait, wait!  (Takes medical diploma off the wall, blows on it twice, rubs it reverently with his elbow and replaces it on the wall. Thinking for a minute with right hand cupping his chin.  Then he stands facing the audience/camera, raises his right hand and looks far off into space. Angelic Choir.) Could it be that I have blindly followed the psychiatric tradition of my time without critical examination?  Could it be that the whole premise of biological psychiatry is wrong?  That the whole idea of chemical imbalance is just bad marketing copy of an abandoned hypothesis?  Could I, Dr. Wolfgang von Wissensquell, lead the way to a new age of enlightenment?   Could I be the leader of a new skepticism of pharmaceutical manipulation of my profession?  …

Gertrude: (With serious face and shaking the serotonometer threateningly at Wolfgang.)

Wolfgang: “But what about my free trips to Hawaii?”





Monday, February 27, 2012

Leeds 1983 - The Hidden Zoloft Clinical Trial

Far be it from me to promote David Healy but his latest posts on his blog have certainly left food for thought.

Yesterday I wrote about one of the two published papers from Healy with regard to the safety and efficacy in antidepressant medication, a paper that should be downloaded, printed and shown to healthcare professionals next time you visit their surgeries.

Today sees Healy write about an early clinical trial for Zoloft [sertraline], a trial from 1983 that was undertaken in Leeds, UK.

He writes:

There were 12 female volunteers aged between 34 and 40. The study was supposed to randomize half to sertraline and half to placebo for a week followed by a cross-over between drugs. It was abandoned before the first week was out.

And why was the trial abandoned?

Side effects.

So, back in 1983 Pfizer learned that Zoloft could cause  apprehension, insomnia, movement disorders, tremors and akathisia, what did they do about it?


The study was never published but Healy got to hear about it in 1998 from Ian Hindmarch, the doctor who ran the trial. Hindmarch went on to conduct another Zoloft trial in later years, this time the patients were given much lower doses of Zoloft resulting in more favourable results for Pfizer. That particular study, unsurprisingly, was published but very little is known about the Leeds study...until now.

Healy, who has had access to Pfizer's archives, also notes that, "...many years before these drugs triggered tens of thousands of suicides and acts of violence, was a great deal of evidence outlining the nature of the problem and their understanding of it."

The British drug regulator should investigate but they are probably too busy writing to doctors about SSRi specialists...that don't exist.

I'm not alone in thinking that pharmaceutical companies do everything in their power to make the 'perfect product' - trouble is...they don't pull it if it's not perfect, they simply hide the fact that it's defective.

The 7 women who received doses of Zoloft in the 1983 study may still be alive today. According to Healy these women would now be between the ages of  61 and 69 and may still be living in or around Leeds.

Wouldn't it be interesting if these women came forward. Where are the media when you need them, eh?

Healy's post, Mystery in Leeds, can be read HERE




Sunday, February 26, 2012

Antidepressants for Takers - New Paper From Healy, Lenoury and Dee Mangin

I feel I must share the following paper with you, it would be silly not to.

Dr David Healy has re-emerged on the Internet, a regularly updated blog, a website and a book [currently reading] have all got people talking.

It's good to see academics posting on the Internet on a regular basis, the more, the merrier, I say.

Healy's latest offering caught my attention, more so because it was a 'call for papers', an interaction, if you will.

Healy writes:

"One of the purposes of this blog is to invite colleagues to add to the knowledge base on drug groups. To submit a paper or to provide your comments, please do so on the form on the Join the Conversation page.
 "I’ll start the ball rolling with the following draft Data Based Medicine (DBM) papers:"

Two papers are then offered as downloads, one for 'takers' of antidepressants, the other for 'prescribers'. Not being a prescriber I chose to read the 'takers', a paper drawn up by Healy, Dr. Jo Lenoury and Dr. Dee Mangin.

It does not disappoint.

In a nutshell, it's everything you really wanted to know about antidepressants, if they actually work, if they are safe, if they cause severe withdrawal, birth defects and other adverse events. It's the paper that should have been drawn up by the regulators of the drugs you and I take, alas they were either too afraid to do it or it would have been frowned upon by the pharmaceutical industry, who fund the likes of the British drug regulator, the MHRA.

Healy not only asks the questions, he gives you the answers - no beating around the push with exemption laws or stonewalling - just straight answers.

Those, like myself, who have been banging the drum about antidepressant use won't be surprised by this paper, it pretty much echoes what we have been saying for years on various blogs, books and in the media.

The beauty of this paper is that it does not target one specific SSRi, it pretty much targets them all and Healy explains, in layman's terms, how these drugs are granted a licence, when in fact they shouldn't be. The whole issue of transparency in clinical trials is explained in simple, yet astute, terms and the Q&A section is a must read for anyone researching antidepressant medication, particularly if they have just been prescribed it by their healthcare physician.

Some key points from the paper that we should all ponder are:

  • As of 2006, the trials that had been done for antidepressants involving over 100,000 patients showed more deaths in those on antidepressant than on placebo.
  • There is some evidence that antidepressants may make future episodes of depression more likely.
  • If you are chronically depressed, the treatments are more likely to give you side effects than do anything useful. In general for moderate depression, the drug is more likely to produce side effects than benefits. Many side effects are livable with but some could cost you your life, your marriage or your job.
  • Many publications state that 5 out of 10 people respond to antidepressants and 4 out 10 respond to placebo, giving the impression that the effects of antidepressants are all in the mind.They aren't. What this data shows is that many of us get better without medication or therapy.
  • Most people who are “depressed”, nervous or anxious, have a condition that clears up in 12-16 weeks whether treated or not.

Healy also explodes the myths about antidepressants and juxtaposes the company lines thrown out by pharmaceutical companies, key opinion leaders and regulators, the most striking of which is shown by the following:

Depression causes birth defects.
This is completely untrue but is used to scare women who are pregnant into taking antidepressants against their better judgment.  Antidepressants increase rates of birth defects, miscarriages, and development delay in children.

Antidepressants take several weeks to work.
This is completely untrue. These drugs produce benefits and harms within hours or days of first taking them. It may take several weeks for a clinical syndrome to lift but this is something quite different. The argument that the drug takes time to work is trotted out as part of the defense against claims that an antidepressant has triggered suicide or violence.

Antidepressants do not cause Addiction
Many antidepressants cause people to be hooked to them – it becomes impossible to stop because of how bad the person feels on stopping and the relief from restarting treatment. Some drugs are worse than others. Because companies have denied there is any problem, it is difficult to know which drugs are the worst offenders and how to manage the problem. Companies and their experts refer to discontinuation syndromes – another term for withdrawal or being hooked – in attempt to avoid the stigma of withdrawal. But even national regulators now concede it may be impossible to stop certain antidepressants.

It's a paper that merits attention, it's a paper that is long overdue, it's a paper you should print off and show your doctor.

Kudos to Healy, Lenoury and Dee Mangin for getting it out there.

Paper can be downloaded as a PDF HERE.




Friday, February 24, 2012

Glaxo Named in Antitrust Class Action Suit

The subscription based website, Law360, is reporting that GlaxoSmithKline, along with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, have both been named in an antitrust class action lawsuit. Both have been accused of conspiring to keep a generic epilepsy drug off the market in order to maximize profits.

The complaint has been brought by LOUISIANA WHOLESALE DRUG CO., INC., [LWD] on behalf of itself and all others similarly situated:

The 41 page document reveals that the case is brought on behalf of LWD and a class of all other persons or entities in the United States who directly purchased Lamictal brand lamotrigine tablets (“Lamictal Tablets”) from GSK and/or a generic version of Lamictal Tablets from Teva at any time during the Class Period of February 17, 2008 until the effects of Defendants’ conduct ceases (the “Class”)

Law360 writes:

Louisiana Wholesale Drug Co. Inc. filed the suit on behalf of all those who purchased Lamictal-brand lamotrigine tablets since February 2008, alleging that Teva put the brakes on a patent challenge to Lamictal in 2005 in order to strike a deal with GSK that would benefit both companies while hurting consumers.

The subsequent settlement and license agreement allowed Teva to sell limited amounts of a generic version of a Lamictal chewable product in June 2005 but kept Teva from selling the more lucrative Lamictal tablets until July 2008, six months before GSK's patent on the drug expired, according to the complaint.

Glaxo hurting consumers?

Surely not?

Arise Sir Witty - time to sort out the mess left behind by old JP.




Monday, February 20, 2012

Antidepressants and the Placebo Effect

Begs the question why these drugs are still on the market. As I wrote on Facebook earlier this morning;

If these drugs were an electrical piece of equipment which only worked in 40% of households, do you think they would still be on the market? Moreover, that equipment was faulty and dangerous. That's the power of promotion and spinning. It's basically how pharma get drugs onto the market, show the regulator the good studies 40% but hide the negative studies, 60% - although the figure is even greater in clinical trials.

Now watch the video that was aired on the US flagship show 60 Minutes last night.





Sunday, February 19, 2012

"Glaxo Cringe at Your Blog"

I've been out of the country for the past two weeks or so, the reasons of which shall remain, like GlaxoSmithKline's clinical trial data, hidden from the public eye. Sufficed to say, it's been fruitful for me.

During my two weeks in Los Angeles I met with some old friends, some new ones, some really interesting ones.

I was introduced to a person, who shall remain nameless. She/he has a story to tell, she/he is a whistleblower.

She/he used to work for GlaxoSmithKline.

I was introduced to this person who was "dying to meet me".

"I read your blog every day and have done for sometime, I'm a former Glaxo rep and I can tell you this, Glaxo cringe at your blog, keep up the good work."

Hey, being jet-lagged from a flight from LA to Newark and then Newark to Birmingham, that will really help me catch the zeds tonight.

One has to ask why Glaxo cringe, do I embarrass them, are they surprised at my staying power, do they know about the UK Seroxat litigation and the fight that has gone on behind the scenes, are they sick and tired of reading all their muck in one one place, is it because I'm just a blogger with no editor to answer to?

Who knows, who really cares?

GlaxoSmithKline are a multi-billion dollar entity who have thrown money in the direction of people they have injured with their drugs. I'm mainly concerned with their antidepressant Seroxat [Paxil] and the out-of-court settlements they have made, moreover the reasons why they make these out-of-court settlements, the reasons why they wish to seal documents disclosed in court rooms.

They are one of many, all of those who peddle the SSRi's have secrets, have lies, have a lack of empathy to the human race, in particular children.


I'd do more than cringe if I were they.

That's the second Glaxo whistleblower I've spoken to in the space of two months. One in person, one on Skype. No details have been given to me about the pending cases, that would be wrong but assurances have been given to me by one of the whistleblowers that they will let me have first dibs of an exclusive when the shit hits the fan.

I've been writing this blog since 2006, both the UK regulator [MHRA] and GlaxoSmithKline have been monitoring it, as have the honeytraps and hired shills who throw dirt in my direction. Ironically, it is they who have lifted the profile of this blog, it is they who have directed readers to inquire about getting off Seroxat  and readers who have a story to tell...but can't tell it just yet.

Private Eye have recently been in touch - they are also interested in one of the whistleblowers that approached me.

2012 should prove interesting...the year of the Cringe, if you will.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Hickie Getting Picky With Lancet

Aussie Psychiatrist Ian Hickie

Oh, I do love it when a professional spits his dummy out of the pram, particularly when that professional is a psychiatrist who has ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Professor Ian Hickie, whom I've wrote about numerous times on this blog, is in a tizz, it seems, with Richard Horton, the editor of The Lancet. You see, Hickie wrote a review that appeared in The Lancet last year, a review that drew some scathing criticism from fellow psychiatrists. Hickies review was, in essence, bigging up the use of Valdoxan [agomelatine] an antidepressant marketed for the treatment of major depressive disorder. Hickie was chastised by his critics for not revealing his ties to Valdoxan manufacturer, Servier.

Now, it seems, the editor of The Lancet has joined in the fun and games. Hickie is accusing Horton of defamation because of tweeting an opinion about the review.

So, Hickie has come out fighting. A full response to Horton's tweet can be viewed on the website where Hickie writes:
Sadly, tweeting has not only replaced the academic journal itself as the major source of credible information — the new social media is perceived to be the place where people say what they really believe. Any allegation in cyberspace is instantly assumed to be true and relayed extensively throughout the social network that is modern media.
Do I sense a mild form of paranoia here? "Any allegation in cyberspace is instantly assumed to be true and relayed extensively throughout the social network that is modern media."

Oh lighten up Prof, get down off that pedestal you climbed up upon. You really are not that important.

Hickie, in typical fashion, skirts over the issues of conflict of interest [of which he has many not just Servier] and goes on to tell everyone how hard done by he is]


He further writes:
My professional colleagues who conduct original research, our institutions, health journalists and many of the editors of Australia’s major medical and mental health journals, are well used to receiving these social media missives from the same small band of local anti-medicine or anti-psychiatry warriors.
If it were such a small band of  local anti-medicine or anti-psychiatry warriors then why is Hickie getting so upset about a piddling little tweet?

Hickies professional colleagues include Patrick McGorry, an Australian psychiatrist who drives around town in a DeLorean predicting futures for children. He has a unique ability to spot signs of early psychosis in children - no x-rays, no blood samples, no PET or MRI scans or even urine samples - just a series of interviews and forms with boxes. I've also wrote about McGorry before.

Another of Hickie's professional colleagues is Professor Graham Burrows, who recently hit the news down under for prescribing experimental psychiatric drugs to his patients, a lawsuit against Burrows is pending.

Hickie has every right to come out and defend his name, quite why he would though is baffling. Personally, I believe the God factor has come into play here. Hickie et al have been group back-slapping for so many years now that they cannot see that having financial ties to a product is a conflict of interest. They cannot see how they can be criticised by academics and anti-psychiatry warriors. I've news for Hickie, there's a whole bunch of feisty anti-drug writers out here in cyberspace, most of whom have been harmed by the very same drugs he and his cronies dish out, many of whom have had children harmed by drugs he and his cronies dish out.

The anti-psychiatry warriors, as Hickie puts it, are here to stay. If Hickie does not like opposition or if he is feeling the heat then it may be wise for him to step out of the kitchen and take a good look at himself in the mirror - the image bouncing back is, it appears, living in that great Egyptian river [De Nile]

For the record - I wear a Tarzan-like loin cloth, have a bone through my nose and carry spears, arrows and other weaponry in my ruck-sack - That, I guess, makes me some sort of warrior in Hickie's eyes.

Oh, I regularly tweet too.

Hickie's full response to Twittergate can be read in full HERE, it's already creating a lot of responses, most of which continue to slam him. Will these psychs ever learn. TUT-TUT.

More about Hickie and his professional colleagues below:

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

The Defence of Prof. Ian Hickie

Australian Psychiatrist Ian Hickie's Lancet Paper Heavily Criticised

Hickierie Dickory Doc - McGorry Turns Back the Clock

Australian Psychiatrist Graham Burrows Denies Any "Wrongdoing"

Professor Graham Burrows - The "Cosmetic Psychiatrist?"




Monday, February 13, 2012

DSM 5 - "silly, worrying and dangerous"

When I first saw the proposals for the DSM-5 I thought that they'd never get these through, I, wrongly, assumed it was just a bunch a whacko psychiatrists seeing just how far they could go with inventing illnesses - Hey, the majority of the public bought into the ADHD and bi-polar inventions so why not go that extra mile?

"Oppositional defiant disorder" pretty much targets the whole of earth's children population. In a nutshell, pardon the pun, if a child say's "No" when you ask it to perform a task and then it say's "No" again when you reiterate what you want doing, then it has Oppositional defiant disorder.

I use the term "it" because the DSM appears to disregard the fact the children are actually human-beings. Anything that you and I did as a child is now deemed as a mental disorder. Normal behaviour is the new mental disorder, given fancy names and even fancier drugs. The authors of the DSM-5 robustly defend their actions - isn't defending one's actions a case of Oppositional defiant disorder?

Over 11,000 healthcare professionals, mainly from the US, have signed an online petition calling for the DSM-5 to be halted. The DSM authors don't want it halted, they are saying "No", they are being defiant.

I hear cries of "good grief", soon to be renamed "bad grief" because that's what the authors of the DSM tell us. Grief isn't normal any more, it shall now be deemed as a mental disorder. It's wrong to grieve the loss of someone, sure it's okay to miss them and mourn them...but only for a certain amount of time. Get over your loss, move on because if you don't you will be labelled as having bereavement-related depression.

Here's a scenario, 12 year old decides to hang themselves, it was on medication at the time of its death. Its parents are devastated. The initial shock of losing it and burying or cremating it goes on for longer than what is normal, their bereavement has moved into the phase of mental disorder, it's now bereavement-related depression and needs to be treated with the very same drugs that it was taking when it suicided 7 months previously.

I don't know about you but I feel The DSM-5 Mood Disorders Work Group are individually clinically insane or maybe just driven by the fact that the more illnesses there are to treat, the more drugs there are to prescribe - keeping their profession intact and secure for years to come.

The DSM-5 Mood Disorders Work Group are no more than heretics who are fast running out of ideas that promote pharmaceutical wares. Their delusions are worringly scary. With 11,000 of their peers opposing their proposals they continue, in their defiance, to stand their ground.

SFFFD - Separating Fact From Fiction Disorder can be thrown in their direction. It basically means someone with the inability to grasp reality.  The DSM-5 Mood Disorders Work Group have this in abundance, its like a cancer that has been slowly spreading over the years. Sadly, there is no cure for it.. it's a terminal disorder that is contagious amongst the medical profession and pharmaceutical industry. Patients are at risk of falling into this disorder by watching too many pharmaceutical TV commercials and/or visiting their doctor. It's a chemical imbalance caused by too many dine and dash lunches, cupcakes and tickets to the game, not to mention those freebie trips to hotels.

If I had my way, I'd disband the DSM work group, or at the very least restrain them as I believe that it is they who are a danger to the public.

The DSM-5 Mood Disorders Work Group are not a normal section of society trying to help the abnormal, they are the mentally ill finding ways to treat the normal.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the equivalent of giving an arsonist a book of matches and a can of petrol.




Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Brown University School of Medicine and the "Get Out Clause"

I always sit in bewilderment at the exemption rules and clauses that exist inside the cogs of the pharmaceutical industry and its shills. For those that don't know, a 'shill' is a person who helps a person or organisation without disclosing that he or she has a close relationship with that person or organisation [1]

So, what if one finds something that is so way off mark that it could be detrimental to the health and safety of patients worldwide?

Well, I guess the first plan of action would be to contact the person/persons who created that 'something' and to show them that what they actually created had serious safety issues regarding the safety of children and adolescents.

Scientific misconduct appears to be a noose around Brown University School of Medicine's neck, much akin to the same noose that has taken the lives of children and adolescents prescribed Paxil [known as Seroxat in the UK]

For some time now Jon Jureidini, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Adelaide, and Leemon McHenry, a lecturer in philosophy at California State University, have been calling for a retraction of, the now infamous, Paxil 329 study, a study that has, since its publication in 2001, been discredited for its use of selective reporting and ghostwriting shenanigans.

Martin Keller

Brown University, whom, at the time, employed lead author of the Paxil 329 study, Martin Keller, were approached by McHenry and Jureidini who sought a retraction of the skewed study which, despite showing huge flaws, still appears in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry [JAACAP] today and, more than likely, is still used as a guide by many prescribing physicians who will read that "Paxil is safe and effective in the use of children and adolescents."

The fact that Paxil isn't safe and effective in children does not seem to bother Brown University, whom have replied to McHenry and Jureidini with what can only be described as a "D'uh so what" type of response.

The Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences, Edward J. Wing, writes to McHenry and Jureidini with the following excuse:

"The University will not submit a letter requesting retraction to the editor of the JAACAP for the journal article written by Dr. Keller."

The reasons being a six year statute of limitations, which basically means McHenry and Jureidini were too late in filing their complaint.

Don't you just love the way corporate entities surround themselves in that protective red-tape.

Here we have a study with Keller cited as the lead author when in fact the whole study was ghostwritten by Sally K Laden, a shill hired by GlaxoSmithKline to say nice things about Paxil and to promote it in such a way that healthcare professionals would prescribe it to children and adolescents. Keller, merely put his name to the study because...well, because that's what Glaxo paid him to do.

The wording of Edward J. Wing's response to McHenry and Jureidini is interesting in as much that it claims that Keller wrote the article.

It's unknown if Wing has been on the planet Zog for the past 10 years or so or whether he is just towing the line. [self bondage in red tape]

Brown University are really showing a lack of ethics here, it's almost as if they have been skinny-dipping in icy cold waters and their balls have shrivelled to the size of peas, a great role model for students just starting out at Brown, doncha think?

They must hold Keller in high esteem to protect him so much, they must hang on to his every word regarding Paxil seeing as they claim he wrote the study.

Brown, as the name suggests, stinks like a river of floating turds, each one wrapped in red tape, each one stamped with a six year statute of limitations, each one so gut wrenchingly gaseous that nobody dare go near them for fear of seeing that sickly smile from Keller.

Swim beneath the Brown river and you'll find the voices of the dead Paxil children that Brown University wish to suppress, to ignore, to be swept into the pooper-scooper because their memories of their short lives mean absolutely nothing to Brown Uni officialdom.

Brown's reluctance to intervene is a two-finger salute to any child or adolescent being prescribed Paxil today. They should be utterly ashamed of themselves for using a statute when they knew well before the six year time limit that 329 seriously misrepresented the safety of Paxil in children and adolescents.

Unforgivable and cowardly are just two words that spring to mind...another is Karma.




Wednesday, February 01, 2012

2012 - The Year of Dr David Healy

Internationally respected psychiatrist, psychopharmacologist, scientist, and author Dr David Healy has been busy of late. The launch of two new websites [one in blog form] and a book has got people talking in the blogsphere and on Twitter.

For those who don't know, Healy became a household name in the advocacy circles when he first spoke out about antidepressant use, particularly those of the SSRi family, of which Seroxat is one. He has been used as an expert witness in many cases against the pharmaceutical industry and, to my knowledge, is the only UK based health professional who has got to grips with the whole SSRi withdrawal issue, even offering tapering regimes for those who are struggling with their, apparent, non-addictive medication.

He's met with the MHRA, the UK regulatory agency who claim there are other SSRi withdrawal specialists based in the UK [but they cannot name who they are or where they are located] and provided them with a withdrawal protocol for SSRi's. Sadly, and predictably the withdrawal protocol fell on deaf ears and still remains on the table at the MHRA collecting dust and cobwebs.

It's safe to assume that the MHRA, who remember are fully funded by the pharmaceutical industry, are not one of Healy's biggest fans, to actually agree to meet with him back in 2010 must have stuck in the throats of those present. You see, the MHRA do not like being told how to steer their ship, they don't like being told that they are wrong. It's clearly evident, to me at least, that they are failing miserably in safeguarding human health. PIP implants and hip replacements are just two of the medical devices that have recently hit the news and highlighted the MHRA's failings. Prescription drugs such as Avandia, Vioxx, the class of SSRi antidepressants and benzos have also shown how the MHRA are failing to regulate properly.

Anyway, this post is about Healy's new ventures, namely his two new websites, Data Based Medicine Limited, which operates through its website and his personal website

Data Based Medicine Limited, of which Healy is the founder and Chief Executive Officer, aims to make medicines safer through online direct patient reporting of drug effects. Some may say it was created in direct opposition to the MHRA's current patient reporting system, the Yellow Card Scheme [YCS], a scheme that, over the years, has proven to be about as useful as a sailboat without a sail. The MHRA, of course, will argue that they have the best worldwide reporting system in place, in essence it's probably the best of a bad bunch and not something I'd shout from the rooftops if I were in charge of the MHRA.

Where Data Based Medicine Limited differ from the MHRA is that they intend to take anecdotal evidence and to present it as real based evidence. The YCS is, after all, an official anecdotal reporting service lacking in any follow-up or action.

The blurb for reads: is your site to help make medicines safer for all of us. No-one knows drug side effects like the person who is taking a pill. Yet this voice is not heard. RxISK will provide a megaphone to you and your doctor to change the way we see drug safety.

Drug safety is an issue for us all. Prescription drugs are now a leading cause of death.

However, there is no evidence base for managing this new plague, nor are there any guidelines to help your doctor save you.

This means it takes time for the harmful effects of Vioxx, Avandia, and Prozac to be recognized.

You may have been told there is no evidence linking the treatment you are on to problems you are now having.

One reason there may be no evidence is because you and your doctor have been silenced. We need you to help us get across the message “We are not Anecdotes”. With your help, we're here to make medications safer for all of us.

Healy's other website,, features articles, books, discussions and a regularly updated blog from Healy himself. His latest post is an eye-opener and relates to the way pharmaceutical companies admit and deny, almost in the same breath. That particular post can be read HERE.

If that weren't enough, Healy also has a new book [available March 2012] subtly entitled Pharmageddon "a searing indictment and forceful argument against the pharmaceuticalization of medicine..."

Once I land a copy of the book I'll review it and post on here.

All in all, the start of 2012 has been productive for David Healy. He's no martyr, he's just someone who has seen a problem and has set out to do something about it...without being answerable to those that created the problem in the first place.

Please contact me if you would like a guest post considered for publication on my blog.