Generic Paxil Suicide Lawsuit

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

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

MHRA's Kent Woods Defends His Corner

I always love a good old ding-dong in the national press, especially when it involves a highly paid chief executive of the MHRA.

Kent Woods [CEO MHRA] has saw it fit to defend his agency this morning in a letter that has appeared on The Guardian website.

Woods is responding to an earlier article by George Monbiot who had accused the MHRA of being 'unbalanced' , pointing to the facts that the MHRA's board contains retired senior executives from AstraZeneca and Merck Sharp & Dohme...he failed to mention GlaxoSmithKline.

Woods, seemingly incensed at Monbiot's reference, has decided to go public with his response in which he defends the agency's position in hiring previous employees of the pharmaceutical industry. Woods states:

"Given the highly technical nature of the agency's work, a proportion of senior scientific staff are recruited from, or have past employment in, the pharmaceutical industry. First-hand knowledge of industry practices and working methods is essential for effective regulation."


Limp-wristed again, eh Kent?

He adds:

"All the agency's staff have complied with the staff conflicts of interest policy, which does not allow any staff member to hold interests in the pharmaceutical and medical technologies (devices) industries."

I think you are missing the point Kent.

I also think Woods is burying his head in the sand - 'What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas'?

Does Kent Woods honestly believe that employing ex-employees of the pharmaceutical industry can help for a better regulation of prescription drugs?

The current Head of Licensing at the MHRA, Dr Ian Hudson, must have hugely failed Woods. Hudson was the former World Safety Officer at SmithKline Beecham [Now GSK] - he worked closely with Seroxat during his spell at GSK yet when the MHRA carried out a four-year investigation into GSK [for hiding pediatric data and putting children at risk] Woods chose not to:

1. Cross-examine Hudson


2. Press criminal charges against GSK

Also interesting to note is that former MHRA employee, Rashmi Shah, is now an expert witness for GSK in the UK Seroxat group action. It was an investigative journalist friend of mine, Evie Pringle, that coined the term, 'The regulatory revolving door'. One out, one in, eh Kent?

At this point it may be worth stating that the MHRA's Chairman, Alasdair Breckenridge, is also a former employee of SmithKline Beecham [Now GSK]

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, eh Kent?

Woods and I have had our disagreements over the years, it's all in my book, the disagreements, the email correspondence, the denial that Seroxat is a teratogen, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

I've also met with Kent Woods. I met with him to discuss the problems people facing SSRi withdrawal are having. I also arranged for the MHRA to meet with the world's leading expert on SSRi withdrawal, Dr David Healy.

Healy presented an SSRi withdrawal protocol to the MHRA almost one year after I met with them... that protocol still remains on the table collecting cobwebs.

The MHRA recently rolled out an 'SSRi Withdrawal Module' for GP's up and down the country. Part of their recommendations to GP's was to refer those suffering severe SSRi withdrawal to 'withdrawal specialists'.

When I asked the MHRA for a list of these so called SSRi withdrawal specialists they could not provide me with one single name. Furthermore, they told me, after three emails, that they would not discuss the matter with me any more. [Links at foot of this post]

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, eh Kent?

The MHRA like to believe that they are helping people, when in actual fact they aren't.

They are, if you will, an agency for the pharmaceutical industry. They hold out the hand of friendship to patient advocates and invite them to meetings to appease them. Nothing more, nothing less.

A much better service is now in the offering, a service that encourages patients to send in adverse reaction reports by way of anecdotal emails, something the MHRA refuse to address. [See RxISK]

To be honest, the MHRA lost my respect many years ago. Former CEO of MIND, the mental health charity, summed it all up for me when he wrote a piece for The Daily Mail:

Last week I resigned from the Government's watchdog on anti-depressants after it tried to cover up its own ten-year failure to identify serious side-effects of the controversial drug Seroxat.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulation Agency found from information that had been in its possession for more than a decade that high doses of the anti-depressant can lead to aggression and thoughts of suicide.
But instead of revealing the truth to the 17,000 people taking high doses and the other half-million Britons on a safer dose, the MHRA sat on its findings.

Brooke added, "Astonishingly, I was actually threatened with legal action by Professor Kent Woods, chief executive of the MHRA, if I revealed this."

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, eh Kent?

Chapter 18 of my book [link at bottom] is entitled, "Is Seroxat a teratogen...Goodbye MHRA", all correspondence between myself and Woods can be read in there.


Another Boob From the MHRA

MHRA To 'Re-educate' UK Doctor's on SSRi's Part I

MHRA To 'Re-educate' UK Doctor's on SSRi's Part II "Keeping A Stiff Upper Lip"

MHRA To 'Re-educate' UK Doctor's on SSRi's Part III - MHRA's Ghosts In The Machine

MHRA In Buck-Passing Specialist Cahoots

MHRA - More on the Mysterious "Ghost Specialists"

MHRA Wishing To Call The Shots




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