Zantac Lawsuit

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

Thursday, September 25, 2014

AC/DC Legend Retires

One thing in my life that I have never fallen out with is music, particularly the music of AC/DC.

I first heard them in 1978, I remember as if it were yesterday. There I was, grey trousers and a white Shetland wool jumper, I was just 14 and thought bands like Abba, The Sweet and Mud were the bees knees, the latter two were coming to an end of their glam-rock careers.

So, a 14 year old on a Saturday night at a youth disco in Birmingham, just a stone's throw from the Cadbury factory, if anyone is interested.

Nah, na, na, na, na, na ,na, ti, ti, ti, ti
Nah, na, na, na, na, na ,na, ti, ti, ti, ti
Nah, na, na, na, na, na ,na, ti, ti, ti, ti
Nah, na, na, na, na, na ,na, ti, ti, ti, ti
Nah, na, na, na, na, na ,na... wanna tell you a story...

A Whole Lotta Rosie was introduced to my ears and a new form of dancing, the likes that I had never seen before, was played out in front of me. Kids, older than I were brandishing invisible guitars and shaking their heads, mixing dandruff with kids who had previously left the dancefloor after working out to the latest from the Bee Gees or Olivia Newton John. These guys were huddled in a circle, they seemed to be the outcasts as none of the trouser and shirt wearing brigade were joining in.

The dandruff shakers were clad in denim, some in leather... "bout a woman I know", Nah, na, na, na, na, na ,na, "When it comes to lovin", Nah, na, na, na, na, na ,na, "she steals the show".

There was something about this tune, my leg started to take on a life of it's own, my body started to feel rhythm, it was a natural progression from listening to The Sweet and Mud... and the vocals hadn't really kicked in yet....

"You can say she's got it allllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll"


Nah, na, na, na, na, na ,na - dang danga dang
Nah, na, na, na, na, na ,na - dang danga dang
Nah, na, na, na, na, na ,na - dang danga dang
Nah, na, na, na, na, na ,na - dang danga dang

The rhythm, jeez the rhythm.

I couldn't help but join the circle of dandruff shakers, mostly right-handed air guitarists if I remember rightly, I was, am still am a leftie when it comes to being an accomplished air guitarist.

Today, I have every single track of AC/DC etched in my brain. I may not know where my fingers go when playing my imaginary guitar... but man, I have so much fun.

Mention AC/DC today and most people will tell you a story, just like Bon did to me back in 1978... "Wanna tell you a story..."

I've seen them countless times, appeared in one of their videos, collected bootleg videos, vinyl and cassettes and I still thirst for this raucous rock that has kept me going all these years.

I'm 50 now, been to the birthplace of Bon Scott, been to his resting place too, it just seemed fitting to do so because if it wasn't for Bon telling me his story then I probably would have gone through my life thinking that Bjorn, Benny, Agnetha and Anni-Frid were what music was all about. Don't get me wrong, I love Abba, they were part of my childhood and I still flick on a greatest hits CD of theirs to roll back the years.

I'm not a dancer, I'll do the odd slow dance but to shake my thing just makes me feel so uncomfortable. I dance like my dad, move the hips slightly and put my arms where I think they should go.

Give me an air guitar though and it's different.

I used to do the Angus duckwalk, old age sees me doing the foot-stomping of Malcolm these days.

Malcolm Young, for me at least, is God. Anyone who tells you that he isn't is probably a servant of the Devil [Ironically, something AC/DC have been accused of over the years]

Yesterday's news of AC/DC, or Acca Dacca, releasing a new album later in November was bitter sweet.

Malcolm, who formed the band, will be hanging up his Gretsch due to illness. He will not be joining AC/DC on stage anymore, and that really saddens me. His replacement isn't really a replacement, how could one replace God? Stevie Young is the perfect accompaniment for AC/DC. Angus and Malcolm's nephew has the Young mantra tattooed into his very soul. Play simple music for the kids... and over 50's.

I'll never forget Malcolm raising his thumb to me at Birmingham NEC many years ago. I was on top of some guy's shoulders and gesticulated to Malcolm in between songs, he smiled and gave me the least I think it was me he was signalling... I like to think that it was.

Malcolm, it appears, has an illness that may just take him away from us all. Hey, that's life, we all have to go some day.

All I know is this... my life is much more enriched for the music of AC/DC, for the rhythm that hit me back in 78 and the rhythm that still continues to hit me today.

Malcolm Young, I salute you.

In the words of Bjorn, Benny, Agnetha and Anni-Frid - Thank you for the music.

Bob Fiddaman.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Rock or Bust - AC/DC New Album

Regular readers, family and friends will know that I'm an AC/DC nut.

Speculation has been rife regarding the name of their new album, rumours have been flying around, which is customary for AC/DC.

However, it's now official.

Today they announced the name and release of their new album.

Rock or Bust was produced by Brendan O’Brien and will be released on 1 December. It will be the band’s first album not to feature Malcolm Young, whose role on the album has been taken on the record by his nephew Stevie.

AC/DC have also announced that founding member Malcolm will not be returning to AC/DC.

I first saw AC/DC in 1979, Stafford Bingley Hall - the ticket was just £4 and they were being supported by, a then unknown band, Def Leppard.

How times have changed.

According to various media sources the album features 11 new tracks, the first track from the album, "Play Ball", is to be revealed on September 27 on US TV channel TBS, in association with Major League Baseball.

Bob Fiddaman

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Dr Accuses GSK of Breaking Their Corporate Integrity Agreement

In July 2012 GlaxoSmithKline entered into a Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA) that obligated them to collect and report on payments and transfers of value to US physicians and US healthcare organizations.

The Corporate Integrity Agreement signed by GSK with the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services in June 2012 also requires the them to disclose payments and transfers of value to US physicians.

Two years on and what do we have?

A post published on on September 22, 2014 by Dr. S. Brown is accusing Glaxo of going back on their word, thus breaking the Corporate Integrity Agreement.

According to the author, GSK have released a list of 168 physician lecturers, specifically trained to promote their new diabetes product, Tanzeum. 

Albiglutide, which is marketed as Tanzeum, was approved by the FDA earlier this year, can be used as a stand-alone therapy or in combination with other Type 2 diabetes therapies, including insulin and metformin. FDA says albiglutide shouldn't be used to treat people who have Type 1 diabetes.

Okay, so the pledge, according to a 2013 article in the New York Times, would be completed worldwide by 2016.

In the NYT article Glaxo chief Andrew Witty said...

“We keep asking ourselves, are there different ways, more effective ways of operating than perhaps the ways we as an industry have been operating over the last 30, 40 years?”

The 2013 NYT article also states that "Glaxo will continue to pay doctors consulting fees for market research because Mr. Witty said it was necessary for the company to gain insight from doctors about their products, but he said that activity would be limited in scope."

Are we to assume that Glaxo are not actually breaking any agreement (yet) because they have penciled in a 2016 target?

It seems to be a half-assed way to achieve a target of compliance by GSK, or are we to assume that , as Brown suggests, "using doctors to promote their products was just too successful a tactic to give up"?

Brown's post, "Glaxo-SmithKline Reneges on Pledge to End Paid Physician Promoters" offers no evidence or the list of the 168 physician lecturers targeted by GSK.

If true, let's hope that those paid physicians and Glaxo will stick to the guidance of the FDA and not promote Tanzeum for other off-label uses.

A pig just flew past my window.

Bob Fiddaman.

Friday, September 19, 2014

GSK Plead Guilty For Being "Very Decent"

Earlier today GSK issued an apology to the people of China, to my knowledge this is the first time an apology has been issued from anyone at GSK - Let's face it, they have a pretty dubious history with regard to a number of their drugs causing birth defects, homicide, suicide and heart attacks. No apology has ever been given to victims of Paxil or Avandia.

The apology, which can be read in full here, comes as a result of GSK  pleading guilty and being handed down a fine of  3 billion yuan ($488.8 million) in the Changsha Intermediate People's Court in Hunan Province earlier today.

The ringleader, or mastermind behind the whole bribery network, Mark Reilly, was given a three year suspended prison sentence and, according to various media reports, will be deported from China.

The one-day trial, held in secrecy, saw a total of four years in sentencing handed down to Reilly and four other managers, Zhang Guowei, Zhao Hongyan, Liang Hong and Huang Hong, all of whom worked for GSK. According to the New York Times, all but one of the sentences was suspended.

According to the court report,  "it (the court) had taken into account that he (Reilly) had returned from Britain to face the investigators, and that he had “truthfully recounted the crimes of his employer,” meriting a relatively lenient punishment"

This must come as a kick in the teeth for Peter Humprey and his wife, Yu Yinzeng, who were jailed back in August for  trafficking 256 pieces of personal information between 2009 and 2013.

Humprey's firm, ChinaWhys, had previously been hired by GSK China to look into allegations of wrong-doing by Mark Reilly. Humphrey's son, Harvey, has maintained all along that GSK were to blame for his father's incarceration at the hands of the Chinese. This from the UK Telegraph...

"They said the allegations were untrue," said Harvey. "Then two weeks later they said actually these things did happen. My father would have changed the conditions of the investigation if he had known. He would have investigated the allegations instead of this one person. I do not think as an investigator you would have taken the risk of investigating a whistleblower before you investigated the allegations."
GSK has insisted that an initial investigation into the claims "did not find evidence to substantiate the specific allegations made in the whistleblower emails".
"When I saw my dad last Friday, I mentioned GSK once. I mentioned Reilly to him once. He expressed a very low opinion of Reilly." 

I'm kind of surprised at the leniency of the Chinese authorities. The reason, they claim, they were so lenient was because Reilly had returned to China and had “truthfully recounted the crimes of his employer” - his employer?

I'm confused, wasn't it Reilly who carried out the crimes unbeknownst to his employer, GSK?

Perfect timing for the trial too. The British press are all over the Scottish 'yes' or 'no' votes so any news that GSK have been pleading guilty to crimes committed in China will have less column inches in the British media. It would be interesting to find out who decided the date of the trial.

Late last year Glaxo CEO Andrew Witty accompanied British Prime Minister David Cameron on a "Business" trip to China.

Cameron defended GlaxoSmithKline's business practices in China calling GSK "very decent".

Let's just take a look at their apology to the people of China again to see how "very decent" their behaviour was...

"Following a comprehensive investigation by the Chinese judicial authorities, GSK China Investment Co. Ltd (GSKCI) has been identified according to Chinese law to have offered money or property to non-government personnel in order to obtain improper commercial gains, and has been found guilty of bribing non-government personnel.
Very decent?

I don't know what David Cameron's definition of the word 'decent' is but to assign it to GSK is borderline madness!

I'm in no doubt that Cameron was influential in helping Reilly escape jail time, no doubt at all.

So, will Reilly, once deported, be arrested when he sets foot back on British soil?

I guess that's a job for the UK's Serious Fraud Office who, earlier this year, announced that they would be investigating GlaxoSmithKline as a result of the Chinese allegations - well, they aren't allegations any more, Glaxo have, today, pleaded guilty.

If you think that the UK's Serious Fraud Office will be standing at Heathrow with handcuffs to arrest Reilly then you may be mistaken, if anything, it will be David Cameron and Andrew Witty that will greet Reilly with open arms... "Well done old chum, our shares are back on the rise".

Meantime, 100 or so plaintiffs in the UK face disappointment after GSK have refused to pay out compensation to them for suffering severe withdrawal reactions to the antidepressant Seroxat [known as Paxil in the US]. This, despite settling over 3,000 cases of Paxil addiction in the US.

Welcome to Britain folks!

Bob Fiddaman.

Back stories.

Cronyism, Chinese Style

Will Cameron Call off the GSK Hounds?

Witty Plays Down China Scandal

Witty Witty Bang Wang. The Glaxo Gangbang...Allegedly

Andrew Witty... I know narrrrrrrrthing

葛兰素史克公司 腐败 For Researching Chinagate

Glaxo's Private Investigator Arrested

Book Your Holidays With GSK Travel

Andrew Witty... I know narrrrrrrrthing - Part II

Hammer to Fall on GSK's Chinese Executives

GSK CHINA - Bribery was Rife 13 Years Ago

Glaxo - The Sex Tape Scandal

Peter Humphrey's 2012 Presentation - Pharma Bribery

GSK's Chinese Whispers and David Cameron 

“GSK were really cagey", Claims Whitehall Official.

Glaxo Hire Ropes & Gray to Delve Into its Chinese Operations.

GSK's Mark Reilly Avoids Jail Time

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Michigan Prosecutor Just Can't Let It Go

Michigan prosecutor, Kym Worthy, has, according to appealed the case against Maryanne Godboldo (pictured above), the Detroit mother who tried to protect her daughter from the damaging side effects of the psychiatric drug Risperdal and prevent her child from being snatched by someone purporting to be a Child Protective Services worker.

In 2011, Godboldo had criminal charges against her dismissed by 36th District Court Judge Ronald Giles. Godboldo had been accused of firing a shot into her ceiling after a stand-off with the Detroit Police Department who had been called to Godboldo's home after a Child Protective Services (CPS) worker had turned up to remove Godboldo's daughter because Godboldo has stopped giving her Risperdal, an antipsychotic drug.

Judge Giles dismissed the charges against Godboldo stating the court order that was used by CPS to try to gain entry into the home invalid.

The prosecutors appealed the ruling and Godboldo found herself back in court again in 2014. Once more charges against her were dismissed, once more on Judge Ronald Giles ruling.

Because no court order was never produced Godboldo did what any parent would have done - she protected her daughter.

In the 2014 appeal Judge Ronald Giles considered the gunshot Godboldo allegedly fired to be a "warning shot" and said it was not aimed at police officers.

He went on to say that Godboldo had the right to use reasonable force to defend her home against an unlawful entry.

So, two failed attempts by prosecutors.

Now, it appears, they want to try [for a third time] to prosecute Maryanne Godboldo!

If you ask me Maryanne Godboldo should be given some sort of human rights award... oh, hang on...

So, why is Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy (Pictured above) appealing the decision [once again] of Judge Ronald Giles?

In 2013 Worthy told members of the Wayne County Commission Public Safety Committee that there are nearly 40 known murderers, 180 child abusers and up to 150 sexual predators freely roaming the streets of Detroit and Wayne County. She added that she doesn't have staff members to investigate the cases and secure warrants. [1]

Hardly surprising seeing as she and her office seem hellbent on securing a prosecution against a mother who was making an informed decision on the drug prescribed to her child and a choice of whether or not to open her door to someone (that could have been) masquerading as a Child Protective Services worker.

I'm left scratching my head here. Here we have a woman who makes a decision to take her child off a medication because the said medication was causing an adverse reaction. Next we have some lickspittle turning up at the home to take away the child because they deem her to be in danger if she doesn't take her medication. At no point was Godboldo shown a court order by the lickspittle so she closed the door of her home. Next thing you know armed police surround her home. Confused, frightened and probably frustrated Godboldo fires a warning shot into her ceiling. She's dismissed of all charges yet a prosecutor wants to, it appears, put a feather in her cap by trying to prosecute Godboldo again!

The only crime [unproven] that Godboldo could be charged with here would be one brought by some spider society, claiming that the bullet she fired into the ceiling killed a spider.

It's just absurd that Prosecutor Worthy complains to Public Safety Committees that she doesn't have staff members to investigate crimes of murder and child abuse yet wishes to pursue what appears to be a vendetta against a mother who was protecting her child from a drug that was causing an adverse reaction and a lickspittle sent out to take her child from her.

Maryanne Godboldo continues to fight her corner and meantime a blog created for her, Justice For Maryanne, picks up momentum.

In a Sept 16 post author the 'Edgyrl' wrote:

Kym Worthy has appealed Maryanne’s case – AGAIN. This is the 5th time that the Prosecutor’s office has appealed Maryanne’s criminal charges. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Every time Kym Worthy enters an appeal – it costs Maryanne money to pay her lawyers to file an answer and appear in court for her. This is harassment! Call Kym Worthy’s office and tell her to STOP pursuing Maryanne Godboldo. The STATE has done enough harm to her and her daughter. It’s time that they were left alone to heal from the abuse they’ve already suffered at the hands of Kym Worthy’s office, the Detroit Police Department and CPS since BEFORE 2011.

Justice for Maryanne Godboldo Facebook page has also been created here.

A Twitter page can be followed here.

Mental Health watchdog, CCHR International, have been following the case of Maryanne Godboldo since 2011, articles can be found here.

Bob Fiddaman


[1] Wayne County a national laughing stock, says Prosecutor Kym Worthy

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Interview - Shake & Wake Radio

Interview I did earlier on Shake & Wake Radio with Tina Allain and Christina England

If the player does not work then right click and 'save as' -

Bob Fiddaman

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Cymbalta Beads

I was reading through the comments section of an online Cymbalta withdrawal support group yesterday.

'Cymbalta Hurts Worse' is a Facebook support group where readers offer advice in getting off Cymbalta. Reading through brought back so many memories of my time on Seroxat [known as Paxil in the US]

Cymbalta, marketed and manufactured by Lilly, is the subject of a lawsuit in the US. Plaintiffs in the suit have claimed that Lilly deliberately omitted information about the true risk of withdrawal in the product label and in marketing materials, they also claim that Lilly manipulated medical literature and exaggerated the benefits of Cymbalta.

Meantime, the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical company offer no help whatsover to those addicted to their product.

Here's some of the comments...

POSTER 1: Day one of lowering my dosage...scared for the days to follow but I refuse not to come off of this! I can do it!!!
POSTER 2:  Are you two using the bead method?
POSTER 1: No my doctors takin it slow but I'm doing it with the help of this homeopathic remedy soooo we will see I feel okay today...just scary cause I'm a student and work so I don't want my grades to be affected if I'm feeling the withdraw 
POSTER 2: Good luck to you. If it proves to be too much, consider the bead method. It's the safest way to wean off.
POSTER 1: I tried to come off a few years ago with only one drop down then compeltely off and it was the worst idea of my life!!! Got so sick 
POSTER 3: Bead method taking out a few beads or 1 bead at a time is the only way I know that minimizes dreadful withdrawal effects. Please keep us posted and best wishes.
POSTER 4: I'm on day of 5 of removing a couple of beads per dose as I take one at night and one in the morning, I never thought I could do this but I can and I will. You will be fine as long as you listen to your body and take it slowly, good luck! 

So, what exactly is the "bead method"?

Altostrata, who runs the hugely successful Surviving Antidepressants forum, explains...

Cymbalta comes in 20 mg, 30 mg, and 60 mg capsules. 
Cymbalta is tricky to taper. It does not come in liquid form and cannot be compounded into a liquid. To protect the drug, each bead inside the gelatin capsule has an enteric coating to protect the drug from stomach acid, which would destroy the drug. (It is absorbed further down in the digestive tract.) The pellets cannot be dissolved in any liquid without destroying the active ingredient.
You cannot crush the pellets or dissolve them in a solution -- the drug would never get into your system, it would be destroyed in your stomach and you would have immediate cold-turkey withdrawal.
The number of beads in each Cymbalta capsule will vary within a given dosage and across dosages. The capsules are filled by weight. Count your beads carefully. Put unused beads into a clean, dry, capped prescription bottle marked with the dosage of the original capsule and expiration date. You might want to use them later. Do not mix beads from capsules of different dosages, such as 30mg and 60mg.

Patients trying to stop taking Cymbalta are in a tough spot. No help from the manufacturer Lilly, no help from medicine regulators such as the FDA and MHRA, no help from their prescribing physicians

Lilly, the FDA and MHRA are fully aware of the problems patients are facing but do nothing.

So, it's down to support groups such as 'Cymbalta Hurts Worse' and 'Surviving Antidepressants', there are many more too.

R. Brent Wisner, of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, P.C, who are representing plaintiffs had this to say...

“We believe that Lilly’s warning that Cymbalta withdrawal occurs at a rate greater than or equal to 1% is deceptive.  It is just a sleight of hand.  One of Lilly’s own studies shows that over 50% of patients experience withdrawal when they stop Cymbalta.  1% is not 50%, not even close.  A drug label is not the place to play games with words.  It is a place to honestly inform doctors and patients about the benefits and risks of medicines so they can make informed choices.  Our clients feel strongly that they were betrayed by Lilly and we will do all we can to ensure their voices are heard by the courts.” 

The removing of beads to help in tapering from a prescription drug is a patient idea, it's an idea that was forced upon them because the likes of Lilly, the FDA and MHRA have just sat back thumb twiddling and buck passing. Meantime, patients are left to their own devices to try and taper from a prescription drug that they took on faith to help with a diagnosis that has no science behind it at all.

I feel for anyone starting on a tapering process of any antidepressant, particularly those types that have no liquid formulation to help patients withdraw slowly.

Here's the irony.

The definition of the word 'PATIENT' is split into two categories here.

NOUN: A person receiving or registered to receive medical treatment.

ADJECTIVE: Done in a careful way over a long period of time without hurrying.

Perhaps drug-makers and their agents (drug regulators) could define which one is applicable to consumers trying to withdraw from antidepressants.

If you, or someone you know, has suffered the horrific side effects of Cymbalta then you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit. You can contact an attorney at Baum Hedlund here.

Bob Fiddaman.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hanging Their Heads In Shame

"Today is World Suicide Prevention Day , a day when pharmaceutical companies should bow their heads in shame."

Tweet to the pharmaceutical companies and world medicine regulators.

Nothing more to add.

Bob Fiddaman.

Pharmaceutical Companies




Friday, September 05, 2014

MHRA CEO, Paxil and Suicide

Much has been said about the conflict of interest between the British drug regulator, (MHRA), and GlaxoSmithKline. It's obvious to those who know the history of GSK and the MHRA that there is a huge conflict of interest that just cannot be ignored and while such a conflict exists patients will not be safeguarded from the likes of Paxil, a drug marketed and manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.

I've met with the MHRA are a number of occasions, at one stage I offered to help them with their out of date and deeply flawed yellow card reporting system, a system where adverse events are collected and...well, basically nothing is ever done.

Communications between me and their then CEO, Kent Woods, broke down due to his refusal to acknowledge that Paxil, known as Seroxat in the UK, should be classed as a teratogen. A teratogen is an agent or factor that causes malformation of an embryo.

Much of my communication with the MHRA is in my book, 'The evidence however, is clear, the Seroxat scandal' [1]

In 2013 Kent Woods retired and the MHRA appointed Dr Ian Hudson (pic above) as their new CEO.

Hudson, who after leaving Glaxo in 2001, became the MHRA's Licensing Director, responsible for overseeing the benefits and risks of drugs before they hit the market.

Yup, the man in charge of the agency who have the job of keeping tabs on the drugs you and I take is a former employee of GSK - then known as SmithKline Beecham.

Hudson, whilst working for GSK, was a witness for the defence [GSK] during the Tobin v SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals. In 1998 Donald Schell was put on Paxil [Seroxat]. Forty-eight hours later he put three bullets from two different guns through his wife's head, as well as through his daughter's head then through his granddaughter's head before shooting himself through the head.

Hudson's deposition has been online for sometime in text form, a copy of it can be viewed here.

Sadly, it's been difficult trying to obtain the actual video footage of Hudson being depoed by US attorneys representing Tobin.

We do, however, have a small segment of his video deposition.

In 2002 Investigative journalist Shelley Jofre launched her first installment into the whole Paxil debacle. BBC Panorama's 'The Secrets of Seroxat' was aired and it prompted over 67,000 calls and emails from concerned consumers.

During the documentary Shelley touched on the case of  Donald Schell. The footage in the documentary revealed part of Dr Ian Hudson's video deposition. Remember, at the time, Hudson was a GSK employee.

Watch.... (Hudson was depoed in 2000)

**If the video starts with Andy Vickery talking then click the bar to end of video then press play**

In 2008 the MHRA concluded a four year investigation of GlaxoSmithKline, the crux of which was to find out whether GlaxoSmithKline withheld paediatric safety data pertaining to suicide related to its antidepressant Seroxat. They decided not proceed to criminal prosecution. It's unknown if they interviewed their own Dr Ian Hudson during their four year investigation. [2]

As I said, Dr Ian Hudson is now the Chief Executive of the MHRA, the agency that purportedly protects British consumers of prescription drugs.

I don't know about you but this doesn't really fill me with a sense that I am being protected from dangerous drugs. Does it you?

All four Paxil videos will soon be available in their entirety on Rxisk

Bob Fiddaman

[1] 'The evidence however, is clear, the Seroxat scandal' [US] [UK]
[2] GSK investigation concludes [Link]

Thursday, September 04, 2014

GSK Claim Phone Calls May Shed Light On Suicide

When someone dies as a direct result of a product purchased and ingested, one would expect those that manufactured the said product to be apologetic, nae mortified that they didn't see it coming. That is unless you belong to the circles of British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline.

Last month I wrote about the suicide case against GSK currently ongoing in the US. [1]

Wendy Dolin filed suit against Paxil makers GSK after her husband, Stewart, took his own life just 6 days after taking Paxil [paroxetine]

GSK argued that they never had a case to answer because Dolin wasn't taking their brand of paroxetine, he was taking a generic brand manufactured by Mylan.

A ruling earlier this year by Judge James B. Zagel allowed the suit to proceed on the grounds that GSK owed a duty to Dolin. GSK should have expected generics manufacturers, like Mylan, would make paroxetine once the Paxil patent expired, and, according to the ruling, GSK knew the companies would have to follow its label for the drug.

GSK's defence lawyers then subpoenaed Wendy Dolin's cellphone and text message records, her home phone and her late husband's company phone. GSK has so far sent more than 30 subpoenas and over 70 records requests, and shown the Dolin children Stewart Dolin's confidential therapy notes despite Wendy Dolin's objections.

Yesterday GSK defended their corner in requesting Dolin's phone records. They argued that they only sought those records to get a "fuller picture" about his mental health before his suicide.

Wendy Dolin had claimed that taking paroxetine had caused her husband to develop akathisia, a condition that causes psychological agitation.

GSK claim that Stewart Dolin's phone records may shed light on why he killed himself.

They already have something in their vaults that will shed light, namely paroxetine.

Watching this unfold is both comedic and tragic. Comedic because we all know what the outcome is going to be. A trial, a u-turn, a settlement...with a gagging order. Tragic because a grieving wife is being put through the mill by GlaxoSmithKline and their highly paid law team because they will defend their corner until every trick in the book has been used to defend Paxil. It's also a show of rabid fangs by GSK, they want to show others just how they will be treated if they dare try and come up against their mighty power.

Wendy Dolin is essentially being raped by GSK and their lawyers, that's my opinion.

Only time will tell if they get their way or if they dare to go the whole hog and defend the suicide drug Paxil.

Wendy Dolin is represented by Bijan Esfandiari, Michael L. Baum, Frances M. Phares and R. Brent Wisner of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman PC, and Joshua Weisberg and Lindsey Epstein of Rapoport Law Offices PC.

GSK is represented by Alan S. Gilbert and Melissa A. Economy of Dentons, and Andrew T. Bayman, Todd P. Davis and Christopher R. Benson of King & Spalding LLP. Mylan is represented by Robert E. Haley of Swanson Martin & Bell LLP and Clem C. Trischler and Jason M. Reefer of Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti LLP.

Bob Fiddaman.

[1] GSK Sink to New Level in Paxil Suicide Litigation

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

The Bizarre Life of Dr Andy Clayton

 Dr Andy Clayton

Initially I was just going to highlight a segment of a video that featured Dr Andy Clayton [above] speaking about antidepressants and withdrawal. Initially I was going to present him with a 'Burke of the year Award'.

Researching him was easy.

First, here is the segment of the video you should watch. It's taken from the BBC's first Panorama documentary about GlaxoSmithKline's Seroxat. 'The Secrets of Seroxat' was aired in the UK back in 2002. All 4 Panorama programmes about Seroxat will be available soon on David Healy's RXISK website.

Seroxat is known as Paxil in the US and Canada and Aropax in Australia and New Zealand.

Here's the snippet featuring Dr Andy Clayton.

Video also here.

Transcript: [1]

Medical Director, Derby Mental Health Trust
They're so simple, you don't kneed to be a genius to prescribe antidepressants and they get 
seven out of ten people better in a couple of months and they're not even very expensive.

JOFRE:  Cheap, effective and apparently even Seroxat withdrawal symptoms can be beneficial.

CLAYTON:  Interestingly I've actually found the withdrawal effect to be quite handy for a few 
people.  I've had several patients who've come to see me in clinic and said: "I actually sort of 
stopped taking my antidepressant doc because I thought I didn't need it.  But after a day or so I 
felt a little twitchy, a little uncomfortable and it made me realise I did need it."

JOFRE:  But wouldn't that just be the withdrawal effect?

CLAYTON:  Well exactly, that's the withdrawal effect that they had noticed for a day or so and it 
had prompted them to go back on the pills which is very helpful.

Very helpful?

I'd not seen 'The Secrets of Seroxat' in its entirety before so, as you can imagine, Dr Clayton's comments startled me somewhat. However, researching Clayton I found something even more startling.

In 2006, some four years after 'The Secrets of Seroxat' was aired, a number of allegations were made against Clayton that dated back many years. After an investigation Clayton was sacked two years later, in 2008.

One year later, in 2009, Clayton appeared in court on charges of  possessing child  pornography.

Judge John Burgess sentenced Clayton to a three-year community order and he was was also banned from working with children under 16 for the next five years. [2]

In 2010 the former joint medical director of Derbyshire Mental Health Services NHS Trust, was removed from the medical register following a ruling by the General Medical Council hearing. This was following his sacking in 2008 where it had been alleged that Clayton, while working at a Swadlincote clinic from 1990 to 2002, was found to have behaved in a sexually motivated and made lewd comments to two patients and a trainee occupational therapist.

The panel was told he also had written a prescription, in January 2009, for a month's supply of an antidepressant for his own personal use, which was a breach of his suspension. [3]

Also, in 2010, a post appeared on a blog entitled, 'Perv Doctor'. The writer alleged the following...

My GP had referred me to this consultant as he was 'a good friend' of his. I didn't much like my GP but I trusted him. My family knew I had self harmed but I was too embarrassed to tell them I had been referred to a psychiatrist.
I went to the appointment alone in a clinic I had never visited before. I went into the room alone and Dr Andrew Clayton and I were alone throughout the appointment. Not once did he ask if I'd like a chaperon He discussed why I had been referred to him and asked me if I was sexually active and how many times a week I had sex. Which I thought was odd.
Worse was to come. He then said that cancer could cause depression and he wanted to examine my breasts. I was horrified but I was young and too polite (??) to object so he examined my breasts. He never talked about treatment, counselling or anything else after the examination and said if I needed to come back to make an appointment or go and see my GP.
I got out of there as quickly as possible with no intention of ever going back. I wasn't about to tell my GP that his friend had examined me inappropriately. I decided if this was the way to treat a depressed teenager then I would have to face it alone and never asked for specialist help again.
I was put on antidepressants a year later after I could no longer cope with the symptoms but had been too scared to go to my GP in case he sent me to a specialist again. I never told anyone about what happened until years later.

On Oct 25, 2012 Clayton was found hanging in his back garden. At the time he was facing fresh sexual allegations [4]

His wife told the inquest that her husband had previously attempted to drown himself in their garden pond two years before his death.

So, it 2002 Clayton claimed that it was "helpful" that patients went back on to antidepressants as a result of suffering withdrawal symptoms.

In 2009 he prescribed himself a months supply of antidepressants.

In 2010 he attempts suicide

In 2012 he completes suicide.


I don't know about you but I keep playing the 50 second video [above] - I'm quite gobsmacked that a professional could claim that it is helpful for people to go back on to antidepressants as a result of suffering severe withdrawal symptoms while trying to get off them. I know we shouldn't speak ill of the dead but it's when he was alive that I find very peculiar. His whole manner during the 50 second footage is, it has to be said, quite scary. When told by investigative journalist, Shelley Jofre, that these patients may have been suffering a withdrawal reaction to the drug, he agrees but then, in a bizarre jovial manner, claims the withdrawal was helpful because the patient returned to the antidepressant!

Interestingly, Dr Clayton et al investigated a possible link between antidepressant use and self harm in 2000. The study, entitled, 'Deliberate self-harm and antidepressant drugs - Investigation of a possible link', appeared in the British Journal of Psychiatry [5]

Clayton et al found that prescribing safer-in-overdose antidepressants is unlikely to reduce the overall morbidity from deliberate self harm.

The study  received an "unconditional contribution" from Prozac and Cymbalta manufacturers Eli Lilly and... you've guessed it, Seroxat manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline.

Bob Fiddaman.

[1] The Secrets of Seroxat

[2] Another Derbyshire doctor caught with child porn

[3] Derbyshire doctor struck off over harassment claims

[4] Suicide of psychiatrist facing sex crime claims after child porn shame

[5] Deliberate self-harm and antidepressant drugs- Investigation of a possible link

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