Zantac Lawsuit

Researching drug company and regulatory malfeasance for over 16 years
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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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