Zantac Lawsuit

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

Monday, December 28, 2015

2016: The Role of Others

Aside from Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day, I spent this period of festivity alone. Great to catch up on House of Cards with the brilliant Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, in between many episodes of Ghost Adventures (probably the best programme on TV) and trips down to the local bar with residents of the surrounding area, most of whom are pretty much oblivious to the work I do (and have been doing for almost 10 years)

April this year (2016) is the 10th birthday of this blog, it all started with a blog post of mine regarding the British drug regulator, the MHRA. Since then it's been a journey of learning, a journey of acceptance, a journey of grieving the loss of parents, children, husbands and wives - my grief shared in unison with those who are left behind to pick up the pieces that a death in the family brings.

10 years.

I've held meetings with the British drug regulator, been threatened by GlaxoSmithKline's lawyers, had online stalkers, doppelganger blogs, Facebook and Twitter pages. In between, I've lost my mother, Teresa, and my best friend, Benn (my 10 year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback/Boxer cross) I've had a number of relationships, none of which worked out. A book published and two human rights awards. I've even tried my hand at fiction writing, a manuscript that sits waiting to be finely tuned if or when I get the time.

It's been 10 years that has opened my eyes to the murky world of the pharmaceutical industry, psychiatry and apparent medicine regulators, all of whom have enlightened me, all of whom I have a lack of faith in.

Online advocates have come and gone. This kind of work can be mentally exhausting, it's akin to having your soul raped when you read about another teen who has killed themselves because their prescribing physician couldn't be bothered to research the brand of antidepressant. Or another child born with serious birth defects, again for the same reason. Big pharma denies individual suicide links, medicine regulators sit and shrug their shoulders believing that they have done everything in their power to warn and moderate reported side effects of antidepressants - in truth, they haven't, truth is, they never will.


For me, this new year is about the role of others. There is a choir and has been for the past 10 years, since the conception of this blog, we sing the same hymns whilst others, for reasons unknown, sit and pretend to sing, they open their mouths but nothing comes out - they go home after the sermon and, well, leave the dirty work to the likes of HealyWhittaker(MIA), Fennell, Antidepaware, Lynch, Truthman, BuchananWitczak, Matthews, Ann Blake Tracy, the CCHR**, myself, hoping (in vain) that we can pull the rabbit out of the hat and bring a halt to these needless deaths, truth is, we won't, not alone at least.

What we, as advocates, can achieve is hampered by the shoulder shruggers, be they medicine regulators or family, friends and those faceless Facebook friends who "like" a post within seconds of you posting it on your page, the type that read a headline without reading the actual content. I don't blame them for not reading, this stuff is heartbreaking and can leave one carrying around the grief of many people, sometimes taking that grief to bed, sometimes allowing it to spill into our everyday lives - yup, we have lives too, we don't just sit at home writing and researching antidepressants and corruption, We, just like those who choose not to bang the drum, have our own lives and families, relationships to deal with. I think, sometimes, that people forget that.

It's a feeling of pride when I see my name mentioned with those above, they have each put thousands of hours of work into making sure that this problem reaches the masses. It's all voluntary, it's all down to doing what they believe is the right thing to do.

I'm unsure if Healy,Whittaker, Fennell, Lynch, Truthman, Buchanan, Witczak, Matthews, Ann Blake Tracy, the CCHR et al think along the same lines as me when it comes to the role of others? I don't know if they think that others should be playing a part in voicing their opinions, meeting with regulators, congress - doing unselfish acts for, in part, the people that sit back and prefer to post fluffy bunny pics on their Facebook walls or the latest Hollywood gossip on their Twitter walls.

An old friend of mine once told me that they don't read my work because it's upsetting. As a writer I understand the sentiment, as a human, I don't.

The problem of antidepressants cannot, nor should not, be sugar-coated. Sharing a link on Facebook or Twitter is all well and good, but it's debating with those who still disbelieve that there is a problem that is they key. I don't want people to agree with everything I write. I'm sure the same can be said for the advocates I mention above. Debate is good, it's healthy, it's a snowball that will get bigger and bigger as it gathers momentum but it needs more snow, different snow, not the same snow.

As parents we all have a duty to protect children - those who work within the fields of the pharmaceutical industry, regulators and psychiatry, collectively known as the Pharmafia, fail in this one simple duty. I don't expect anything but negativity from them - it is they who are the problem and it is us who are the solution.

The problem cannot be resolved by ignoring stories because "they upset you or spoil your day" - boo hoo - try stepping into the shoes of the parents who have lost kids to suicide then ask yourselves if you really think you are doing enough to help a future generation of children and their blinkered parents.

We all know it's Christmas because we were each told the story of Jesus Christ. Christmas isn't about him any more, it's about over indulging and debt (Bah Humbug).

He was a good guy, he spread love amongst his fellow humans... then again, he had no foe to deal with in the shape of the Pharmafia.

If you are going to make one New Year's resolution this year, spare a thought for those who have loved and lost, those who have probably spent Christmas crying because their son, daughter, mom, dad, husband or wife, isn't around any more, all because they were prescribed an antidepressant that induced their death. Then, spare a thought for the anguish and frustration they feel because all they see and hear day in, day out, is the same people banging the drum about this problem.

Let 2016 be the year that YOU make a change. Nodding your heads in agreement isn't enough. Get your hands dirty.

Your online presence is of the utmost importance.




Mayor Vaughn: I don't think either of one you are familiar with our problems. 

Hooper: I think that I am familiar with the fact that you are going to ignore this particular problem until it swims up and BITES YOU ON THE ASS! 

Scene from the movie, Jaws.

Bob Fiddaman

**Many more to mention, they all know who they are.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Top 10 Posts for 2015

These are the top 10 most popular posts from my blog this year. Two guest posts make the number one and two spots which I'm very pleased about.

#10 - UK Serious Fraud Office and the GSK 3
I name the three individual GSK employees currently being interviewed by the UK Serious Fraud Office.

#9 - When Pharma Use the Defence of the FDA
I engage with Duchesnay's market analyst, Danny Martel regarding the Kim Kardashian promotion of Duchesnay's morning sickness medication, Diclegis.

#8 - Did Seroxat Trigger the Fatal Sierre 2012 Bus Crash? 
My own investigation and take on the Sierre 2012 Bus Crash.

#7 - Psychiatry Taking the Biscuit
One sided media and the bizarre thoughts of media psychiatrists.

#6 - Kim Kardashian on the Pharma Payroll
Socialite promotes morning sickness pill with no mention of side effects.

#5 - Co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz Germanwings
My take on the Germanwings Flight 9525 disaster. This was written before we knew about the medication the co-pilot was taking.

#4 - Reanalysis of Glaxo's 329 Study Goes Public
My own take on the 2015 reanalysis of Glaxo's 329 Study by the RIAT team.

#3 - British Medical Journal Add to Glaxo's Woes
BMJ invite me along to a press conference regarding the reanalysis of Glaxo's 329 Study

#2 - Seroxat Withdrawal Diary (Guest Post)
This guest poster wishes to remain anonymous, his story is familiar. His story is a classic example of what is not being done to help people suffering Seroxat addiction.

#1 - Prozac Took My Child (Guest Post)
With almost 16,000 views this guest post by Stephanie Lynch is one that is both tragic and informative. It's also very sad.

Bob Fiddaman

Friday, December 11, 2015

Patricia Casey and Catholic Suicide

Two things that get my goat.

1. Irish psychiatrist, Patricia Casey.
2. The Catholic Church.

Raised as a Catholic and put through Catholic schools (until my expulsion) I learned that suppression is the key to the Catholic way of living. I pulled away from the whole idea of the Holy Trinity when I was old enough to, a) have a mind of my own, and b) see sense.

This post is not slamming those who choose to follow the Catholic faith, because, ladies and gentlemen, that's all it is, a faith, a belief based on stories that are centuries old.

Now, it appears, Irish psychiatrist, Patricia Casey, whose stance on antidepressant use is well known, has spoken out on the Irish Catholic website. Once again we see Casey lay claim that “medication is absolutely essential”.

To back her claim,Casey cites a study that found that two thirds of people who died of probable suicide were not taking prescribed medications when they died.

Talk about cherry-picking from that garden of Eden!

Her claim is bizarre, to say the least, particularly when we see daily inquests where depressed individuals have gone on to complete suicide... those individuals having been prescribed the very same medications that Casey deems "absolutely essential."

She can't have it both ways.

Casey's claim comes on the back of a recent article published in the New York Times. The article shows that almost 20,000 prescriptions for risperidone (commonly known as Risperdal), quetiapine (Seroquel) and other antipsychotic medications were written in 2014 for children 2 and younger, a 50 percent jump from 13,000 just one year before (US figures)

Do we see the Catholic church or, indeed, Casey, speak out regarding these appalling figures?

In fact (not faith) a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that health care providers had given a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to at least 10,000 children age 2 or 3 and then prescribed medications such as Adderall outside American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines.

If it's happening in America, then it's happening everywhere else folks, such is the stranglehold of the pro-medication psychiatry brigade that exists worldwide.

Casey has gone on record and claimed that "The evidence about suicide is that antidepressants do not cause suicide", a belief (faith) that she adheres to despite regulatory precautions put in place to warn patients that taking antidepressants may, indeed, cause suicidal thinking, abnormal behaviour and, despite Casey's belief, completed suicide.

I find it peculiar that Casey chooses to keep on banging the drum regarding antidepressant use given that global medicine regulators and even pharmaceutical companies warn about the antidepressant/suicide link. Furthermore, I find the Catholic church and their apathetic attitude to antidepressant use to prevent suicide nothing short of ignorant and, as per usual, as unexplainable as the Trinity they seem to hold close to their hearts.

In short, we have an Irish psychiatrist going against facts and a church publishing those views.

If you, like me, shake your head in wonderment at religious beliefs, then you'll probably understand that this recent offering by Casey via the Catholic Church is stuff of fairy-tales. The virgin birth, the resurrection, the miracle man who healed the sick and changed a measly meal into one that could feed thousands and, now, a claim that antidepressants are essential if suicide is to be prevented.

Last time I looked we were in the 21st century, we got this far using science and not because of some bearded guy. Catholics and even Christians may argue that I'm wrong, they would wouldn't they. Their Word, according to whatever denomination you speak to, is the "truth".

Don't get me wrong. Jesus Christ was a decent human-being, he, according to history, was a man of love, he had compassion. Whether or not he was actually the son of God is, and always will be, up for debate - after all, that's what God gave us isn't it, free will.

Casey's beliefs are, in my opinion, perfectly placed. They are published on a website that offers nothing but a personal belief and no scientific evidence whatsoever. Casey is entitled to her views as much as the next person, myself included. But her views must be backed up by scientific evidence and not with her own belief. The subject matter (suicide) and the precaution of it must not be taken as "Gospel" just because a psychiatrist believes it to be true.

Pharmaceutical companies and medicine regulators, in this case the Irish Medicines Board, have a duty too. They should politely ask Casey to show them where they are wrong, it shouldn't be left to bloggers, patients, parents, husbands or wives of victims who have died as a result of antidepressant induced suicide.

If you or I were to make claims that a drug we invented gave humans extra sensory perception, we'd be asked to prove it. If we couldn't prove it then medicine regulators would, more than likely, tell us to stop promoting it in such a way. They should, I believe, tell Casey to either provide them with evidence that antidepressants prevent suicide or to just shut up.

If you're a devout Catholic and you find this rant of mine offensive then please don't start quoting your mythical nonsense to me. I'm up for debate but refuse to engage in anything based on a belief borne out of control and Chinese whispers. That goes for any religion and not just Catholicism.

"Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."

Must fly. I have to get ready in preparation for Santa and his elfs.

Bob Fiddaman.


Patricia Casey Sets the Hounds on Irish Blogger.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Glaxo: Made In England

Sing to the tune of 'Made In England' by Elton John (Video at foot of post)

I suggest you click play on video then read the lyrics. If you feel brave enough then sing-a-long :-)

"Made In England"

Lyrics by Bob Fiddaman

They was made in England out of SmithKline and Beecham
They've had a quit-me Frenchman, and a 'love-me' Witty
They've got lots of money and that pack of Paxil
Oh that sweet numbing drug and the KOL's to pay.

Oh, they was made in England
Oh, they was made in England

They was made in England out of SmithKline and Beecham
Sold shares in a market citing we are like no other
Saying 'transparent' for stocks and shares
Oh that sweet numbing drug and the KOL's to pay

Oh, they was made in England
Oh, they was made in England

They was made in England from a fierce Diablo
But some Yankee lawyers had a way about them
Glaxo denied all problems, and showed their middle finger
Found guilty of fraud with a 3 billion dollar fine.

Oh, they was made in England
Oh, they was made in England

If you're made in England, you're built to last
You can still say 'Glaxo' and everybody laughs
But the joke's on them, they never read the song
There's no secrets that time does not reveal.

Oh, they was made in England
Oh, they was made in England

Merry Christmas to Glaxo, their lawyers, and their Key Opinion Leaders!

Bob Fiddaman

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Life After Antidepressants

If you, like me, have experienced life on antidepressants and you, like me, no longer rely on having to mask and paper over life's problems, then you'll know that life after antidepressants can be so much more fun and enriching.

Some months ago I looked up an old friend of mine (she'll kill me for using the word 'old' in this sentence - ah, sod it, that's twice I've mentioned it now)

She, like me, endured the harsh reality of being prescribed Paxil (known as Seroxat in the UK). Her body, however, was medically abused, her dosage being a staggering 90mg of Paxil per day.

Eventually she weaned herself off, more antidepressants and antipsychotics being added to the mix to substitute the weaning process of the Paxil. More withdrawing and withdrawal problems arose with these substitutes but she eventually managed to kick them all in to touch and move on with her life.

She, just like me, is a writer, she writes fiction and, unlike me, writes it brilliantly. Could she have written such powerful pieces whilst under the influence of psychiatric medication? I doubt it. Antidepressants do everything but make our minds clear, substituting life's problems with a fog where within lies a complete lack of compassion and empathy. To write well one must have both compassion and empathy. I'm pleased to say she has both.

She has since suffered yet more of life's problems, this time though she has battled through them and not gone down the route of medication. People who have experienced horrific withdrawal reactions to these types of drugs rarely go back to them. We are the fortunate ones because, through research, we learned that the withdrawal effects, bouts of sadness, insomnia, anger etc were not, as many professionals suggest, the "illness" returning.

I've been privy to a new novel she is writing, it's in its infancy yet already it's a work of art, particularly when I pay attention to the detail she uses, detail that under the influence of psychiatric medication, could not be seen yet alone described.

Her eyes are open, her mind has found its creativity again and because of that she is, I believe, on the right road. She is laughing again, she is giving as good as she gets again.

She's alive, her mind, body and soul.

The irony of this is that she was offered antidepressants recently. A recent life problem that, could seemingly be fixed with a drug that would merely numb her. Yes, it was tough in the beginning but months down the line, and without the aid of mind-altering drugs, she's fighting fit and telling a story in such a unique and gifted way that will, I'm sure, be ready for public consumption at some point in the near future.

My life after antidepressants turned out pretty much the same. I wrote a book about Seroxat, had it published then, some months ago, completed a fictional book about love, life, angels and demons. Sadly, I don't think, in its current format, that its good enough to be published but I can always go back to it - maybe my "old" friend can offer me some guidance?

Life after antidepressants is so much clearer. You can see the road ahead, a road that looks appealing when faced head on. There's no fog on the road but there's plenty of compassion and empathy, you pick both up as you walk along.

'Midge' is alive and kicking thanks to her horrific experience of psychiatric drug withdrawal, without which she'd probably be stuck in the middle of the mist, confused, feeling unloved, feeling guilt and feeling nothing but hopelessness, particularly if her recent offering of medication had been taken on trust.

Love, light and peace to all those who have broke free from the demons that are antidepressants, an extra dose of love, light and peace for those of you still trying to break free from the pharmaceutical shackles.

The timing is always right to look up friends from the past, if only to wish them well. You never know, your voice may just be what they need, theirs may just be what you need too.

Bob Fiddaman

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