Zantac Lawsuit

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

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sandy Hook Psychiatrist on Trial

I've teamed up with Sheila Matthews of Ablechild to write this. We've previously worked on a project together (See - Billion Dollar Drug Company Law Firm Restructures Connecticut Welfare System)

This post, however, focuses on the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.

This is one of those cases that has many people talking - The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting happened almost four years ago on December 14, 2012.

20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children aged between 6 and 7 years old, as well as six adult staff members. Before driving to the school, Lanza shot and killed his mother at their Newtown home in Connecticut. Lanza it is alleged, killed himself by shooting himself in the head as first responders arrived at Sandy Hook Elementary.

There's been many theories floating around the internet since the massacre, some suggest it was all an elaborate hoax and that Lanza never existed - some of the material regarding this theory, it has to be said, is quite convincing but not something that I've ever really bought into - I mean were all the parents who buried their children just actors and part of a mass conspiracy?

Crisis actors are apparently used to conduct drills, such as the research hospital located just 8 miles from where Nancy Lanza was last seen alive. However, the conspiracy and hoax believers draw no real facts and appear to make claims they cannot prove, which takes our eye off the ball (See 'Aurora' later in this post)

It's not really something that I'd want to get into as I'm more interested in the medication Lanza was either on or withdrawing from at the time of the shooting.

Step forward Mr Paul Fox (Pictured above) Lanza's last known treating psychiatrist.

Fox threw gasoline into the 'Lanza never existed' fire when he claimed that he had destroyed Adam Lanza's medical notes. He told Police this from New Zealand where he was then practising after leaving Connecticut around 6 months prior to Lanza's carnage.

Whilst there, Fox came under scrutiny after a patient under his care, Nicky Stevens, 21, killed himself. Fox worked for the Waikato District Health Board (DHB) for 19 months before returning back to the US in and around January 2014.

Earlier this year Fox was arrested in Maine and charged with sexual assault and it was alleged that he, between 2010 and 2011 (His time in Connecticut) had a 'relationship' with a patient. This, it is claimed, led Fox to surrender his licence and flee to New Zealand. According to the CT Post...

Fox's case did not come before the Connecticut Medical Examining Board for a public hearing. Instead, Fox and his attorney brokered a deal with the state Department of Public Health's Healthcare Quality and Safety branch and the psychiatrist surrendered his license in Connecticut and New York.

Fox, it has emerged, treated Lanza five years prior to the Sandy Hook massacre. However, it is unknown exactly what that treatment involved. According to Fox he last treated Lanza when the boy was just 15. Lanza was 20 when he carried out the massacre.


Paul Fox's, now 63, relationship with a female patient was initially uncovered by Connecticut state police investigating Lanza’s history in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook massacre. The female, who came forward during Fox's time in New Zealand, has claimed that she had sex with Fox “in his office” and spent time on his sailboat and that the relationship lasted more than a year. The same patient also alleges that one of Fox’s other patients told her that she was "having phone sex with Fox.,"

Today he appeared in court in Danbury, Connecticut for pre-trial on 3 felony counts of sexual abuse another blow to those who claim Fox didn’t exist.

Since the Sandy Hook massacre lawmakers of Connecticut have been calling for more money to be put into mental health services.   Many of the mass shootings globally have a striking common denominator in as much that the assailant (or assailants) have either been taking or withdrawing from some form of prescribed psychiatric medication. In the case of Lanza it is unknown if he was on or withdrawing from medication at the time of the shooting. It's something that one would assume would be easy to find answers to.


Since Sandy Hook, Ablechild, a nationally recognized Non-Profit Organization dedicated to parents, caregivers, and children’s rights, have been at loggerheads with Connecticut state officials after they have refused to release Lanza's medical notes and full toxicology report.

This from Sheila Matthews of AbleChild...

According to the police investigation, Fox told the investigators he had the medical billing records for Lanza stored in the US, the next day when investigators called Fox back to obtain more information, Fox indicated he destroyed the medical records. So, does Fox still have the billing records? Why didn’t the State charge Fox for destroying the records 2 years too early according to Connecticut Law? Also, Fox had an obligation to notify his current and former patients he was discontinuing his practice. Why didn’t the State hold him responsible for the failure to follow that law?

What I find bizarre about this whole affair is the stance Connecticut officials have taken with regard to the release of Lanza's notes. Take a look at this short video that features Sheila Matthews and her attorney. In it, they ask Assistant Attorney General for the State of Connecticut, Patrick Kwansie, for the release of Adam Lanza's toxicology report. His response is incredulous!

He refused to release the full toxicology report because "It is harmful because then you can cause a lot of people to stop taking their medications... stop cooperating with their treating physicians."

Um, yeh, isn't that the point of investigating a product that may or may not be faulty?

What an utterly ridiculous excuse for not releasing the full toxicology report. A report was released earlier but, for reasons unknown Connecticut officials only released the cover note of the toxicology report and not the reports findings.

Okay, thinking outside of the box here. Would Kwansie have released the full toxicology report if parents of those who perished asked him and used the premise that they wanted to know if medication wasn't in his system - they could then go down the mental health road and claim that Lanza should have been on meds - one way or the other, the public have a right to know if any prescription medications showed up in Lanza's toxicology report, be they pro-medication or anti-medication advocates.

It would appear, through his somewhat baffling reasoning, Kwansie is suggesting that Lanza's toxicology report did, indeed, show traces of prescription medication - why give AbleChild the spiel about how harmful it could be to those currently taking medication if Lanza wasn't on medication?

What's the big secret here?

Why are Connecticut state officials so reluctant to release Adam Lanza's full toxicology report ~ there is no logical explanation?

Again, this has fuelled much speculation that the whole Sandy Hook affair was a hoax - but that's a good thing for the state of Connecticut ~ and here's why.


Before I became a writer of all things pharmaceutical I was a ufologist, I studied unidentified flying object reports, read countless books and watched many, many hours of documentaries. I quickly learned that the government had a friend in ufologists in as much that they fuelled the media with stories of unidentified black triangles flying over the skies of the world - the black triangle later became known as Aurora, an American reconnaissance aircraft that was secretly being tested in our skies. What better cover-up than to have members of the public claiming to have seen a black triangular flying object doing things that no conventional aircraft could do (at that time - circa 1980's)

With a public interested in black triangular objects controlled by aliens the government could sit back knowing that any sighting of their secret project would be passed off by a bunch of conspiracy theorists as an alien driven craft.

Same thing, it appears, applies to Sandy Hook. There are literally hundreds upon hundreds of videos on YouTube claiming that Sandy Hook was a false flag event and when members of the public put all their energy and focus into this they take their eyes off the ball - just as they did in the 80's when Aurora was roaming the skies.


It is left to state officials of Connecticut to put Sandy Hook to bed once and for all - it can't be easy for the parents of the children reading stories such as the false flag events and, dare I say it, even this blog post of mine.

There is no reason for the State of Connecticut to hold on to Lanza's full toxicology report other than the one I stated above (Aurora). Assistant Attorney General for the State of Connecticut, Patrick Kwansie's lame attempt at reasoning why was nothing short of shameful. If a product is suspected to be faulty, as many of these psychiatric medications are, then it should be investigated, despite what those (currently on the product) may or may not think or do.

Patrick Kwansie should have, at the very least, looked at the current labelling on these types of medications. To date there have been 22 international drug regulatory warnings on psychiatric drugs citing effects of mania, hostility, violence and even homicidal ideation, and dozens of high profile shootings/killings tied to psychiatric drug use (Source)

There will obviously be more if lawmakers decide that it would be harmful to state facts because it "can cause a lot of people to stop taking their medications".

It's a crazy world we live in, particularly if you live in the State of Connecticut where lawmakers are still rolling out the Aurora model to keep the public misinformed and from the truth.

Bob Fiddaman & Sheila Matthews.

Further Reading

Adam Lanza’s Psychiatrist’s Ethics Violations Raise Questions About the Legislature’s Controversial Mental Health Increases

Sunday, July 24, 2016

1.5 Million

My blog counter tells me that I've gone over 1.5 million hits on this little old blog of mine.

I know it may have been just a few minutes people have spent reading and commenting on my blog, but I’d just like to say thanks. It really means a lot to know that people feel my work is important enough to read and comment on. A million (and a half) thanks to those of you who 'like' and share my work on Facebook and Twitter too - it is down to you people that so many lives could be saved from the harms caused by the group of medicines I write about.

I've made many friends, in the main those people whose lives have been blighted by antidepressants - dealing with their own losses, be that partners, siblings, parents or friends. I've said it before, I wish that our paths had never crossed ~ the only reason I have made friends with this wonderful group of people is down to their tragic loss - I would willingly give up that friendship if they could turn back the clocks and be with their loved ones again.

Attorneys, journalists, fellow bloggers, film-makers, authors and health care professionals have also joined my growing list of friends whilst I've been on this 10 year journey - the subject matter has been overwhelming at times but I've learned how to cope with it all - I'm lucky because writing about a kid killing himself is a lot easier than having to live through that experience on a daily basis.

In the main, I write about Seroxat (Paxil) and the company that market and manufacture it, namely; GlaxoSmithKline. I have also tried to cover many other antidepressant stories through the medium of this blog - My guest posts have proved popular be they on antidepressant addiction, induced suicide, homicide or about birth defects.

I'm not a fan of pharmaceutical companies in general, nor medicine regulators - in fact they should drop the word 'regulators' because they really don't regulate much at all.

I started writing over 10 years ago, it took just under 8 years to reach a million views and just over two to add 500,000 - It has grown, kind of snowballed if I'm being honest and nobody is more surprised than me regarding its popularity - it's been the making of me.

Thank you all once again.

Bob Fiddaman

Failure to Regulate is "Inexcusable"

Sheila and I - 2011 - Los Angeles

If this testimony of parent and co-founder of AbleChild, Sheila Matthews, doesn't move you then you then I don't know what will.

Sheila is passionate about her work - in a nutshell she has been trying to protect the lives of children who fall foul of modern day pill pushers.

This short, yet powerful video testimony should be shared far and wide.

It moved me to tears - please watch to the end and share it.

Sheila Matthews, I salute you!

Bob Fiddaman

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Paxil Pregnancies in Philidelphia

Imagine the scenario, if you will.

You're in court because you lost your leg in a coach accident. The coach company are defending allegations that they are responsible. Evidence surfaces that the coach you were travelling on had faulty brakes, moreover, the driver of the coach didn't know about the faulty brakes but the coach company did.

Testimony is taken from the driver prior to the trial. He states that if he had known about the faulty brakes on the coach he would not have driven it.

On the day of the trial your legal team wish to present the testimony of the driver. The defence team object and the Judge sides with them.

Days later, as the trial nears completion, the Judge announces that you cannot proceed with your claim against the company because you have no proof that the driver would have taken the bus out that day if he had been warned that it had faulty brakes.

You, your legal team, and all those present in court are stunned into silence at the Judges' rationale because you do have the proof but he won't allow you to present it.

You following?

If the above scenario seems absurd then welcome to the world of Philadelphia.

Back in April  Judge Kenneth Powell halted not one but nine Paxil birth defect cases. The lead case in question involved Braden Rader, who was born with tetralogy of fallot (a combination of several congenital heart defects) that his mother claimed was caused by the use of Paxil during the early stages of her pregnancy in 2003. (Rader et al. v. SmithKlineBeecham Corp. et al.)

Powell ruled that the prescribing physician, Robert Kiehn, had not testified that he would have altered his decision to prescribe Paxil to Rader’s mother, plaintiff Elisabeth Balser, if he had of known about its link to birth defects.

However, Kiehn had already testified in a videotaped deposition that he would not have prescribed Paxil if he had known about the birth defect links but Judge Powell had previously prevented this testimony from being played to the jury.

Obviously, his decision to halt the trial is being appealed and, at present, this trial and 9 others is on "stay" - basically put on hold until a decision is made on the appeal.

GSK's attorneys, as one would expect, have requested to lift the stay, in other words, they have tried to get all of them thrown out by the Judge before a result of the appeal.

In this instance we have a different Judge making the decision. Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge Arnold New has denied Glaxo's bids to lift a stay on litigation.

The state of Philadelphia is no stranger to cases of Paxil birth defects.

Back in 2014 I wrote about one such case regarding Pennsylvanian mother, Joanne Thomas. (Links at foot of this post) Her case was tossed by the Judge because, according to Glaxo's lawyers, she was too late in filing. In any event, Glaxo argued, her fetus was non-viable (Non viable means not capable of living, growing, or developing and functioning successfully. It is antithesis of viable, which is defined as having attained such form and development of organs as to be normally capable of living outside the uterus.)

Thomas lost her case then, later, lost the appeal. However, all was not lost. Thomas approached me and after many hours, days weeks and months, I contacted her attorneys with evidence to present to the Judge who had denied her appeal.

You see Glaxo's attorneys should have provided Thomas' attorneys with discovery - that discovery would have shown that Glaxo had already admitted (via internal emails) that Thomas' use of Paxil during her pregnancy was probably the cause of her having to abort her fetus due to it developing a whole heap of birth defects.

Thomas eventually made an out of court settlement with GSK and was told by her own attorneys to have no more contact with me. Shucks, hand them a winnable case on a plate and that's the thanks I get!

It's since been suggested that I should have billed the attorneys for the months of hard slog I put in (for free) - Ah well, you live and learn.

In the case of Braden Rader, I guess we'll just have to wait and see how the appeal goes.

(Source) - GlaxoSmithKline Denied Bid To Unpause Philly Paxil Litigation

Bob Fiddaman.


Ryan, Glaxo's Non-Viable Fetus - Part I

Ryan, Glaxo's Non-Viable Fetus - Part II - The Twists

Monday, July 18, 2016

Email to Medicine Regulators Regarding 2012 Sierre Bus Crash

I have just fired off the following to the British drug regulator, the MHRA and the European regulator, the EMA.

I'm anticipating a response that will show a complete lack of compassion.


Dear regulators,

On the 13 March 2012 a bus crashed in the Sierre Tunnel, A9 Autobahn, Valais, Switzerland killing 28, 22 of them were children. 24 others, all aged between 10 and 12, were injured, including three who were hospitalized with severe brain and chest injuries.

An enquiry into the crash proved to be inconclusive but it emerged that the driver, Geert Michiels, 34, did not apply the brakes after he mounted a mini pavement in the tunnel and drove head on into a wall.

It has also emerged that Michiels was, at the time of the crash, either taking or withdrawing from paroxetine.

More in-depth information can be found in Douglas De Coninck's book, De busramp in Sierre: 1 Pill, 28 Dead. Sadly, the book is only available in Dutch print at this present time.

My questions to you all are thus:

Do you not think enough is enough now? The internet is littered with similar stories of people killing themselves or carrying out acts of homicides whilst on psychiatric medication (prescripticide).

The Sierre bus crash is one of many such incidents.

You, as regulators, have a duty to safeguard human health so accidents such as Sierre should have, at the very least, raised red flags when you monitor news items via the internet. I know you monitor my blog so it's safe to assume you monitor many other websites when prescription medication is mentioned - or do you just monitor websites that are critical of your regulation (if you can call it that) of prescription medication?

22 children died! Does this not register with you at all?

Do you intend to investigate this matter or just add it to your database without following up?

Your yellow card reporting system, as I believe, does not take anecdotal reports when in actual fact anyone filling out a yellow card report is basically telling you something anecdotal.

On behalf of all of those who died in Sierre I would like for you or any department that may monitor the media to file a yellow card report for this crash. All evidence points to the driver having taken or withdrawing from paroxetine which, as you are ALL aware of, can cause psychotic episodes.

What is the point of having regulators who shrug their shoulders when incidents such as Sierre occur?

22 children and four adults died, many of the children were thrown from the windows of the bus, even though they were wearing seatbealts, such was the impact of the crash. Some of the children's fatal injuries were so bad that they could not, at first, be identified.

At the very least you, as regulators, should be trying or proposing laws be changed with regard to operating public vehicles whilst under the influence or withdrawing from antidepressant type medication.

The public perception of medicine regulators is one which borders on presumptions that you are limp-wristed, powerless and in the pockets of the pharmaceutical industry. One only has to look to see who the CEO of the MHRA is and who his previous employers were, ironically the same employers who market and manufacture the very same drug that has been implicated in the Sierre bus crash.

What are you going to do, are you going to continue quoting an expert meeting of SSRi's took place many years ago and they were given a clean bill of health back then or are you going to actually get your hands dirty on this and start your own investigation - if only to help those affected by this tragedy.

Sitting back and watching is cowardly - I assume many of you have children or grandchildren of your own - if anything, you owe it to them to investigate the Sierre bus crash!

I'm a blogger and have carried out my own investigation, translating the Dutch media articles into English and also making contact with the author of De busramp in Sierre: 1 Pill, 28 Dead. If a blogger can do this then you, with your financial clout (provided by the pharmaceutical industry) should be able to do it.

I fear I may be urinating in the wind here because my past experiences when meeting the MHRA has been one of total dejection in as much that the MHRA give the impression that they just don't care if SSRi's cause suicide and homicide.

Stop allowing these medications to kill the people you were put in place to protect!

Did Seroxat Trigger the Fatal Sierre 2012 Bus Crash?

Sierre Bus Crash Revisited


Bob Fiddaman

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Paxil Widow Steps Up Fight Against GSK

Law360 is a lawyer driven website that keeps many law firms across the globe up-to-date with legal news as it breaks. It's subscription based and deals a lot in US litigation. I've read many articles from Law360 in the past none more interesting than their recent publication, 'Reed Smith Atty’s Widow Wages Battle Against Paradox Of Generic Drug Injury Law'.

It peaked my interest as it pertains to a case I've covered many times on this blog. (Links at the foot of this post)

Wendy Dolin is suing GSK over the death of her husband Stewart after he was prescribed Paroxetine (better known as Paxil and Seroxat)  in 2010  for "work-related anxiety and depression". Six days after beginning his course of medication Stewart killed himself by leaping in front of a northbound train in downtown Chicago.

Wendy has maintained all along that her husband showed marked signs of akathisia during the short time he was taking Paxil. For those of you who don't know, akathisia is basically when a patient, after administering psychiatric medication, becomes agitated, distressed, and shows signs of restlessness. Often the patient has an inability to sit still and, in some cases, will pace up and down for no apparent reason. In fact, as Wendy recalls, her husband told her one night, “I don't get it, Wendy. I still feel so anxious.”

The Law360 article focuses, in part, on Wendy's claim that her husband experienced signs of akathisia. This is quite an unusual step for Law360 as, in the main, they report impartially on trials (past and present) and rarely feature interviews with actual plaintiffs of trials that are pending litigation.

In the article Wendy tells Law360's reporter, Sindhu Sundar, that she had heard the term 'akathisia' from a friend sometime after Stewart's death. Like many people she had never heard of the word before. She told Law360...

“I’d got home that night and Googled akathisia, Paxil, and suicide, and lo and behold, all this information pops up,” (referring to search results of papers published in psychiatry journals and litigation summaries on law firm websites.) "It was completely clear — all of us were looking through our emails and notes from him and there was no clue, nothing, that it could have been something else."

Here's where it gets tricky and somewhat complex. Stewart, you see, was taking a generic version of Paxil manufactured by Mylan and, in a nutshell, Glaxo argued that it should be Mylan that she sued and not them. However, after much legal wrangling, it was deterred that Glaxo were responsible for the warning literature that accompanied Paxil and any of it's generic forms. Ergo her claim of negligence and wrongful death should stand.

It's not as straight forward as one might think when pharmaceutical companies try to make changes to their warning labels. GSK, after learning that they would have to go to trial, then argued that they had approached the American drug regulator, the FDA, on two occasions to change the warnings on their branded version of paroxetine (Paxil). GSK allege that the FDA refused on these two occasions to make any changes to the labelling.

A pretty decent defence one would think, however, GSK did not try a third time, as was the normal protocol. According to court documents and Law360...

Although GSK had asked the FDA about adding Paxil­specific warnings to the agency’s class wide warnings in 2007 in order to alert doctors and patients about the drug’s potential to cause suicidal tendencies in adults, it did not follow through with the agency’s invitation to ask for a formal meeting to discuss that change, Dolin has argued.
GSK has dismissed this argument as mere “conjecture about a meeting that did not take place,” countering that it had submitted two different sets of documents to the FDA under its Changes Being Effected program, which allows branded ­drug makers to update their labels based on new information. Each time, GSK said, it sought to retain warnings specific to Paxil on its label, but it received a rejection by the agency, according to its filings.
Defense attorneys believe GSK’s argument could offer an important window for the drugmaker to persuade the jury that even if it had actually called for such a meeting, the FDA would likely not have approved it.
“Both Judge Zagel and Dolin have said here, ‘You could have had that meeting, so you haven’t exhausted all your options to show that the FDA couldn’t be convinced otherwise.” 

It's interesting to note here that GSK are admitting that, in 2007, they wished to alert doctors and patients about the drug’s potential to cause suicidal tendencies in adults yet they are defending the allegations that Paxil (paroxetine) caused Stewart to take his own life. GSK, it seems, don't defend the fact that Paxil can cause suicide in adults, they use points of law to hide this fact instead.

Having your cake and eating it, anyone?

Since the claim was filed in 2012 GSK have sent Wendy more than 30 subpoenas, they have also made over 70 record requests and have shown the Dolin children their father’s private medical notes. To top it all, GSK’s lawyers have been asking (goading) Wendy about her love life since her husband killed himself. Moreover, GSK have also tried (unsuccessfully) to exclude testimony from Wendy's expert witnesses. Joseph Glenmullen is one of those witnesses and GSK argued that he "had not shown any idea linking Paxil to suicides, only to suicide attempts."

Another expert GSK tried to exclude was David Healy. Their treatment of him became more of a personal attack. They claimed that Healy wasn't qualified to testify because of his radical advocacy and extreme bias against GSK. They had taken extracts from Healy's websites and cherry-picked certain paragraphs to make it look as though Healy had called upon people to extract violence upon GSK executives and journal writers. They were wrong and Judge Zagel has allowed all three testimonies into trial.

When experts give evidence in litigation they are first depositioned by the opposing party. In the case of Healy, his deposition with GSK's lawyers last almost 10 hours, the majority of which focused on his personal life and not the science behind his expert opinion.

It's just another classic case of GSK dragging out time in efforts to get the plaintiff, in this case, Wendy Dolin, to accept their first measly offer, should they make an offer (which history tells us that they more than likely will)

Glaxo just love to grind down the opposition in litigation ~ they are finding that Wendy Dolin and her law team of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, PC are not in the game of lying down and having their tummies tickled nor are they bothered by the amount of money Glaxo's cigar chomping suits throw at the case.

Glaxo are also defending group action brought against them in the UK with regard to Paxil ~ it's litigation that has been dragging on for almost ten years now - who knows, maybe Glaxo's UK and US lawyers drag these cases out so everyone who works for their firms gets a regular wage, after all it's GSK who are billed every month to pay their attorneys wages.

Wendy Dolin is, despite the death of her husband and the abhorrent tactics of GSK's lawyers, still standing - her lance at the ready for battle - a female Don Quixote, if you will.

Stewart would be proud of her.

Bob Fiddaman.

Back stories related to this case.

GSK Claim Phone Calls May Shed Light On Suicide

GSK Use Delay Tactics on Grieving Widow

Glaxo's Beef With David Healy

GSK Sink to New Level in Paxil Suicide Litigation

GSK: Motions Denied in Paxil Suicide Case

Paxil Suicide Case Set For Trial

Sierre Bus Crash Revisited

Douglas De Coninck is the author of De busramp in Sierre: 1 Pill, 28 Dead. The book centres around the 2012 bus crash that happened in the Sierre Tunnel, A9 Autobahn, Valais, Switzerland and alleges that the driver, Geert Michiels, 34, was in a destructive relationship and had also been medicated with GlaxoSmithKline's Seroxat. The generic name for Seroxat is paroxetine and it is better known in the US and Canada by its brand name Paxil and in Australia and New Zealand as Aropax.

Sadly, De busramp in Sierre: 1 Pill, 28 Dead is only available in Dutch print, something that I will be calling for to be changed as the story within is of a massive public interest regarding antidepressant medication and induced psychosis. It's a book that, I believe, needs to be widely distributed and read by the public and healthcare professionals alike.

Douglas De Coninck is an investigative journalist at De Morgen, a Belgian newspaper. He lives and works in Brussels.


There were 52 on board, 28 people perished, 22 of them were children. The other 24 pupils, all aged between 10 and 12, were injured, including three who were hospitalized with severe brain and chest injuries.

A full investigation into the crash was carried out by Swiss Chief Prosecutor Olivier Elsig, the results of which were inconclusive. He ruled out the involvement of a third party, shortcomings in the road surface or the tunnel infrastructure. Excessive speed, alcohol or technical problems with the vehicle were also ruled out. He, at no point, could determine whether or not Geert Michiels carried out an act of homicide/suicide with the vehicle. In fact the final report leaves more questions than it does answers.

Douglas De Coninck became interested in the story and carried out his own investigation. He has kindly given me permission to publish segments of his book (in English).

On October 05, 2015 I published my own findings on the crash in Sierre. I had painstakingly translated Dutch newspaper articles so I could get to grips with the investigation. My findings, which can be read here, included me sending an email to TopTours, a small family run  Aarschot-based coach company who owned the coach Michiels was driving on that fateful evening of  13 March 2012. Top Tours failed to respond to my email which was, in essence, a couple of questions, namely;

Do TopTours have any protocol in place where driver's are either... 
a) required to let TopTours know that they are on medication?
b) required to stay off work until they have finished their course of prescription medication?

Douglas De Coninck has since informed me that the TopTours owners grasp of English isn't that great and that my email could have been deleted. Douglas, however, has provided me with the chapter from his book that covers these questions that I had previously asked.

TopTours, like many transportation companies, including airline companies, are stuck in a quandary when it comes to issues regarding the operators of their vehicles.

This extract from De busramp in Sierre: 1 Pill, 28 Dead...

(Tom is manager of TopTours)

Since Sierre Tom asks his candidates for honest answers to the question of whether they take medication. "I'm obviously powerless," he says."What will you say when your boss asks you whether you are taking medication and you know that your job depends on it?"

Tom is right and this is something that needs to change not only with coach/bus companies but with airlines too. Lest we forget Germanwings Flight 9525 where co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who it has since been learned had been on a cocktail of psychiatric medication, deliberately crashed the plane into the French Alps, killing all  144 passengers and six crew members.

Lubitz, according to the New York Times, was treated from January 2009 to that October with at least two drugs, the SSRi Lexapro (escitalopram) and the antidepressant Remeron (mirtazapine)

Interestingly, the NYT substantiates the statement made by Tom from TopTours with...

"There is also evidence suggesting that Mr. Lubitz might have tried to mislead the F.A.A. about his treatment, initially marking “no” in response to a question on whether he had ever been treated for mental disorders on a form dated June 2010."

The FAA are the agency responsible for the advancement, safety and regulation of civil aviation, as well as overseeing the development of the air traffic control.

One can see here how difficult it is for bus and airline companies when trying to determine whether or not operators of their vehicles are either under the influence or withdrawing from psychiatric medications. This is a law that needs changing. Requesting medical notes from applicants for newer vacancies is, one would imagine, quite simple but it's the current workforce where this proves somewhat difficult.

After negotiations with an employment advisor and my former employers, Land Rover, I was allowed to return to work on light duties. My job was basically checking visitors in and out of the factory. As the call for security lessened I was given plastic sheets to cut. Three guesses what happened next? With a Stanley blade I deliberately cut my hand, not bad enough for stitches as I recall, nonetheless, it required treatment from the on-site occupational health centre. I don't know why I cut myself ~ the whole episode is just a blur. Did I mention that I was taking 40mg of Seroxat at the time? I had reduced the dose for fear of oversleeping and missing my early alarm call for work, also rushing out of the house in the morning to catch my bus to work...and forgetting my box of Seroxat.

So, if the bus driver, Geert Michiels, was taking or withdrawing from Seroxat at the time of the crash his employers, just like my employers, would be none the wiser. Moreover, even if my employers knew I was taking Seroxat chances are they wouldn't have seen it a problem by handing me a Stanley blade given that Seroxat manufacturers, GlaxoSmithKline, robustly defend the accusations that Seroxat can cause people to self harm, just as they defend that Seroxat can cause acts of homicide and suicide in adults that take it. What chance did TopTours have?

As I mentioned, TopTours are a small family run business who knew their employees on a personal level. With regard to Michiels here's another extract from De busramp in Sierre: 1 Pill, 28 Dead...

(Evy is Michiels' wife)

Tom was the only one who knew that Geert and Evy were married. "He spoke to me one day, asked me to promise to not say anything about it. To tell nobody at all. To me he had to say it, you need that kind of information for payroll. I found it a bit weird. Normally this is something festive, wedding, but okay,  I didn't think about it, later on. Yes, afterwards, of course."
On March 6, 2013, a year after the tragedy, the eyes fell upon Tom and Katia when an interview with Michiels' wife, Evy, featured  in the weekly magazine Knack. There she repeated it again, that this was supposed to be one of his last shuttles for Toptours "He was planning to stop the end of March, to do me a favor," Evy is reported saying.

However, this is something that TopTours deny. Here's Tom, TopTours manager, again...

"Three weeks before the accident, Geert came to us to ask if there was the possibility to come and work here as a full-time driver. He had heard that one of our drivers would leave since he was moving. We told him that he had to realize that he could not earn here what he earns at De Lijn (his other job), and now he was able to combine the two. He then said that he was looking for a new job and that it was his dream to become a coach driver. This has also been stated by several drivers in the firm."

So, why did Geert Michiels tell his wife he was resigning when in reality he had asked TopTours if he could go full-time for the company?

This extract from De busramp in Sierre: 1 Pill, 28 Dead...

A few weeks after the accident Tom and his wife, Katia, went to visit Evy. After she read out a letter at the funeral in Heverlee where she said it was still unclear who was behind the wheel, and that was repeated in Het Laatste Nieuws, they hoped that they could make her stop lying (she was told the first day that Geert was driving). 
They met in the flat in the Amerstraat in Aarschot. She told Tom and Katia that she hoped they could have contact with his (Geert's) daughter, because she often went with three of them to the zoo. (This was a lie)

Further information in De busramp in Sierre: 1 Pill, 28 Dead, shows evidence where Evy is less than fruitful with the truth. It's author, Douglas De Coninck, told me that Evy also made Geert believe that she was pregnant, only a few days before the crash, however, when Tom and Katia had visited her at her flat in Aarschot weeks after the accident, she told them that she had suffered a miscarriage, adding, "It's better that way."

De Coninck, also told me...

"Evy was instrumental in the split between Geert an his original wife and 4 year old daughter, she also took him to her own doctor who prescribed Geert Seroxat after a 20 minute consultation. They married in September 2011, but Geert wanted to keep that as a secret. Evy was also instrumental in separating him from his family, he hadn't seen or spoken to his brother and parents for over one and a half years.

"Just before the crash he tried to quit Seroxat.
"Earlier in the book, I published text messages I found in the court files, showing how she (Evy) tries to control him day and night. He needs to respond immediately, even if he's on the road in the middle of the night in Italy. On his last shuttle, the one before Sierre, he doesn't answer any of her messages, which drives her wild.

"Geert didn't see his 4 year-old daughter for more than a year, according to family members.

"Evy also made him believe that she was pregnant, only a few days before the crash.

"This is a taboo subject in Belgium and that is why meeting Tom and Katia of Toptours made me so happy. Their testimony was a missing key in my research."

De busramp in Sierre: 1 Pill, 28 Dead is available only in Dutch print. It's paramount that this book be published in English too and not hid away from the eyes of the world. Hopefully, De Coninck can convince his publishers that the subject matter is of as much importance to English speaking people too.

It would, of course, be beneficial if GSK or the European Medicines Agency (EMA) carried out their own investigation, however, the word beneficial means something totally different to these two entities.

A huge thank you to Douglas De Coninck for allowing me to republish segments of his book.

This post is dedicated to the 28 people who perished, 22 of them children.

Rust in Vrede.

Bob Fiddaman

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Antidepressant Destruction in London

I'm just back from London, well, not just back - I arrived home yesterday after spending the night in Kensington and an afternoon in Harlesden, which is in the London district of Brent, ironically just a few miles from the cesspit that is GlaxoSmithKline HQ.

I think it's safe to call it a cesspit given the stench emanating from its bowels this century.

So, why had I travelled to London? Well, there's a new kid on the block, she has just launched her new book, The Pill That Steals Lives, I wrote a review for the book here.

Katinka "Tinks" Newman is, by trade, a documentary filmmaker. She's now a published author too - her story of antidepressant induced violence and psychosis an all too familiar one.

Tinks held her book launch at the Waterstones book store in Kensington on Tuesday evening. I travelled the tube from Earls Court along with long time friends Leonie, Tony, Brian and his lovely wife. Brian runs the antidepaware website - More about this later.

Upon arrival at Waterstones we were greeted with many familiar faces. Another long time friend of mine, who for many years has remained anonymous via his online blog, Seroxat Secrets, was also there - his own review of the launch can be read here.

I met Olga, a charming woman from Holland. Olga lost her daughter in a bus crash in Sierre in 2012. The driver of that bus, Geert Michiels, had traces of Seroxat in his system and a subsequent investigation into the crash found that he had deliberately mounted a pavement in a tunnel and crashed the bus head-on into a wall. There were 52 on board, 28 people perished, 22 of them were children. The other 24 pupils, all aged between 10 and 12, were injured, including three who were hospitalized with severe brain and chest injuries. (Back story).

I really wish I could have spoken more with Olga and her husband but as things are at these types of gatherings more and more people introduce themselves.

Steph Lynch and I.

Next up was Stephanie Lynch and her husband John. Their son, Jake, was just 14 when he took a gun to his mouth and shot himself to death. Jake had been prescribed Prozac after a 10 minute consultation with a psychiatrist. There was no diagnosis made. Jake was prescribed Prozac because he was anxious about up-and-coming school exams. (Back story)

Kirk Brandon was next. Kirk and I became friends a few years ago now and we met previously in Birmingham when he was touring with his band. For those that don't know, Kirk formed post punk new wave band Theatre of Hate back in 1980 and has since enjoyed success both as a solo artist and by forming other bands. Kirk was prescribed Seroxat - Kirk suffered severe psychosis as a result of ingesting Seroxat.

Tinks reads an extract from her book, 'The Pill That Steals Lives'

After the launch some of us headed to Bill's Burger bar just down the street from Waterstones. Food, conversation and great company. I arrived back at my hotel in West Kensington after midnight and slept like a baby.

Day Two

Look who's here - It's those pesky Panorama people again!

Tinks, as I mentioned above, is, first and foremost, a documentary filmmaker and has made many films for the BBC in Documentary Features and in News and Current Affairs.

On the back of her book she has now been commissioned by the BBC to make a documentary about antidepressant induced violence and homicide, prescripticide, if you will.

This isn't the first time Panorama have covered antidepressants. They have previously aired four special documentaries about Seroxat, all of which are available here.

To my joy both the cameraman and sound guy had previously worked on the Seroxat documentaries and we had an interesting discussion about the individuals who featured in those series of programmes.

Cameras roll. The Panorama film crew filming us during lunch - Photo taken by Leonie.

We sat around a colourful table at Katinka's house in Brent and basically just talked naturally about our experiences on the various drugs. Leonie spoke eloquently of her son, Shane, who was prescribed citalopram after the break-up of his relationship with his girlfriend. Shane, after citalopram induced psychosis, killed a young man then himself and Leonie has been campaigning since.

Brian of antidepaware and his wife sadly couldn't make lunch at Katinka's.

Brian's website, to me at least, is a welcome addition to the fight in creating awareness and holding people accountable. Brian and his wife lost their son in 2009. He had never been depressed in his life, went to see a doctor over insomnia caused by temporary work-related stress. He was prescribed citalopram, and within days he had taken his life.

Brian has a list of UK inquest reports from 2003 - to present, all of which mention the use of antidepressants, the majority of which have resulted in coroners concluding the death was suicide. It's an important website and yet another angle to come from when trying to seek the truth. Coroners, just as much as drug regulators and the mainstream press, need to seriously wake up and see what is in front of them. They need to give the dead a voice so future generations can be, at the very least, warned how some people can have a severe reaction to antidepressant use; namely completed suicide. Katinka talks about the 'defective genes' in her book.

Also missing from the lunch was Australian author Rebekah "Becks" Beddoe (Dying for a Cure). Becks had travelled over a few days before but had to travel back unexpectedly for family reasons.

All in all it was two days spent with remarkable people, each with their own heart-wrenching stories. Tears, laughter and strong friendships were born. I love them all ~ There was a lot of pain felt in the room but this was enshrouded with an overwhelming presence of love. I'd like to think that those who have passed were present in the room too, offering us all their guidance and love.

It's something that will remain with me forever.

Thanks Tinks for making it happen.

Leonie, Steph and I. (Three caged monkeys)

We see it - we hear it - we tell it!

Bob Fiddaman.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Prescription Drugs: Who Do We Blame?

After reading Katinka Newman's new book, 'The Pill That Steals Lives' in just under 5 hours it left me with many burning questions, one above all has plagued me for some time, namely; who is responsible?

Who do we, the consumer of psychiatric medication, point the finger of blame at when it's the drug that causes the problems? We are tossed the line that we should have read the patient information leaflet regarding the side effects that these drugs "may" cause, ergo the responsibility lays firmly on our shoulders.

When questioned about a possible drug reaction many doctors, who remember have studied hard to get where they are, often dismiss our claims, opting instead to add yet more medications into the mix to try and fix the problem caused by their original prescription, all the time the doctor assumes he is trying to fix a problem in the patient's head rather than the idea he/she came up with in his/her head that the patient has some form of mental disorder. If they stood back, or stepped out of their bubble occasionally they would see that their original diagnosis was made upon guess work rather than actual scientific evaluation.

The British drug regulator, the MHRA, are the referee, the umpire in what has become an uneven match between patient and healthcare professional. Sadly, the MHRA are limp-wristed, nae powerless to intervene when they see obvious adverse reactions to medications. What is the point of having a regulator in place who are a; scared of their own shadow when it comes to reprimanding, and b; powerless?

The MHRA are pretty good at one thing but it does not involve the drugs you and I are prescribed by healthcare professionals. They are the self appointed masters of controlling fake drugs that slip into the market by way of back street sellers or, more popularly, internet websites promising cheap Viagra.

Where they fail on a grand scale is regulating the drugs dispensed by pharmacists on the so-say of a prescription written by a professional.

The MHRA have, for many years, proudly boasted about the adverse event reporting system they have in place, they call it the Yellow Card Reporting System - it's basically a flawed system whereby professionals and patients fill in a card and list what they think the drug in question may have caused, be that a skin rash or a major psychotic episode. What the MHRA do is add these reports to a database - they don't, as one would expect, go out and visit the professional or patient making these claims. Adding it to a database seems to be the only thing that they do - one has to ask how they see this as regulating and safeguarding human health?

Then we have the pharmaceutical companies who manufacture these medications - more often than not these days they are making out-of-court settlements with consumers affected by their products. No admission of guilt and a licence to continue promoting and selling the very same drugs they have recently paid out millions in compensation to victims of the said drugs. It's a lucrative way to run a business and one which only pharmaceutical companies can get away with.

Imagine for one minute that your small business made a product that made people ill or, worse still, killed them, do you really think that you, as CEO of your small business, would be able to 'buy off' those injured or the families of the deceased?

This is exactly what pharmaceutical companies do and it's something that we have just learned to accept, pretty much in the same way that we have learned to accept that some drugs may harm some people.

We accept this in an almost shrug of the shoulders fashion - it is what it is. We are so blazè with our attitudes in much the same way that prescribing professionals, the MHRA and pharmaceutical companies are - this really needs to change. Our apathetic attitude is playing into the hands of those who cook, who oversee the cooks, and finally those who spoon feed us in the form of a prescription.

I, of course, and not speaking for everyone here. There are many advocates out there that have been calling for changes regarding the way in which we are prescribed mind-altering drugs on the whim of someone's belief that losing your home or a failed marriage equates to a tennis ball sized tumorous growth inside your head, a growth that needs slowing down.

Depression, we are told, should be talked about, it should not be a taboo subject. I've often wondered if it was marketing teams involved with pharmaceutical companies that came up with the taboo line in efforts to get people talking about product a,b, or c.

The behaviour of pro-antidepressant psychiatrists has become laughable. Just a quick glance at some of the newer disorders that have appeared over the years is quite comical, yet tragic in equal measures.

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Conduct Disorder, Disorder of Written Expression, Expressive Language Disorder, Mathematics Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder Reading Disorder, Rumination Disorder ~ and these are just childhood disorders!

Tell a prescribing psychiatrist that he just may have misdiagnosed you and you will witness something borne by his profession, namely Delusional Disorder, an apparent disorder by which the individual experiences the presence of either bizarre or non-bizarre delusions which have persisted for at least one month. - In your shrink's case - the delusion is that he believes he can see inside your brain and know exactly what disease you have going on inside there. He needs no medical device - he can just tell based upon answers you give him.

Meantime, the pharmaceutical companies have a vast selection of pills to treat the invisible disease inside your head, the one that your psychiatrist found by staring at you as you gave him answers to questions. The MHRA are busy busting Joe Bloggs for selling Viagra pills out the back of his van - they don't really care much for the pills you've been prescribed for an illness that you haven't got.

All of the above provide us with their credentials - it keeps them on top of the pile and us where they think we belong ~ at the bottom with our begging bowls (Please sir, can I have some more?) - and more they give us ~ and the more we succumb to life itself.

And so the cycle continues...

Bob Fiddaman

Thursday, July 07, 2016

The Pill That Steals Lives - A Review

Having received Katinka Newman's new book, 'The Pill That Steals Lives' through the post today I was contemplating on days/evenings when I could sit or lie down somewhere to read it. Much of my life is taken up with research, if not for me then for others. Then of course, France were playing Germany tonight in a semi-final (Euro 2016), a tournament that, for me at least, became insignificant when England were knocked out by Iceland.

So, no time like the present.

It's taken me five hours to read from start to finish a book that was written over the course of six weeks ~ it's a bit like slaving over a hot stove all day and serving up great food, only for it to be devoured in seconds.

'The Pill That Steals Lives' is great food.

Katinka "Tinks" Newman takes us on a personal journey that without explanation one would be left thinking, 'that poor woman who fell foul to depression, that poor woman had everything going for her then, Bam, she's struck down with a mental illness.' - Yup, I've been guilty in the past, before I became a writer and researcher of antidepressants, of throwing out words of sympathy to those less fortunate than me, those being struck down with a brain disorder - that was, of course, before I learned that the vast majority of brain disorders are merely marketing tools for the pharmaceutical industry.

Tinks was prescribed the antidepressant escitalopram, which is basically a modified version of citalopram, both manufactured and marketed in Europe by Danish pharmaceutical giant, Lundbeck.

Escitalopram is better known by it's brand names of Cipralex and/or Lexapro and is a class of antidepressant from the SSRI family.

Almost immediately after taking her first dose of escitalopram Tinks became distanced from reality - this was merely a pre-cursor of what lay in store for her. As in many cases I've read and heard over the years a bad reaction to one drug usually means another drug is added to the mix... and then another. In Tinks case she, at one point, was on five different psychiatric medications all because professionals failed to spot that her initial reaction to escitalopram (psychosis) was actually caused by the drug.

'The Pill That Steals Lives'  is compelling reading, it gives us an insight into how we, as patients, face many battles when prescribed these types of drugs, more importantly how difficult it is to persuade prescribers and even our own family members that it may not be the 'illness' that is causing the bizarre behaviour - it may just be the drug. I have experienced this personally with my ex-wife who still, to this day, believes that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance - she was never really one for reading anything outside of celebrity gossip so any books or journals I recommended to her have been met with her steadfast belief that I don't know what I'm talking about.

Tinks account rang a lot of bells for me, it had me nodding my head in agreement and if she were in the same room as me right now I'd probably be high-fiving her for writing such a creative piece. At times Tinks uses humour in her writing, one has to use humour when we learn how we have been duped by medical professions and pharmaceutical companies - what else can we do except for go public with our experiences and add humour to what is, it has to be said, quite harrowing.

I like the style of Tinks writing, she has the knack of putting you there, right in the scene - her storyboard being there for all to see and with elements of a Carla Lane (The Liver Birds, Butterflies, Bread) style for the middle-classes.

I had to email Tinks in the early part of this evening - I just felt compelled to as I know, as a writer, how nice it feels when someone reads back something you have created. I won't go into detail about the line she writes in her book, sufficed to say it was written with a comedic touch and follows the end of her one year harrowing experience at the hands of a misguided psychiatrist.

I've got a lot of time for Katinka, we met a few years back when I introduced her to former GSK rep cum whistleblower Blair Hamrick. We met again a few months ago in London for lunch - I was in London on business and she spotted me lunch in a hideaway in Notting Hill.

I'm glad she did - Sometimes reading personal accounts I get the feeling that this is just another story, having met Tinks in person it becomes much more than that.

'The Pill That Steals Lives' is a warts and all account of how the system failed and stole the lives of not only Katinka but her family too. Her children, Lily and Oscar, are mentioned throughout and one cannot help but bond with them. I know from personal experience the guilt I felt as my children, who at the time were very young, watched me turn into an obese monster during my time on and withdrawing from Seroxat.

Katinka not only tells her personal story, she also, after picking herself up from a year of psychiatric abuse (because that's what it was) writes about how she stumbled across other stories then felt the need to research how other's had become violent on SSRI type medications.

Every doctor needs to read this book, lets face it, the majority of antidepressants are dished out by GP's these days - if only they knew what harm they were doing. I'd suggest that psychiatrists pick up a copy of this book, those who are pro-medication and don't believe in antidepressant induced psychosis - Tinks story, although extensive, is one of many in this book.

There's a terrible injustice going on when one stops and thinks about those incarcerated up and down the country in mental health units, those same people diagnosed with illnesses that have, in the main, been caused by the prescriber. Moreover, there's a terrible injustice for those that have been sent to prison for committing crimes whilst under the influence of these medications - locked away for years for carrying out acts that they did not know they were carrying out until after the event.

There's quite a twist in the tale of 'The Pill That Steals Lives' - I certainly didn't see it coming - that's the art of a terrific writer, of which Katinka Newman certainly is.

Watching Kramer vs Kramer will never be the same, for me at least :-)

I'll be meeting up once again with Katinka next week in London for her book launch. Many others mentioned in her book will be there too - there's going to be one hell of a group hug!

'The Pill That Steals Lives' is available in most book shops and also online at Amazon (UK) (USA)

Will you be filmed for a panorama programme next week on SSRI's and violence. If so please contact today. 

Bob Fiddaman

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