Zantac Lawsuit

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

Monday, January 08, 2018

Who's Hiding the Clinical Trial Benefits of Antidepressants?

First off, ponder this.

If an opponent in a pool game told you that if you use the 8 ball as the cue ball you will not foul, would you believe them? What about if they kept on insisting this claim to be true? Or would you ask questions to someone else to ascertain if the claims of your opponent were true?

Read on.

Over the past month or so I've been blocked on Twitter by three well-known psychiatrists.

Wendy Burn, a consultant psychiatrist at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and president-elect of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Allen Frances, who was the chair of the DSM-IV Task Force and of the department of psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC. He is currently a professor emeritus at Duke.

Peter Kramer, Clinical Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Human Behavior. Kramer is also the author of numerous books, many of which he likes to promote on Twitter.

So, why have these three well-known, and some would say, intelligent orators, blocked me?

Well, it would appear that rather than answer a simple question I put to them, they decided to put their fingers in their ears and bury their heads in the sand. It's a question that should be answered and one that, to date, has not been adequately answered by anyone from the medical profession, the pharmaceutical industry or any global regulatory agency. It's a question the media never seem to ask either. It's a question I've put to the Royal College of Psychiatrists on many occasions too, they have just chosen to ignore me.

Wendy Burn, who regularly accepts adoration on Twitter yet fails to answer bereaved parents, was first.

My current view of her online profile looks like this.

Next up was Allen Frances, a man who changes his opinion like the wind, depending on whom he wishes to appease.

My current view of his online profile looks like this.

Finally, after attempting to answer my question with some quite unbelievable and unprofessional answers, was Peter Kramer.

My current view of his online profile looks like this.

So, three psychiatrists, all with one thing in common: An inability to answer a question that forms the crux of their beliefs. I urge anyone reading this to ask their healthcare professionals the same question and to contact me if given an answer. If three eminent psychiatrists or pharmaceutical companies, or even medicine regulators cannot answer, then I doubt very much if your average prescriber will either.

The question should be answered because it forms the basic safety and efficacy point of why antidepressants are on the market.

So, what was the question?

"Please list the benefits of antidepressants."

I asked this question because it was once put to me by an old advocate/friend of mine, Matthew Holford. It's a great question and turns the focus off the risks and onto the benefits. Remember, after the clinical trials of these drugs, which lasted between 8 & 12 weeks, a licence was granted because the "benefits outweighed the risks." We all know what the risks are because today most of them are clearly on the antidepressant labels.

Out of the three psychiatrists, Peter Kramer, who has authored such books as 'Listening to Prozac', came up with, or thought he did, an answer. The benefits are "having a good time with your kids", he told me, adding, "progress in your career."

Interesting. My response, which resulted in Kramer throwing his toys out of the pram (blocking me) was, "So, in the 8-week clinical trials for antidepressants the benefits of "having a good time with your kids" was seen. Benefits also seen in the 8-week trial was "progress in your career", is that your position, Peter?"

Ladies & gentlemen, boys & girls, we have all been duped for years and the claim that antidepressants outweigh the risks is, I believe, a fraudulent claim just as the 'depression is caused by a chemical imbalance' claim was.

It's incumbent of us all to seek an answer to this question because without an answer, without the actual truth, pharmaceutical companies and medicine regulators will continue to tell doctors that the benefits outweigh the risks - they, in turn, will continue to tell patients, who, in turn, tell friends and family members. The piss-sodden snowball will grow until we all stop it gathering more momentum.

So, next time you hear the term, "The benefits of antidepressants outweigh the risks", ask the person who is making this claim for a list of the benefits reported during the trials. Don't accept the anecdotal comments, such as, "they saved my life" or "they helped me." These are irrelevant anecdotes. What you are seeking is the list of benefits that persuaded the medicine regulators to grant these drugs a license. Ergo before all the hype came about them apparently saving lives.

Remember, suicidal ideation, self-harm and a whole host of other risks have been reported in clinical trials and we have all been told, 'Hey, there's no need to worry because there were more benefits.' Thing is, ladies & gentlemen, boys & girls, they have failed to show us a list of these benefits. They, if there are any at all, have been hidden from us in much the same way the number of suicidal subjects in clinical trials was hidden. Through various litigation we have unearthed a lot of the hidden risks but, to my knowledge, no drug company has ever been sued because antidepressants work too well.

We need a list of the benefits and we need them now!

We have all just taken their word on trust.

And we should all, rightly, be very angry!

Bob Fiddaman

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