Zantac Lawsuit

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

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Is This The World We Created?

You know that every day a helpless child is born
Who needs some loving care inside a happy home
Somewhere a wealthy man is sitting on his throne
Waiting for life to go by.

Is this the world we created?
We made it on our own.
Is this the world we devastated
Right to the bone?

If there's a God in the sky looking down,
What can he think of what we've done
To the world that He created?

'Is This The World We Created?'
Mercury, May

I'm dumbfounded and disappointed at recent events in the business of psychiatry. Why is the blindingly obvious ignored or downplayed by people in positions of power-positions that could be used to save human suffering and lives?

This isn't intended to target psychiatrist and Royal College of Psychiatrists spokesperson, Carmine Pariante. I've been pleasantly surprised that in recent weeks Pariante has been open for civil discussion shown on Twitter.He appears to understand the need for informed consent and has even suggested that drug safety advocates work alongside psychiatry. I have to give him a hearty round of applause for not taking the stance many psychiatrists take on Twitter. That is, they cry "pill-shaming" when a victim of "antidepressant" ADRs speaks out. Others simply block patient advocates who share research and experiences via Twitter.  (See ~ Who's Hiding the Clinical Trial Benefits of Antidepressants?)

However, what I do take umbrage with is Pariante's recent stance on an article I sent to him via his Twitter feed. The article, from journalist, Kirstie Brewer, was featured on the BBC website and entitled, 'I was suicidal - the NHS didn't know what to do with me'.

It's important to click on the link (here) to review this article as it is the same link I sent to Pariante asking if he thought it was possibly drug related? (1)


Notice my use of the word 'possibly' in the tweet. I wasn't categorically stating that the young woman featured in the article had attempted suicide because of the meds she was prescribed since age 13. (After re-reading the article, I learned that she was 13 and not 11.) I was just opening a dialogue about ADRs and causation. However, in this instance, it seemed Pariante didn't want to play ball with me. (2) (3) (4)




I was dumbfounded that Pariante wouldn't even entertain the possibility that the young woman featured in the article could have been suffering from psychosis as a result of the drugs she had been prescribed from a young age. Instead, he shifted the conversation suggesting that neither he or I knew any clinical details regarding this young woman. That may be so but here's some selective text taken from the article that begs the question, "What is Pariante failing to see here?" The relevant points are in bold font.

It was the ninth time in the space of 10 days that Sherry Denness had tried to kill herself. "It felt like checkmate - there were no open doors or other ways for my life to turn, I just wanted to die," she says.

Only just 18, Sherry has been diagnosed with a number of mental health conditions, including borderline personality disorder (BPD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

On seven of her nine suicide attempts, which took place in November last year, the teenager had landed in A&E, been patched up and deemed well enough to be sent home with no further help. Another time she'd taken all of her prescribed medication in one go and ended up in critical care for two days. 

"I was psychotic and I was hearing Kieran in my head telling me I need to leave the house." Kieran is one of the voices Sherry hears - the worst one, she says.

She was 11 when she was first assessed by the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (Camhs.) Eventually, at 13, she was given treatment for ADHD.

"I have been to A&E a lot of times for self-harm and suicide attempts", Sherry Says.

With all these references in plain sight, I find it remarkable and quite telling that Pariante refuses to accept the 'possibility' that her deterioration might be drug-related.

Let's take a look at a research study (SSRI - Induced Extrapyramidal Side-Effects And Akathisia Implications for Treatment) from almost 20 years ago. It was authored by Roger Lane and featured in J Psychopharmacol.1998;12(2)

A note of interest here: Between 1992 - 2001 Roger Lane was the Senior Medical Director at Pfizer. Today he is the Vice President, Clinical Development Neurology for Ionis Pharmaceuticals.

Lane wrote:
“It has been suggested that SSRI-induced akathisia may be associated with the emergence of ego-dystonic suicidality (Lipinski et al., 1989: Rothschild and Locke, 1991: Hamilton and Opler, 1992). The most consistent factor implicated in these anecdotal accounts of rare adverse reactions involving suicidal ideation and behavior during fluoxetine treatment was the development of akathisia with agitation, restlessness and dysphoria (Power and Cowen, 1992).”
“It may be less of a question of patients experiencing fluoxetine-induced suicidal ideation, than patients feeling that ‘death is a welcome result’ when the acutely discomforting symptoms of akathisia are experienced on top of already distressing disorders."
During the 20 years in which this word, 'Akathisia' was mentioned, there have been many deaths by suicide whilst patients have been on prescription drugs. On one side of the fence, we have psychiatrists who claim that the SSRI/akathisia link is not proven despite the research and causation admission noted above. On the other side, we have loved ones whose family members, including children and young adults, have had psychotic reactions to SSRIs that precipitated unimaginably violent deaths.

When faced with possibilities of causation, Pariante should be stepping up to the plate and looking into SSRI-induced psychosis. He should, at the very least, acknowledge the possibility that these drugs can and do precipitate psychosis and death for unsuspecting ADR victims.

Last year the subject of drug-induced akathisia was highlighted in Chicago in the case of Dolin Vs GSK. The transcripts and trial exhibits have now been made public for more than a year (See the right-hand side of this blog). During the trial, it was learned that the victim, Stewart Dolin, leaped to his death because he was suffering from drug-induced akathisia. After a 6-week long trial, the jury found for the plaintiff, Stewart's wife, Wendy. They carefully reached this verdict after hearing 6 weeks of evidence presented by both Dolin and GSK.

Another active Twitter psychiatrist is Duncan Double. Double disputes that SSRIs can induce akathisia and after sending him a link to the Dolin transcripts and trial exhibits he had this to say:

"Legal judgment is not necessarily the same as scientific fact."

Upon informing him, the jury sat through six weeks of evidence Double remarkably replied:

"One doesn’t know which bit of evidence the jury based its decision on."

I told him good jury's don't base a decision on one bit of evidence, they base it on all.

Hours later, Double tweeted:

Nice, and kind of big of the man to state that he was wrong. This, however, didn't last for long as later in the day he bizarrely stated, "I’d still like to debate whether I might  be right."

So, just two instances of psychiatry at work here.

I'm not definitively claiming that the young woman featured in the BBC news article tried to take her life because the "drugs made her do it." There may be other mitigating circumstances. You see, I'm open to other possibilities whereas, it appears, Pariante and Double are not, despite Pfizer's own scientist stating, "death is a welcome result’ when the acutely discomforting symptoms of akathisia are experienced."

I wrote a book back in 2011 called, "The Evidence, However, is Clear." It would appear I was wrong because, for some, the evidence is invisible. Yet sometimes we find ADR evidence that was unwittingly documented by people who are no longer visible but speak from the dead. I'm talking about a diary kept by a young woman who, just like the young woman featured in the BBC article, was harmed by a medical field whose diagnoses are largely based on guesswork.

Natalie Gehrki was just a year older than the woman featured in the BBC article noted above. There are striking similarities between both, and we can learn much from the experiences of each young woman. Natalie was prescribed the SSRI, Zoloft, NOT for "depression." She never received any specific diagnosis at the time of her death. Doctors who are unfamiliar with akathisia and serotonin toxicity often don't take the correct steps to stop it. Natalie died less than two days after her doctor increased Zoloft-over the phone to the maximum legal dose allowable, 200mgs.

There are many more Natalie's out there, some dead and some still alive. We owe it to them to warn of akathisia. If two publically renowned psychiatrists won't discuss SSRI-induced akathisia and the necessary steps to prevent akathisia & SSRI deaths, we must rely on teenagers with first-person insight and no conflicts of interest.

Dr. Oz's Fantasy World

On a related note, last week Dr. Oz ran a show that was supposed to be a serious examination of the connection between drugs and violence. It was shockingly bias and omitted critical information. Natalie's mom, Kristina, was one of many viewers who wrote to the Dr. Oz producer. Her letter is beneath the video.

Here's Natalie.

And here's Natalie's mother, Kristina, writing to the producer of the Dr. Oz show.

Dear Ms. Varney,

I'm writing to express my shock and dismay regarding Dr. Oz's recent show about drugs & violence. As a trained journalist, I expected a variety of experts would discuss reliable data, relevant pharma documents, legal cases and consumers' reported ADR experiences. Instead, I quickly learned your panel of three  "experts" all had ethical &/or financial conflicts of interest. While Dr. Oz casually and promptly glossed over these conflicts, declaring conflicts of interest does not remove these conflicts of interest.

I waited in vain to hear from experts with opposing viewpoints to the pharma-connected panel. But few of these experts were featured and those that were received minimal air time. This includes Wendy Dolin, founder of MISSD. When you flashed on the screen the 3 million settlement a jury awarded for her husband's prescribed Paxil death, it was misleading and offensive. Not only has Ms. Dolin not received a penny from GSK after the jury's wrongful death award, it was beyond the pale to flash a cash amount on the screen. Such sensationalized antics are akin to a sordid game-show gimmick.

Given your producers felt this financial info was necessary for viewers to know, I pose the question: Why didn't you similarly treat your panel in the same manner? When Dr. Oz was glossing over conflicts of interest; you could have visually informed your viewers of the amount of money each panel member has already taken from pharma. Your slanted, one-sided journalism has been the topic of much negative discussion on many social media feeds. But even if the public didn't notice the appalling bias, as a producer you should have recognized such before airing.

Lastly, aside from a professional and academic background in journalism and crisis communication, I am the mother of a 19-year-old daughter whose death was precipitated by another SSRI (Zoloft). Medical experts determined Natalie was suffering from prescribed akathisia and serotonin toxicity prior to her death. After death blood tests showed she could not efficiently metabolize SSRI toxins. Her prescribed tragedy is found at and 

Your irresponsible journalism was a disservice to public health and safety. Undoubtedly, it will cause avoidable suffering and more ADR-related deaths. Nothing can change the damage caused by the show you produced. Nevertheless, you have an ethical obligation to apologize and air a follow-on show that transparently shares unbiased accurate data in a fair and balanced manner.

Kristina Gehrki


Bob Fiddaman

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