Burn in Hell

In my last post, Psychotic doubt, we saw the most successful maneuver that has ever been devised for hiding dead bodies and silencing us when we are injured. We saw a mechanism that acts like the authority of a psychoanalyst (when Freud was still in vogue), or an ecclesiastical authority (until recently), to silence dissent and cause someone who has been abused to doubt their sanity and blame … [Read more...]

Psychotic doubt

Toward the end of the 1990s, hiding the suicide risk on antidepressants by unearthing ghost suicides and suicidal acts from the early washout phase of trials looks like it might have seemed to company and FDA officials as problematic as Macbeth’s invitation to Banquo to make sure he came back to the feast later that evening. A new strategy came to the fore. Again one of the earliest versions of … [Read more...]

The bureaucrat that didn’t bark

Prozac’s commercial success after its launch in 1987 spurred SmithKline Beecham, Pfizer, and others to bring Paxil (Seroxat, Deroxat, Aropax), Zoloft (Lustral), and other Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to market. En route there was the tricky problem of managing what was recognized within companies by the early 1980s but denied in public, namely, that these drugs could cause … [Read more...]

Drug companies use studies the way a drunk uses a lamppost

Drug companies use studies the way a drunk uses a lamppost — for support rather than illumination. This quote adapted from English romcom author Jilly Cooper (who adapted it from others before her) seems an appropriate preface for a series of company approaches to data handling that have concealed rather than revealed treatment-induced problems. In another galaxy, far, far away, somewhere in … [Read more...]

Welcome to Data Based Medicine

Adverse drug events are now the fourth leading cause of death in hospitals. It’s a reasonable bet they are an even greater cause of death in non-hospital settings where there is no one to monitor things going wrong and no one to intervene to save a life. In mental health for instance drug-induced problems are the leading cause of death — and these deaths happen in community rather than hospital … [Read more...]

8 February 2012: Lancaster, UK

The Eclipse of Medical Care Lancaster University Management School Wednesday 8 February 2012, 16:00 Lecture Theatre 1, LUMS … [Read more...]

23-30 January 2012: Toronto

Speaking Engagements

Interviews, meetings, and pre-planning for the launch of my latest book, Pharmageddon. Have had some enquiries about where I might be speaking. Stay tuned for my March schedule -- am back in Toronto, and some other North American cities, and will post another blog with details as I get them. … [Read more...]