Change in Chicago: Playing Go

May, 8, 2017 | 18 Comments


  1. Fascinating.

    I guess it could be argued that I am one of those supporters you refer to in your article but I was witness to the cross-examination.

    Bayman may be good at his job but, in his cross of you he wasn’t good enough.

    The binders were, I imagine, difficult to lift let alone read.

    The trial itself was, for me at least, fascinating in as much that we had Paxil, prescribers, patients, regulators and a pharmaceutical company in the spotlight, although we all know there were two pharmaceutical companies.

    GSK’s defence was expected,

    “It wasn’t our product, it was someone elses.”

    “It wasn’t our job to update the label because we already gave the regulator our guidance on the matter.”

    “We didn’t prescribe Stewart Dolin the medication, someone else did.”

    “Stewart Dolin killed himself because he had a mental disorder.”

    A jury of 9 were, it appeared, guided down the usual roads, away from the truth.

    Your evidence, along with Dr’s Ross and Glenmullen, persuaded the jury to arrive at its verdict.

    Notably, and comedic was Bayman’s closing argument to the jury.

    ““Don’t you think if these medicines caused suicide someone would have spoken up?”

    Dead people don’t have this option and when the survivors of those dead people speak up they are either told, “it wasn’t our drug, it was an underlying illness”, or, as in the Dolin Vs. GSK case, It wasn’t our fault, it was the fault of the victim, the victim’s Dr, and/or the regulatory agency put in place to protect consumers.

    You did good and for the most part I stepped outside the advocacy bubble to try and fathom if GSK had a point with their defence. They had many but most were based around points of law. Yes, it wasn’t their drug, but it was their responsibility for the labelling. Yes, they told the FDA but actions speak louder than words. They could have ignored the FDA and warned the public, as per JP Garnier stated in his video deposition.

    As for the 9 hours of nit-picking through your personal life, that was just another form of defence. The kangaroo court they asked to hold prior to trial with their endless motions was just another way to try and suppress the truth.

    Let’s face it, you aren’t, and never will be, on GSK’s Christmas card list.

    Job well done, I say.

  2. It was both refreshing and distressing to witness some of this trial. David Healy’s testimony and demeanor were nothing short of incredible. That was the refreshing part–to see a credible, straightforward expert clearly tell the truth about akathisia, misleading “clinical trials,” drug company and FDA deceptions and failures, etc.

    The distressing part was to see how drug companies attempt to blame anyone and anything to avoid accountability for the suffering and deaths they needlessly cause. Death for profit should be their new tag line: It’s simple, short and to the bloody point.

    Perhaps GSK attorneys are skilled in their field but suffered from a lack of sleep after dedicating hours to create mammoth binders. (I half suspected their binders were filled with blank pages or nursery rhymes.) I didn’t see GSK’s legal and oratory skills. They had neither polish nor prose.

    GSK thought they’d be ringmasters at a legal circus. But in reality, they were the clowns.

  3. What’s really remarkable here is that GSK’s main strategy–what it judged to be its best hope for connecting with the jurors–was to blame the FDA for failure to warn of Paxil’s potential to trigger suicide.

    This is very different from the argument we have come to expect: that it has no potential to trigger suicide. Paxil is a wonderful, life-saving drug which cannot possibly trigger suicide (except perhaps in a few very volatile, impulsive teenagers). Adults like Stewart Dolin died from their own mental illness. For years, they claim, he grappled with his own “inner demons”, in ways his closest family and friends were entirely clueless about. In the end those demons won out and “even Paxil could not save him.”

    The jury saw that argument fall to pieces in front of them–thanks to Stu’s family, his doctor and his counselor, and thanks especially to David Healy and the other expert witnesses. But I predict it will still be the argument they rely on in public! They won’t want us to know how they actually handled this case in court. (Neither will the FDA, of course…)

    That’s one reason it’s so important to talk about it, and get the story out. Thanks, guys.

  4. Gone and Played for Wendy and Won had the Settling Effect despite the Opposition trying to outsmart Dr. David Healy and to a much lesser degree this is what we are dealing with when we attempt to make a singular or multiple criticism on behalf of ourselves and it takes an ‘expert’ witness to show us what was done so professionally ..

    ‘Bumpkins United’! ..

  5. Reading through the court transcripts, I had to pinch myself periodically to remind myself that what I was reading was, in fact, what had ACTUALLY taken place in a REAL trial! At times it was more like reading a mock-up which had been set up by a group of high school pupils! How the jury kept a straight face at some of the GSK antics I’ll never know.
    When David Healy was called back for the rebuttal, GSK’s team nearly burst a blood vessel in their attempt to silence you! I found it quite hilarious reading – had, in fact, thought that Bob had exaggerated the ‘goings on’ in his blogs, but hey, Bob, you were spot on!

  6. America ..

    davidclark May 9, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Excellent article David. Thank you. Even though I worked in this field, and still have an involvement, it still stuns me what goes on… how drug companies get away with what they do, and how the FDA sticks its head in the sand. Disgraceful! Keep up the great work.

    TRM123 May 10, 2017 at 3:18 am

    The courage, determination and commitment of all who demonstrated the reality of this SSRI – akathisia induced tragedy is inspirational.

    The humility, professionalism and resilience of the expert witnesses under relentless and ruthless endeavours to professionally and personally discredit, restores faith in those members of the medical profession who place care and concern for patients and their families above risk to themselves.

    Sincere appreciation for this stunning achievement does not fully describe the depth of respect and gratitude afforded.

    TRM 123 Retired Physician.

  7. GSK Bespoke Spy School ..

    GSK’s company values, which included: Integrity, Patient Focus, Transparency and Respect for people

    Teams were split into groups of four – Secret Agents, Detectives, Major Generals and Central Intelligence.

    a Senior GSK Manager – ‘Agent Del’

    ‘Where’s Wally’

    This – a bespoke task that involved the participants coming up with a witty caption for an image of some GSK colleagues.

  8. What tremendous effort it takes to chip away at this mammoth, inhuman system. This story deserves more press than it’s getting, but we know who owns the press. I’m grateful to Bob Fiddaman for keeping us updated. The wheat and the chaff all grow up together but a day will come when the bullshit will end.

  9. Independent ..

    GSK was not immediately available to comment on the report.

    Student is suing GlaxoSmithKline claiming wrong medicine dosage caused ‘her skin to burn off’

    Ms Shaw says the syndrome left her skin scarred and she is slowly losing her vision

    Zlata Rodionova

    Thursday 11 May 2017 16:44 BST

    It is not the first time the drug company has been sued for alleged healthcare fraud.

    In 2012, GSK agreed to pay $3bn and pleaded guilty to criminal charges of illegally marketing drugs and withholding safety data from US regulator, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

    Earlier this month, a US jury in Chicago ruled that GSK must pay $3m to a woman who sued the firm after her husband committed suicide while taking a generic version of the antidepressant Paxil.

    The drug company is appealing the decision

  10. One of the most “priceless” moments in this trial was GSK attorney Andy Bayman’s attempt to mock the website co-founded by David Healy. To let the jury know just what kind of ambulance-chasing nut-jobs Healy and his comrades were, Bayman asked if it were true that they believed Benadryl — good old Benadryl — could lead to suicide!

    The judge ruled him out of order, but it would have been interesting to hear the answer. Because it’s well-known that Benadryl (a/k/a diphenhydramine), an antihistamine widely used for everything from stuffy noses to insomnia, is one of those anticholinergic drugs that can cause confusion, paranoia and other serious “mental status changes” — especially in the elderly, and especially when used in combination with lots of other drugs.

    Here’s a cautionary tale from a Washington Post reporter on what happened when her reasonably healthy and absolutely sane elderly mother took Benadryl for a skin rash:

  11. GSK – DUMPED ..

    Frustrated Woodford dumps £1.2bn Glaxo stake

    Attack on poor performance is blow for new chief

    May 13 2017, 12:01am,

    Woodford slams ‘madness’ at GlaxoSmithKline

    By Lee Wild | Wed, 24th February 2016 – 14:15

    “The board and the executive are pursuing the wrong strategy. The results of the past eight years show that I am right and they are wrong; Andrew Witty is wrong.

    “What did Einstein say?

    That doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of madness? Well that is what Witty and the board have done for the past eight years.”

    he may not have to badger Witty for too much longer. If reports are correct, the highly-paid Glaxo “lifer” will soon be on his way out after eight years in the top job.

    Change in Chicago – Playing Go: Three

    Dolin-Witty-Woodford ..

    • I understand that Einstein also observed:

      “Great Spirits Have Always Encountered Violent Opposition From Mediocre Minds”.

  12. So unjust that only those with significant financial resources and an impeccible family profile, can get a big injury law firm and brilliant expert witness to fight their case. Congratulations on the win,

  13. It sounds like an exhausting process , for the millions around the world who have been severely affected by these goon companies, It almost seems like too much for families to go through to get justice . Especially when usually the outcome is not favouring the victim and the legal bills that may follow. Truly horrible what’s happening but glad one family got some justice

  14. Playing Go: At the Top

    Simon Wessely‏ @WesselyS 8h8 hours ago

    As we head to my final blog ..

    ‘happy chappy’ Professor, Sir, Simon, Wessely, has brought to the table his prime time use of psychiatric drugs and the use thereof .. and some of the ‘results’ thereof .. ?


    “Pedanticus reminds me that is a rhetorical question. And as Pedanticus takes his final bow, a round of applause please. I would be lost without his belief that getting the facts right, no matter how trivial, matters.”

  15. Wow, I am only in court when we need to justify if someone is or is not fit to plead.
    That is already a chore, yours sounds more tedious!
    Well, every time you prescribe you put yourself between a rock and a hard place, keeping fingers crossed that, well……

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