Listen doctor and you shall hear

February, 26, 2018 | 53 Comments


  1. David,

    I wasn’t completely surprised – I think one of the reasons is that in a country where everyone has guns many may feel they need one for their own protection – and we have correspondents of all political shades. I am not sure of the complete sense, and for instance teachers issued with guns (as recommended by Trump) may become the first targets – some may find it not at all congenial anyway. I think my main bemusement was over one or two correspondents who were looking for some other reason why we had fewer gun massacres in the U.K. other than the basic fact that guns are much harder to come by.

    I also feel there is a particular irony since they have become correctly convinced that you can’t go just shooting all infectious diseases dead with vaccines without there being some unfortunate consequences – a fantasy which is being indulged in by the mainstream media globally, notably by Janice Turner in The Times this weekend (some other guy on LBC Radio). Oddly, she had generally enlightened views over the problems of over-medication but when it comes to infectious diseases she wants them all deaded (bang-bang pop-pop) and she doesn’t seem to realise that there could be terrible collateral costs.

  2. I recently watched a DVD of the Mel Gibson film, ‘The Patriot’ about the brutality shown by British troops (or a certain number of them) towards those Americans demanding independance from UK and it’s punitive taxes. It was an eye opener for me, and I can see why, deep in their psyche, Americans hold to their old right to possess guns to defend themselves and fight off any enemy. Like the Irish deep down will never forget what the British did to them in the potato famine. But that was then, and this is now….

    Why do people put so much faith in drugs and the impossible dream, fed to them by Big Pharma and prescribing doctors? Why don’t they see that taking responsibility for their own health, simple care for their own body in terms of lifestyle, can offer amazing benefits of the sense of well being we all long to feel. For a start, drinking reasonable amounts of water regularly through the day, can make an enormous difference to every ailment. So simple, but maybe too simple to be exciting.

    Today I’ve just finished writing yet another tribute on our Olly’s Friendship Foundation facebook page about the life of another young person (she died on February 26th 2014) dead from prescripticide, due to dire side effects of the acne drug, RoAccutane isotretinoin. We use a collection of African violets to illustrate each tribute. Lit candles for the deaths, symbolic items amongst the violets for the birthdays that would have been. A whole army of grieving parents watching and saying to themselves ‘if only, if only’. But too late. Warnings we had all slight concerns about, when raised, were brushed aside by trusted doctors.

    When she first took the drug aged 16 for cystic acne round her jaw and face, it cleared up most of the lesions and for two years they stayed away. Then, suddenly, they came back with a vengeance. More and more courses of RoAccutane isotretinoin followed, but the magic bullet no longer worked, indeed, worse than that, the bullet now worked the other way and caused really dreadful acne lesions, chronic low mood, chronic arthritis, legs which could not support her, hands becoming claw like, badly ulcerated mouth making eating painful and difficult, and then, the final insult, being shouted at by an inept psychiatrist for apparently in his closed view, being anorexic and attention seeking, whilst her poor mother desperately tried to get him to look at the obvious – the terrible effects of the acne drug and in addition, the terrible side effects of a plethora of psychotropic medications for the low mood, but which had been totally ineffective. Yes, women caring for their loved ones are very on the ball about this stuff. But medics, in the main, are in denial, just as they are about antipsychotics and statins and osteoporosis drugs, and steroids and all the other magic bullet poisons dished out with a smile and a flourish so readily to us, and swallowed so hopefully and trustingly.

    We seem sadly to have an endless parade of African violets on the Olly’s Friendship Foundation facebook page just now, for an endless stream of dead loved ones. Another birthday one due on 2nd March for a talented young horseman who died aged 16, not long after taking the prescribed RoAccutane isotretinoin drug, who would be 22 had he been allowed to live and achieve his potential. If he’d died in the future say, when riding in the Grand National, he would have known the risk and made the choice himself. But he didn’t know the risk of taking RoAccutane isotretinoin, nor did his loving family. He never got the chance to ride in that race, following in his father’s footsteps, and his aunt’s, who won it years before. Big Pharma took that from him.

    Meantime, the BBC Woman’s Hour last week gave air time to the promotion of this drug, with no reference made to the possible lethal and life changing side effects. What is at work here? Where is the balance? Can it really be that Big Pharma controls the world, because its financial power enables this? How can Cipriani and Wessley be given so much weight publicity wise, whilst the truth is hushed or hissed away.

    Keep drinking the water folks, and research carefully anything you are ever prescribed.

  3. “You really have cooked up the chemically induced ingredients for a mass murder”

    Wendy Burn Retweeted

    Russell Viner‏ @russellviner 38m

    A concise objective argument.

    Faith Consultant‏ @jndevereux

    If owning a gun was an effective means of self-defense, your insurance rates would go down when you bought one. But they go up, because actuaries have proven that you’re far, far more likely to shoot yourself or a family member than someone attacking you.

    CDC to ‘Study’ Gun Violence, Ignore Link to Antidepressants

    “You really have cooked up the chemically induced ingredients for a mass murder”


    Moira Dolan M.D.
    Medical Accountability Network

    MAN ..

    Nick Hodgson‏ @nickchodgson

    More antidepressant myth-busting by excellent Profs David Baldwin & @wendyburn. ADs work & there evidence 2 prove it


    Sir, Dr James Davies and his colleagues are wrong to state that there is no evidence that long-term antidepressant treatment has any benefits (letter, Feb 23). Independent meta-analyses have demonstrated clearly that long-term antidepressant treatment is beneficial in reducing the risks of relapse of symptoms, both in patients with depressive illness and in patients with a broad range of anxiety and anxiety-related disorders. Antidepressant drugs work in both short-term and long-term treatment.

    Furthermore, the statement that coming off antidepressants has disabling withdrawal effects in many patients “which often last for many years” is incorrect. We know that in the vast majority of patients, any unpleasant symptoms experienced on discontinuing antidepressants have resolved within two weeks of stopping treatment.

    Professor David Baldwin, Chairman, psychopharmacology committee, Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP), and Professor Wendy Burn, president, RCP

    MAN ..

  4. There is another position doctors and others could take up ie Conscientious Objectors. – to parts of the practice they know are causing harm and at times killing people. C.O.s would refuse to tell individuals, as did the Ardarsh Shetty of Welsh div. of psychs. that ‘it is important to stress that they (ant depressants) are not addictive’ and point to the evidence provided on blogs etc. – that they can be. C.Os if afraid of the consequences of speaking out in support of those who are alread not towing the line do have some discretion about how they practice so it can be a quiet dissent rather than get fired on or even fired by the generals who seem to love a fight ,such as S W and co.

    • Susanne

      I wrote about this recently – the attack a few years ago by Prof Julian Savulescu of the Oxford Uehiro in BMJ on conscientious objection. He outraged quite a few readers but I wonder how many of them have ever stood up against anything. His publication, Journal of Medical Ethics, has also been peddling the same old cracked record of vaccine critics being bad people. What is weird is the complete dislocation of ethical argument – in the case of vaccines I have never encountered an ethicist who did not operate a simplistic model of the unalloyed good of the vaccine programme, completely unanchored by reality.

    • Thanks very much John I had a look back in thebmj and was astonished at the idiotic position J S took and glad he received such fierce responses. But like you I wonder how many of the over 60 respondents would really ‘put their money where their outrage was’? I don’t think The J o M Ethics can be taken that seriously to be honest – it was more readable when Raanan Gillan was Editor and was intending to reach more readers – sad they’ve ended up with ‘prof of philosophy Julian S . What is the definition of a philosopher?

      • I was also sent this one in January by BMJ publications as the most most important article to read “this month” although oddly it was 18 months old.

        Jason Brennan, “A libertarian case for mandatory vaccination”. Naturally they did not post my response;-

        “The article by Brennan [1], which has just been drawn to my attention, only exists in hypothetically perfect world in which medical evidence is always clear cut and bureaucracies beyond fallibility, bias, corruption or perhaps even scrutiny – it hinges like a lot of ethical investigations round the word “if”. You could agree “y” if “x” (though I am not sure whether in this case it would be a libertarian argument as opposed to just an argument) but we do not have flawless bureaucracies making perfect decisions based on immutable scientific laws. Of course, a crucial argument relating to political liberty is just that bureaucracies are inevitably imperfect.

        “While we could explore and criticize the basis of many such decisions (and despite huge institutional pressures many criticisms of vaccine products lie within mainstream scientific debate, for instance issues regarding influenza vaccination, HPV, aluminum adjuvants, mercury preservatives etc.) we are simply not talking about a branch of science which admits of such certainties. Nor are we dealing with just a few products. The US mandated schedule has perhaps dozens of products already, with hundreds in the pipeline which depend for their commercial viability on being licensed and mandated in their turn. Brennan does not engage with the problem that is not about one or two instances (for instance MMR vaccine is often cited) but an indefinitely large number products which could become compulsorily mandated for citizens by already existing bodies.

        “Brennan weights the case by proposing on the one hand that we have reliable science and on the other hand a lady who has appeared in Playboy centerfolds, i.e. Jenny McCarthy, but of course the arguments against the perfection and safety of the program has often been taken up by scientific and medical professionals, and often against their professional interest. It is not a happy example for yet another reason. If we were to have reliable information about vaccine products (as opposed to Papal style declarations of infallibilty) scientists and doctors would need to listen respectfully to citizens about their experiences whether or not they had appeared in Playboy. For this purpose celebrities are just prominent members of the public. In the case of Jenny McCarthy she and her employers have been subject to professional intimidation lying well beyond the realms of dispassionate science [2]. The issue of false-flag “grass-roots” vaccine organizations has also recently been highlighted by Doshi [3]. Bureaucracies can maintain their record by socially repressive means against the public and Jenny McCarthy would be an example: this is what might happen to you if you stand up.

        “It is not helpful – indeed highly misleading – to talk in abstract propositions: the truth here is messy and likely unpleasant.

        2[1] Brennan J, ‘A libertarian case for mandatory vaccination, BMJ Ethics’, 11 July 2016
        [2] Schneider S, ‘Big Pharma’s faking a “grass-roots” campaign to keep Jenny McCarthy off “The View””, Notes from the Underground
        [3] Doshi P, ‘The unofficial vaccine educators: are CDC funded non-profits sufficiently independent?’ BMJ 7 November 2017


        Elizabeth Hart just drew my attention to a statement on the Uehiro website “Google translate from the Japanese”:

        “And we decided to be neutral from any philosophy and values, as our basic policy.”

        So, how could you possibly object to mass maiming and slaughter?

        • Alas, it is not whether JoM Ethics can be treated seriously it is more a question of it being citable in support of any barbarity by people who will never stand scrutiny.

      • Speaking of ‘philosophers’, check out this essay by Patrick Stokes, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Deakin University in Australia.

        ‘No, you’re not entitled to your opinion’, published on The Conversation website in October 2012:

        This article is an attack on Meryl Dorey, who was associated with the then titled Australian Vaccination Network, now known as the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network.

        It’s not disclosed on his article, but Stokes is an administrator of the Stop the Australian (Anti-) Vaccination Network (SAVN).[1]

        The SAVN website notes: “The “Stop the Australian Vaccination Network” (SAVN) was formed in mid 2009 following the death of baby Dana McCaffery of Pertussis, a preventable illness. We believe that the anti-vaccination propaganda issued by the AVN and its President, Meryl Dorey, is a menace to public health. Stop The AVN comprises over 2000 scientists, doctors, nurses, paramedics, and laymen.”[2]

        While SAVN says pertussis is “a preventable illness”, it has emerged there are problems with pertussis vaccination, see for example the article ‘Resurgence of Whooping Cough May Owe to Vaccine’s Inability to Prevent Infections’, Boston University School of Public Health, 21 September 2017:

        The article states: “The startling global resurgence of pertussis, or whooping cough, in recent years can largely be attributed to the immunological failures of acellular vaccines”. A/Professor Christopher Gill says “This disease is back because we didn’t really understand how our immune defenses against whooping cough worked, and did not understand how the vaccines needed to work to prevent it. Instead we layered assumptions upon assumptions, and now find ourselves in the uncomfortable position of admitting that we…made some crucial errors. This is definitely not where we thought we’d be in 2017.”

        Via the mandatory No Jab, No Pay vaccine law campaigned for by SAVN, Friends of Science in Medicine and the Murdoch media in Australia, parents are now being coerced to have their children vaccinated with six doses of obviously problematic acellular pertussis vaccines via aluminium-adjuvanted multivalent vaccine products. Women are also being urged to have pertussis containing vaccines for every pregnancy, and other adults are also being pressed to have this vaccine.

        In the current hostile climate in Australia, it’s very difficult to question what appears to be obvious over-vaccination with this failing vaccine product, e.g. individuals such as Stokes and his colleagues at SAVN and Friends of Science in Medicine are determined to shut down any public discussion by citizens on vaccination, as I know from personal experience, e.g. my being banned from commenting on The Conversation website where Stokes and his colleague Sue Ieraci (Friends of Science in Medicine) are ‘moderators’ on The Conversation comments threads, a fact they do not disclose when they themselves comment on threads.

        In an article published on the Guardian website, another administrator of SAVN, Rachael Dunlop, says “99% of experts support the view that childhood vaccinations are safe and effective, whilst 1% do not. Why, then, would the mainstream media give any kind of air time to science deniers?”

        Dunlop’s article is titled: ‘Anti-vaccination activists should not be given a say in the media’, Dunlop argues this is ‘false balance’:

        As I again know from personal experience, anybody questioning vaccination policy and practice in any way is labelled ‘anti-vaccination’, a bigoted approach which marginalises and discredits those who challenge the status quo.

        Dunlop, who is not ‘an expert in vaccination’ says “With vaccination, there is not debate. The science is in and the benefits far outweigh the risks. No balance required.”

        Meanwhile children are at six doses of aluminium-adjuvanted acellular pertussis containing multivalent vaccines, and counting, no questions allowed…

        1. As noted in the transcript of the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry re the Social Services Legislation Amendment (No Jab, No Pay) Bill 2015, Monday 2 November 2015.

        • Thanks for the ‘P Stokes’ link Elizabeth -‘Interesting’ to read what topics he chose to illustrate a patronising and quite offensive lecture on ‘No -You’re Not Entitled to Your Opinion’! He doesn’t even follow the lesson of his own lecture – hope some of the students had the confidence to challenge him. Doubt it though. Any self interests to declare Patrick Stokes?

  5. “We know that in the vast majority of patients, any unpleasant symptoms experienced on discontinuing antidepressants have resolved within two weeks of stopping treatment.” ~ Professor David Baldwin, Psychopharmacology committee – Royal College of Psychiatrists – 2018

    “If ‘discontinuation reactions’ occur in patients stopping [Paxil], the majority will experience symptoms that are mild to moderate in intensity, and are usually limited to two weeks.” ~ Mary Anne Rhyne, GlaxoSmithKline spokesperson – 2005

    plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

  6. The more it changes, the more it is the same thing

    White House Petition and Tales from the Madhouse ..

    madmom February 26, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    If folks who are commenting on this blog believe that psychiatric drugs are linked to school shootings and want to do something about the problem, not just talk in an echo chamber, here is a petition folks can sign:

    Psychiatrist Says: More Psychiatry Means More Shootings

    Don February 26, 2018 at 9:35 pm

    “When the number of prescriptions written for each drug was factored in, a small group of drugs accounted for almost all reports of violence.”

    Contrast this with the widely publicized studies of the effectiveness of anti-depressants and the need for many more people to have prescriptions for them.

    For an excellent discussion see:

    Then compare this promotion of anti-depressants with President Trump’s solution to school shooting to be the arming of teachers, meaning more guns curbs violence.
    What do you get? “Experts” telling us we need more anti-depressants and more guns in the school systems and society at large.

    I applaud Dr. Breggin’s struggles but think very few are aware or care.

    Might it be possible to convict prescribing psychiatrists as accessories to murder in these cases? And class action suits against some of the pharma companies by relatives of the deceased?

    • What a brilliant duo Bob and James make – double the ‘interference’ for those who seem to think that the rest of us are too thick to notice their lack of truth in interview/correspondence. Keep it up – maybe you’ll soon have an even larger following if only the young people (who will very likely be among the targeted 1,000,000 extra AD users) followed the example of their American cousins (re:- gun laws) and decide to demonstrate their disagreement in quite a loud fashion!

  7. SHOOTER Says ..

    Depression was validated at long last as an illness every bit as serious as physical conditions, that could cause untold human suffering and economic devastation, but could be helped with a course of antidepressant pills.
    First things first, I heartily agree with what that survey was saying about adult treatment.

    After all, I have a recurrent depression myself that has needed frequent treatment over the years. I talked about it openly when I was president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and have continued to do so from the public platform, in the media, and to anyone who will listen. I do this in the hope that it will help to dispel the stigma that surrounds mental illness and prevents people from seeking therapy until it is too late. The diagnosis made sense of what I was going through. It wasn’t my fault. And I was grateful for the medication.

    Some re-balancing would be realistic: it could start with the psychiatric field being more honest and less self-aggrandising about the truth claims it advertises to wider society. “Depression” is the case in point.

    David Healy describes the idea that abnormal levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin were connected to depression as the “marketing of a myth.”

    Hur många barn skall växa upp i en miljö där ”förlåt mig” och ”dåligt samvete” lyser med sin frånvaro?

    Tv4 News Blinds Risks with medicine.

    The the 23 febr. Showed “fake news” about antidepressants. The daily mail, however, highlights criticism – and makes the scientist back.

    Here is a good example of how prestigious universities such as Oxford University stoop to advertising medicines and blinds the risks. Cecilia Ingvarsson for the tv4 news does not question the side effects at all but let everything pass and journalism becomes pure advertising. How is that possible? Where’s the editor? Responsible Publisher? The Journalist’s ethical rules…

    Watch and spread the documentary “who cares in Sweden” where among other professor David Healy from the article, testifies to one of our biggest scandals that will affect generations in the future.

    Everyone knows someone who knows someone who took their life, tried to take their life or had inexplicably aggressive outbursts or at best… just behaved cold and emotionless – because of these medicines.

    How many children are to grow up in an environment where ” forgive me ” and ” bad conscience ” Glow with its absence?

  8. Mike Shooter was possibly the first president ,although there has been at least one other who had a mental illness,to speak openly in a medical journal about his episodes of depression – but he failed as all other presidents to take real action using the colleges’ influence /publicity machine ,(which is being so mis- used now), or his access to the media over the years to inform the public and service users of the known harms drugs could cause – he had the information needed to make his own decisions and to decide how and when to take what he decided was appropriate medication or other treatment. -But others people have not -The truth has not just been discovered . The emphasis has been to talk about ‘stigma’,which Mike S and the current lot bang on about – obviously necessary,- but they have been deliberately devious about the the lack of evidence which can be used to make informed decisions or that lives can be ruined by anti depressants. The ‘treatment’ and information which can be obtained by ex presidents of the college are light years away from what the average service user is ‘treated to. Parodoxically there may be some good outcomes to the disgraceful sudy and the follow up via interviews in the media – more people now know not to just take what they are told for granted (even if still too many will not be in a position to question it still). It has probably increased the distrust of the psychiatric profession when people realise what has been covered up . There may though even be a certain amount of kudos gained by mental health workers speaking out openly.

  9. When doctors like Sven Ternov here agree that a problem is real it has a big effect on other doctors.

    When people like James Moore here agree that a problem is real it has a big effect on other people

    dinesh bhugra‏ @dineshbhugra Feb 23

    Congratulations @JohnJCrace. Well said on efficacy of anti-depressants. Thank you for sharing your experiences :Dismayed to discover a bear behind at the Baftas


    So I haven’t been imagining things for the past 20 years. One of the largest and most comprehensive studies ever done, involving almost 120,000 patients, has conclusively proved that antidepressant drugs don’t just have a placebo effect. They really do work.

    Not for everyone, but for enough people to have a positive impact on their mental health.

    As someone who has only managed to survive recurring bouts of depression thanks to medication and therapy, I have often been amazed at the negative press antidepressants seemed to attract. The attacks seemed so vicious that it was almost as if some psychiatrists and science writers took it as a personal affront if anyone said anything halfway positive about their medication.

    A few years ago I was asked to second a debate at the Maudsley hospital on whether the long-term use of psychiatric medicines were doing more harm than good. I accepted because I thought it was a no-brainer. Though some people might suffer adverse reactions, it seemed self-evident that in more cases than not the benefits outweighed the harm.

    Big mistake. In a hall full of psychiatric professionals, I found myself in a small minority as two-thirds thought the drugs didn’t work. Which left me with only one possible conclusion. That these psychiatrists spent most of their working lives believing they were harming their patients. And I thought I was mad.

    The following is a guest post from James Moore, creator of the popular Facebook forum, “Let’s Talk Withdrawal” and host of Mad In America’s successful podcast series.

    I’m Depressed about Antidepressants

    Dismayed to discover a bear behind at the Baftas ..

  10. Going back to the idea of arming teachers with guns….
    Well, teachers could well be the salvation to these horrendous shootings in USA, but not by giving them guns. We need to foster their insight about their students and their relationships with their peers in school. We need to look at who these young people really are, how they think, what has driven them to do what they do.

    As a children’s author and illustrator since 1984, I have been working in very many primary and secondary schools giving Workshops for over 20 years. My school visits usually last one or two days. Sitting with the children and working with them, listening to how they talk to and about each other, it’s fairly obvious to me, even in that short period of time, that some children are set apart, ganged up on, laughed at, by many of the more confident in the class. Often it’s the quiet, gentle, nervous child, maybe who looks a little different in some way. Once the pack really gets into gear, these children bear the burden of daily coping with rejection, some become aggressive, some retreat into themselves. They are nice kids, they usually have a few nice friends, but even these betray them when the pack starts having a go at them.

    My own son, an academically very able, popular and above all, kind, reasonable fellow, found school interesting from his quiet but funny, and studious standpoint. But once in secondary school, with his acne becoming quite bad, terrible sustained taunting began. It got almost unbearable, it went on all day and everyday. We found a screwed up suicide note in his bedroom waste bin when he was 15, thanking the staff and us for all our support but saying that because of his appearance and the way it caused him to be shunned and jeered at, he could not go on. We talked to him, we went with his permission to see the headmaster, who was a Classics scholar living in a different kind of world. He snorted and said ‘we don’t have bullying here’ but in the next breath, ‘a bit of this kind of treatment rubs off the rough edges of a youngster and makes them resilient.’ We asked him if he wanted to change schools. He didn’t. He said, ‘why should I have to leave and by doing that, let the b****rs beat me?’

    So he stayed and he won an amazing Physics prize for his school, he shone at University, he formed an incredibly successful IT business, but all the while, driving him on, was his lust for recognition, acceptance, and deep down I guess, revenge. And his revenge was his success. But, and here’s the twist….he eventually took RoAccutane isotretinoin for the acne, which had persisted, and it affected his mind so he was given Seroxat etc. And at once, the PTSD of the horror of his daily treatment at school came flooding back, thoughts he could not eradicate. Nightmare dreams on antidepressants made these appalling memories come back in technicolor. He became slightly and worryingly paranoid. But he went on, successes growing, working well and charming to his friends and clients who would never have guessed what inner turmoil he suffered. . But the damage done to that inner self through all though those early years persisted. And sometimes the RoAccutane isotretinoin and the antidepressants made a red film of anger apparently appear in front of his eyes, which frightened him, he confided to us occasionally. He had to stop what he was doing, driving, whatever, and try to calm his racing mind down.

    One time, driving down to London to see clients, I travelled with him. He was feeling very unwell on Citalopram, driving very fast. I was scared myself. He said angrily, ” Mum, if ever I got my hands on a gun, I know exactly who I would kill.” It was those ‘lads’ at school who had made every day of his school life such hell. I remember feeling very worried about him, but it was a passing conversation and then later he seemed ok again.

    My point is that these quiet, severely bullied but intelligent youngsters, who know deep down their own worth, but have suffered injustice because their teachers at the first indications of this kind of appalling victimisation behaviour in their class, do nothing to nip it in the bud. So, though they outwardly cope because they have to,they hold those memories like a PTSD. And if they get ‘down’ later in life, triggered by something that brings it all back, they get given antidepressants. And then, all the repressed fury may appear. So no, don’t arm the teachers with a gun, but do drum into them that they have a duty of care to all children in their school, and they must watch for and enforce decent kind behaviour. Arm them with insight and show them what to watch for and psychologically how to help every child.

    A few years after my son’s experiences at his school, another boy, son of Lucy Alexander, from the same school, threw himself under a train when about 15. He had been bullied just like Olly. She spoke on national News and media about the need for parents to instil kindness into their children. Social media is making things worse, and even 7 and 9 year olds are feeling desperate now. I guess it was inevitable that my son would die by his own hand once he was bullied again by a stupid psychiatrist, telling him he had brought his anxiety on himself. It was the trigger that brought all the early taunting back. I wonder how many youngsters who take guns into American schools, are on RoAccutane isotretinoin and or antidepressants, have lost their rational inhibitions, and see red behind their eyes.

    How much torture do we expect a youngster to swallow down and emerged unscathed from?

  11. There is so much about guns in the US, its difficult to choose one article, but this one was interesting

    The United States of Guns
    posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 14, 2018

    Like many of you, I read the news of a single person killing at least 17 people in Parkland, Florida today. While this is an outrageous and horrifying event, it isn’t surprising or shocking in any way in a country where more than 33,000 people die from gun violence each year and guns that can fire dozens of rounds a minute are perfectly legal.

    America is a stuck in a Groundhog Day loop of gun violence. We’ll keep waking up, stuck in the same reality of oppression, carnage, and ruined lives until we can figure out how to effect meaningful change. I’ve collected some articles here about America’s dysfunctional relationship with guns, most of which I’ve shared before. Change is possible — there are good reasons to control the ownership of guns and control has a high likelihood of success — but how will our country find the political will to make it happen?

    An armed society is not a free society:

    But America is not Australia or Japan. As Dan Hodges said on Twitter:

    In retrospect Sandy Hook marked the end of the US gun control debate. Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over.

    I hate to leave it on that note, but Hodges’ words ring with the awful truth that all those lives and our diminished freedom & equality are somehow worth it to the United States as a society.

    Of course, the Floridian Students did not agree with that.
    On they marched, they wanted to live and protested.

    My father owned a rifle, it was kept propped up in the corner of their wardrobe of my parents bedroom, at that time in Gloucestershire.

    The gun was part of our lives.
    Dad used it to go shooting for bunnies and birds to bring home to the table.
    It was sport and food for us.

    We had a Company council house and we had a Company battered landrover and we had a battered income.

    We were very free as children and at five years old, a group of us were wandering around a farm and along came my dad, gun propped on his shoulder, striding along, our labrador walking along next to him.

    Get down, I said to my friends, my dad’s coming!

    I applaud Heather for remembering those little details when trying to make sense of Olly.

    The biggest problem we have is the bullying by doctors

    It is epidemic, it is legion, it is abusive and it is grotesque and they get away with it without most parents realising who actually killed their child

    Wouldn’t they just love to shoot some of their patients ..

  12. Media Release: RCPsych challenged over potentially burying inconvenient antidepressant data

    Posted on February 28, 2018 by fhfrench

    MEDIA RELEASE  February 28, 2018


    The following letter was sent, by email, at 2.26pm today:

    For more information contact:

    Dr James Davies 07973 807 014
    Professor Peter Kinderman 07941252848
    Dr Hugh Middleton 01623 411496  or  07786274801
    Professor John Read 07944 853 783

    To: Professor Wendy Burn, President – Royal College of Psychiatrists;

    Professor David Baldwin, Chair, Psychopharmacology Committee – Royal College of

    February 28, 2018

    Dear Professors Burn and Baldwin

    On 24.2.2018 The Times published a letter signed by you, in your capacities as President, and Chair of the Psychopharmacology Committee, of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP).  In that letter you made the following claim: ‘We know that in the vast majority of patients, any unpleasant symptoms experienced on discontinuing antidepressants have resolved within two weeks of stopping treatment’

    We believe that statement is not evidence-based, is incorrect and has misled the public on an important matter of public safety.

    Although more research may be needed before any definitive statements on this issue can be made we note that even the RCP’s own survey of over 800 antidepressant users, reported in the RCP document ‘Coming Off Antidepressants’, found that withdrawal symptoms were experienced by the majority (63%) and ‘…. generally lasted for up to 6 weeks’ … and that  ‘A quarter of our group reported anxiety lasting more than 12 weeks’.

    We further note, however, that within 48 hours of making your misleading statement in The Times you removed the ‘Coming Off Antidepressants’ document from your RCP website. One interpretation of this action, and the timing thereof, is that you wanted to prevent the public from seeing evidence that contradicts your claim in the Times.

    We are considering lodging a formal complaint with the appropriate professional body about your misleading the public on a matter of public safety. We would first, however, like to give you the opportunity to publicly retract, explain and apologise for the statement, in The Times and on the RCP website.  Alternatively please provide us with the research studies on which you based the statement that ‘in the vast majority of patients, any unpleasant symptoms experienced on discontinuing antidepressants have resolved within two weeks of stopping treatment’.

    We will await your response for one week before deciding whether to lodge the aforementioned complaint.

    Please note that, as this is an urgent matter of public safety, we are making the concerns expressed in this letter public. We may also make public your response.

    Yours sincerely

    Dr John Read
    Professor of Clinical Psychology
    University of East London

    On behalf of:

    Dr Steven Coles (Clinical Psychology) Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
    Dr James Davies (Medical Anthropology) University of Roehampton
    Dr Pieter Groot (Psychiatry) University of Maastricht
    Professor Peter Kinderman (Clinical Psychology) University of Liverpool
    Dr Hugh Middleton (Psychiatry) University of Nottingham
    Professor Jim van Os (Psychiatry) University of Maastricht
    Professor David Pilgrim (Clinical Psychology) University of Southampton
    Professor John Read (Clinical Psychology) University of East London
    Professor Sami Timimi (Psychiatry) Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

  13. Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart announce new gun restrictions

    In the aftermath of the 14 February shooting, pressure has mounted on US politicians to act on gun control and for corporations to cut ties with the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA).

    The Royal College of Psychiatrists challenged over burying of inconvenient antidepressant data

    One Response to The Royal College of Psychiatrists challenged over burying of inconvenient antidepressant data

    kiwi 01/03/2018 at 5:08 am #

    For anyone to claim that these drugs are not addictive and withdrawal symptoms only last for a week or two is similar to a person denying The Holocaust.

    I had to suffer dreadfully for many years with daily traumatizing withdrawal symptoms. I consider it a miracle i am still alive. I kept myself safe during this time by keeping well away from the medical profession and their similar Burn and Baldwin vacuum of knowledge and denial regarding withdrawal.

    i would really like to invite Burn and Baldwin to try an ssri for themselves for two months say. Then quit it. It may be the best professional development they have ever had.

    Game Changers …

  14. Mad in America

    News Update

    UK Royal College Of Psychiatrists challenged over potentially burying inconvenient antidepressant data.

    Georgia teacher in custody after allegedly opening fire in classroom, police say

    Fox News ..

  15. As One Mystery is ‘Solved’, Another One ‘Opens’ ..

    BOB FIDDAMAN   Retweeted Carmine M. Pariante

    Mystery of the missing antidepressant withdrawal document SOLVED. Your thoughts, folks?


    Replying to @Fiddaman @rcpsych

    BTW Bob, I have told you that i would have asked @rcpsych about the issue of the leaflet and I did. The leaflet expired in 2016 and should have been revised then. @rcpsyc will produce a revised leaflet with an updated evidence-base and with input from patients and GPs.


    Seroxat: the legal questions that must be asked

    4 CommentsFiddyTruthman

    ***The Resource you’re looking for is not available.

    ***It may have been moved or deleted.

    Press Release

    Royal College of Psychiatrists reacts to ban on use of Seroxat in the treatment of depressive illness in children and adolescents under 18 years

    Press Release from the Department of Health
    New advice on seroxat from the committee on safety of medicines
    Message from Professor G Duff, chairman of Committee on Safety of Medicines


    The Royal College of Psychiatrists welcomes the clear advice from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency banning the use of Seroxat in children and adolescents under the age of 18 in the treatment of depressive illness.

    We shall ensure that this advice is disseminated to our membership promptly.

    Depressive illness in children and adolescents is a very serious illness which has been under-recognised for many years and which presents a considerable challenge given the paucity of evidence of the effectiveness of any treatments. There is some suggestion that the failure to treat depression in children may lead to life-long disabilities and disturbed relationships.

    The College has been concerned for many years about ‘off-licence’* prescribing of anti-depressant medication for under 18s and we have raised these concerns with the Department of Health.

    Currently the National Institute for Clinical Excellence has asked the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health to undertake a full review of the treatment of depression in children. Work is already underway and will be reporting in 2004. The Collaborating Centre (which includes the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ and British
    Psychological Society’s Research Units) will be reporting very early next year on the use of the drugs and the treatment of depressive illness.

    For further information or a press copy of the full article, contact Deborah Hart or Thomas Kennedy in the External Affairs Department. Tel: 020 7235 2351 exts. 127 or 154. E-mail:

    *Off-licence: These are drugs which are not licensed for use in children; this does not mean that they cannot be used by clinicians for treating children, but no drug companies are allowed to advertise for such use.

    Ploughing the Archives

    by David Healy
    Seroxat Expert

    ‘Four people dead is four too many’

    Don Schell was taking a Prozac-type antidepressant when he killed his wife, daughter and granddaughter, then turned the gun on himself. His son-in-law sued the drugs company – and won £5m.

    Sarah Boseley meets him

    Thu 9 Aug 2001

    Two days later, Don Schell, the non-violent family man and doting grandfather, took a .22 calibre pistol and a 357 magnum in the middle of the night and shot dead the three people in the world dearest to him – his wife Rita, his daughter Deb and baby Alyssa. Then he killed himself. The following afternoon Tim Tobin found the scene of carnage that will stay with him as long as he lives.

  16. Listen doctor and you shall hear .. ‘Doctors have become school yard bullies’ says David Healy

    IAI (Institute of Art and Ideas)

    Published on 2 Mar 2018

    this week’s Philosophy Behind the News briefing, we ask: do we trust our doctors too much? And can technology help us fix human error? Find out the answers from our distinguished panellists: psychiatrists David Nutt and David Healy, Clare Gerada, the former Chair of the Council of the Royal College of General Practitioners in the UK, Labour MP Diane Abbott, former Health Minister Gisela Stuart, Director of ResPublica Phillip Blond and others.

    Doctors’ mistakes lead to over 700 deaths every year in Britain, UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced last week. Globally, medical error is a leading cause of death, according to the World Health Organisation. In this week’s Philosophy Behind the News briefing, we ask: do we trust our doctors too much? And can technology help us fix human error?

    The panellists in our debate Docs in the Dock argue we should change the way we think about medicine. “We should prescribe less. We’re focusing on the disease rather than on the patient, on the medicines and not on the art of caring,” said Clare Gerada, the former Chair of the Council of the Royal College of General Practitioners in the UK. The doctors are part of the problem, according to psychiatrist David Healy, because they are trained to give you bad news but not to listen to you say “You’ve put me on the wrong drug. This is causing me problems.”

    But in our debate Are Hospitals Bad For Us? Labour MP Diane Abbott argues that while only ten per cent of illnesses are caused by medical error, 60 per cent are rooted in social factors, and that’s what we should focus on fixing.

    While Healy argues patients should be using technology more to self-diagnose, Gerada warns that doctors actually act as a buffer zone between the pharmaceutical industry and the patients. In Doctors in the Age of Google, psychiatrist and neuropsychopharmacologist David Nutt puts forward the case that rather than hoping for computers to solve our issues, what we’re missing is a more personal relationship, and deeper communication, with our doctors, which develops if you see the same doctor for many years.

    • I find the final sentence quite extraordinary – we are lucky TO SEE A DOCTOR never mind THE SAME DOCTOR ; as for the notion of ‘for many years’, well, who is he kidding!

      • Perhaps David Nutt has been drinking too much of his home brewed ‘alcosynth’, This is a derivitive of benzodiazepine. For more reasons why we need to be able to access information for ourselves via google ,rather than rely only on a mythical long term relationship with a doctor, who may not be clued up or even a good listener,see the interview with David Nutt in The Financial Times Feb 4th 2016. Tax payers money that is being used in ‘his’ research lab would be better spent on researching the causes of harms from prescription drugs as well as ‘illegal’ drugs. One of the questions I am wondering about though is how does D Nutt get hold of enough benzos to be making alcosynths at home? Researchers are surely not allowed to take handfulls of drugs from the lab?

  17. “Kinda important”

    This story about a ‘Doctor’s Conduct’ is almost worth a .blog post’ of its own

    Is it ok for doctors to stick to their rules of conduct behind time frames and life in the surgery?

    Doctors who are ‘cross’ between Florence Nightingale and Hannibal Lecter remain hidden from view because the GMC does deals behind closed doors

    This is why no Psychotropic drug case will ever appear before the GMC, with the current frame work

    No matter how hard media hacks for the quacks put up sob stories on Rcsyche – they are doing this because of current media storm – sob, sob, exploiting very sad individuals for their own ends ..

    Make a difference … choose psychiatry

    We need a ‘trip’ advisor . and quickly

  18. Dear Dr. Gottlieb .. listen doctor and you shall hear ..

    Personal Advisor to the FDA, Ben Goldacre OBE LOL receives some answers about his new ‘tool’ for tracking clinical trials.

    A New Website Names and Shames Universities and Companies Who Fail to Report Clinical Trials

    In 10 years, the government has never fined anyone for breaking a law about reporting clinical trials. A new effort is trying to push things along.

    It seems GlaxoSmithKline led the way in introducing Data Transparency Rules from Spitzer in 2004.

    GlaxoSmithKline promised to put more data on its website from 2000, begun by the $2.5m fine, and ,it seems Raw Data was not a requirement.

    Ben is currently showing on his Trials Tracker that the FDA could claw $$$$$s from those no shows but seemingly have no intention to do so.

    GlaxoSmithKline was the first pharmaceutical co to join Alltrials…

    We’re writing weekly to the FDA

    Dear Doctor

    Are we writing weekly to GlaxoSmithKline on interpretations of Data

    Can GlaxoSmithKline bask in the glory which the tool provides as the pharmaceutical company to show its Data on Paxil now swamped by the deluge provided by Ben ..

    Where does the mouthpiece of genuine corruption come from?

    .ben goldacre, MBE LOL‏ @bengoldacre 1h

    Great piece in Pacific Standard on our new tool that shows you, every day, every single trial that breaches FDA rules requring trials to report results.

    Every, every ..

  19. Are we trumpeting some good news ..

    The Trum peters ..

    David Carmichael
    24 mins ·

    I just got back from the “Mental Health in Crisis” lecture tour in Australia/New Zealand. The tour was a great success. As part of my talk, I explained how my Paxil-induced calm, organized psychotic homicidal behaviour was similar to some of the mass killers on antidepressants. It’s great to see articles like this starting to question the role of psychiatric drugs in school shootings.

    Rewarding the Companies That Cheated the Most in Antidepressant Trials

    “The authors of the report, published in the Lancet, said it showed many more people could benefit from the drugs … The Royal College of Psychiatrists said the study ‘finally puts to bed the controversy on anti-depressants’.”

    As just one example,

    half of the deaths and half of the suicides that occur in randomised trials are not published.3

    comment ..“And yes, Paroxetine is too terrible to describe in words.”

    Making mincemeat of Burn, Baldwin, Pariante, Wessely et all ..

    The T is keeping tuned …


    Patients, academics and psychiatrists formally complain that the president of Royal College of Psychiatrists has misled the public over antidepressant safety

    The Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry

    5 mins ·

    A formal complaint of misleading the public on a matter of public safety has today been lodged with the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) against its President, Professor Wendy Burn, and the Chair of its Psychopharmacology Committee, Professor David Baldwin. Burn and Baldwin stated, in a letter to The Times on 24 February, that: ‘ the vast majority of patients, any unpleasant symptoms experienced on discontinuing antidepressants have resolved within two weeks of stopping treatment’.

    “Astonishingly naive”

    “Scientific nonsense”

    “Bizarre thing we could not believe the irresponsibility”

    “Too extreme too dangerous”

    An interview with Professor Read discussing the formal complaint can be heard here:

    James Moore interviews John Read

    Today on MIA Radio we have a special episode which is devoted to recent developments in the UK involving the Royal College of Psychiatrists. These events relate to the media coverage of a widely reported antidepressant meta-analysis in the Lancet, information on antidepressant withdrawal effects and a letter to The Times newspaper by the President of the Royal College Professor Wendy Burn and the Chair of the Royal College’s Psychopharmacology Committee, Professor David Baldwin.

    Professor John Read from the University of East London took time out to explain recent events and to talk about a formal complaint which has been lodged with the Royal College on behalf of a group of eminent psychiatrists and psychologists.

  21. A bit, Moore ..

    A chip off the old block, said Simon, on Wendy Burn’s appointment as President of RCP.

    Simon Wessely, in his infinite wisdom, would likely as ‘not’ have written such an inflammatory and ignorant piece. The media hype around The Lancet study must have gone to her head and being close to Carmine Pariante would suggest some confidence in what she was saying ..

    Promoted beyond your ability, The Peter Principle

    Although Simon did rather put his size 9s in it when he made a similar boo boo in, of all places, The Times ..

    Parents, teachers and pressure groups – not doctors – to blame for huge rise in antidepressant and stimulant prescriptions, claims new president of Royal College of Psychiatrists

    In an interview with The Times, the incoming president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Sir Simon Wessely, has launched a defence of psychiatry, claiming that the rise in antidepressant and stimulant prescriptions for children has been caused by pushy middle-class parents, teachers and pressure groups. “Medicalisation is not often done by doctors,” he claims. “In areas that are more accessible to public debate it’s almost the other way around.  Now we see a huge rise in support groups, we see pressure brought to bear to bring in labels… You get obvious pressure from parents… It’s psychiatry which is against the medicalisation of normality.”

    13 responses…including

    July 7, 2014

    Spotlight On Sir Simon Wessely (President Of The Royal College Of Psychiatrists)

    This has all been brewing for a long long time and Cipriani et al couldn’t have stage managed it, if they had tried ..

    • I also recall Sir Simon opining in The Times when he was Pres about autism being a life style diagnosis (as did Mike Shooter recently), while Uta Frith averred on BBC tv a few Christmases ago just as she was being made an hon dame that the diagnosis became fashionable because of the film Rain Man – Sir Michael Rutter told Private Eye in 2005 that he was not sure whether autism had risen or not. Well, I am afraid my eyes were open when all this was happening, even if their’s weren’t.

  22. Scoopy Doo

    3 hrs ago

    Royal College of Psychiatrists leaders accused of ‘dangerous’ and ‘misleading’ comments on antidepressant withdraw

    Scooby and Those Pesky Tweeters Rumble Psychiatry

    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy ..

  23. Simon Wessely‏ @WesselyS 1h

    Oh dear. Time for another round of #pillshaming. #r4today @BBCRadio4 . Antidepressants are not addictive. There is no tolerance, escalation etc etc.

    Simon Wessely‏ @WesselyS

    Replying to @alasdairforrest @AnneCooke14 and 3 others

    Indeed. It’s not helpful at all in my opinion. By all means debate. But threatening to go to teacher – employer, college, GMC etc, is not going to encourage an exchange of views. It will have the opposite effect.

    Simon Wessely‏ @WesselyS 52m
    Simon Wessely Retweeted Alasdair Forrest

    I agree alastair. If I get depressed I want both.

    Alasdair Forrest‏ @alasdairforrest 58m
    Alasdair Forrest‏ @alasdairforrest

    I don’t think antidepressants need to form the central part of helping people with a depressed state. Of course not: I am a psychotherapist! But we can’t have it that people are frightened away from something that is helpful to so many.

    Alasdair Forrest‏ @alasdairforrest 1h

    @ReadReadj is holding people to an exceptionally high standard of evidence with their public statements. Is it really right to say that antidepressant effect is “mostly placebo”? #R4Today

    Simon Wessely‏ @WesselyS 1h

    And as usual “66 million prescriptions” so that must be wrong. What is the right number of prescriptions? 1 million? 100 million? Wrong question. We should be asking what proportion of those who mjght benefit are receiving any treatment at all, psychotherapy or antidepressants?

    Simon Wessely Retweeted

    Dr Kate Lovett‏ @DrKateLovett 1h

    Tuned in to @BBCr4today Good to hear leading GP @ClareGerada talking about important topic of antidepressant prescribing

    Wendy Burn Retweeted

    louis appleby‏ @ProfLAppleby 1h

    Antidepressants work, they are not placebo, they are not addictive. Emphatic from @ClareGerada on #r4today. Dangerous to suggest otherwise.

    Wendy Burn Retweeted

    Dr Kate Lovett‏ @DrKateLovett 1h

    “About 1/3 of patients get withdrawal symptoms coming off antidepressants but most go in 2 weeks the majority in 2 months” says @ClareGerada “They are not addictive”

    and on and on and on ..

    Wendy Burn Retweeted

    RC of Psychiatrists‏ @rcpsych

    John Read‏ @ReadReadj 1h

    Discussion with ex president of GP College who amazingly repeated the two week withdrawal time mantra but no studies

    James Moore‏ @jf_moore

    BBC Radio 4 this morning discussed #antidepressant withdrawal, Dr Clare Gerada gave the same, vague opinion that we’ve already heard “the vast majority have no problem” Professor John Read gave the facts, figures and evidence. #informedchoice

  24. a matter of public record


    James Moore
    Caldicot, United Kingdom

    In response, on Twitter, people are sharing their experiences using the hashtag #MoreThan2Weeks which is proving to be a powerful counterpoint to the statements made by some psychiatrists.

    Formal Complaint to the UK Royal College of Psychiatrists

    We received the following responses within the specified seven day period:

    Good afternoon John. I do not believe we have met before. I find your letter somewhat hostile which is regrettable when we are both obviously concerned to make sure depressed and anxious patients receive the best possible care.

    I have no input into what the College does or does not do in terms of its factsheets and so cannot comment on that part of your message.

    But you might be interested to read the two attached papers which explore the issue of symptoms occurring after either abrupt or tapered discontinuation of some antidepressant
    drugs. The staggered double-blind discontinuation design is helpful in evaluating potential problems.

    best wishes – David Baldwin

    Professor of Psychiatry and Head of Mental Health Group, University of Southampton Faculty of Medicine
    Dear John

    Like David I have not met you and also like him I find the tone of your letter surprisingly hostile when we all have the same aim which is to help our patients recover.

    The leaflet that you refer to expired in 2016 and should have been revised then. It was based on a self-selecting survey and was never intended to stand alongside peer reviewed research which is what we now base our leaflets on.

    This is an important area and we will produce a revised information leaflet with input from patients and, of course, the Royal College of GPs who see so many patients with mental health needs.

    I recently had a very productive meeting with Nicola Gale, President of BPS, and we have committed to working more closely together. I think this is an area where input from BPS will be invaluable.

    Best wishes

    Professor Wendy Burn
    President, Royal College of Psychiatrists 


    “To mislead the public on this issue has grave consequences. People may be misled by the false statement into thinking that it is easy to withdraw and may therefore try to do so too quickly or without support from the prescriber, other professionals or loved ones. Other people, when weighing up the pros and cons of starting antidepressants may make their decision based partly on this wrong information. Of secondary concern is the fact that such irresponsible statements bring the College, the profession of Psychiatry (to which some of us belong), and – vicariously – all mental health professionals, into disrepute.”

  25. I’ve posted this comment on Duncan Double’s Critic psychiatry bog as well . I concentrated on the input by Clare Gerada as she has again take the position that she and GP’s are attempting to protect the public from the criticisms by the baddies who are speaking out and the possibility of the public being duped by pharma if GPs are not able to act as a buffer. For someone trained in Group Analysis lesson seems to be getting missed. So –
    ‘Well said Duncan – Could you please give a reference for the letter which was signed by you and others? Many will be so thankfull that at last people are speaking out openly in public forums rther than just amongst professionals groups. The more the disgraceful attempt (to mis inform)is outed the more people will be spared the high possibility suffering serious adverse effects of psychiatric drugs. Clare should be ashamed of herself not least for declaring that in 30 years she has not had any experience of individuals suffering from withdrawal of other negative symptoms. I think most people will have seen through the silliness of declalring that a person had been through the door only yesterday claiming that as a result of the study that they can now take the drugs which have been helping so much, without worrying. The claim is disengenuous, statistically over a period of her time , even if part time as a practicing GP, she will have had some who have had serious negative experiencess, as with most drugs. She is angry about the public being informed when the publicity machine has not been able to keep the truth under wraps. As a clinician she should be using evidence to inform not just her biased opinion. But readers do please read the David Healy Blog and Rxisk Blog to see for yourselves the phsysical harms NOT JUST PSYCHOLOGICAL harms which Duncan has pointed out which are experienced by those who have taken anti depressants (and other psychiatric drugs) often without any warning of possible side effects or help to withdraw. Again Clare was disengenuous in muddling the understanding of ‘addiction’ with the addiction to street drugs. Shame shame shame on them – why have so few been left to shoulder the burden of exposing what has been happening for so many years? Paradoxically they have brought the institutions into even more disrepute and undermined public trust in the people first mantra – the idea of partnership and transparency has been proved to be a sham.

  26. Seroxat

    Severe Withdrawal Symptoms



    GSK loses £37m appeal over pay-to-delay tactics to block Seroxat competition

    Published on 09/03/18 at 12:01pm

    GlaxoSmithKline has suffered a sizeable blow after losing an appeal disputing that it had engaged in anti-competitive pay-to-delay tactics to block generic versions of its blockbuster antidepressant Seroxat (paroxetine) from reaching the market.

    Seroxat was at one time GSK’s biggest selling drug, but its prices fell by 69% once generic competitors hit the market in 2003. It has also been the centre of controversies, after it was uncovered that GSK concealed data which demonstrated that the drug was not effective in children for the treatment of depression, in addition to legal action lodged by thousands of patients in the US and UK requesting damages due to its severe withdrawal symptoms.

    Morning Star

    PHARMA giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) lost an appeal today against a £37 million fine for paying off potential rivals to prevent them from competing against its “blockbuster” antidepressant.

    GSK paid three other pharmaceutical companies more than £50m between 2001 and 2004 to delay the launch of cheaper generic versions of paroxetine, which it sold under the brand name Seroxat.

    The firm made more than £130m from Seroxat in 2001 and 2002 alone, at which point Seroxat was the biggest-selling drug across the entire GSK group.
    Paroxetine prices fell by 69 per cent, from £12.95 to £3.97 a pack, within a year of generic entry to the market in December 2003.

    The Competition and Markets Authority found the illegal “pay-for-delay” agreements made the companies “significant financial gains … at the expense of the NHS.”
    GSK and the others appealed against the fine, but specialist body the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) found that the agreements were “inherently harmful to competition” and not covered by legal exemptions.

    The CAT also referred several points of law to European Union courts for a preliminary ruling.

    A CMA spokeswoman said: “We consider that the companies broke the law by delaying the threat to GSK of competition from generic companies, in return for substantial cash and non-cash payments.
    “Such conduct can deprive the NHS of significant cost savings.”

    Seroxat has been the subject of controversy since a 2002 BBC Panorama exposé found that GSK had withheld results from two clinical trials in 1998, both of which found that the drug was not effective against depression in children.

    An internal GSK document from October 1998 said it would be “commercially unacceptable” to publicise the results as this would “undermine the profile of paroxetine.”

    Some 32,000 children were prescribed Seroxat in 1999.

    Seroxat is also the subject of a decade-long High Court damages claim by more than 100 patients who were prescribed the drug. They say its withdrawal symptoms are significantly worse than those of other antidepressants.

    Despite settling similar claims in 2005 with more than 3,000 people in the US, where it is called Paxil, GSK has spent nearly £7m fighting the British litigation, which it is hoped will reach trial this year.

  27. The RCP, LGB People, and, Wendy of the Burn ..

    It is with openness, kindness and humility that we hold our hands up, open our doors, and fight tirelessly to provide the ethical, evidenced-based mental health treatment that all of us deserve.

    The statement was issued by Professor Wendy Burn, President of the RCP

    The Royal College of Psychiatrists has released a statement that, for the first time, acknowledges the harm inflicted upon lesbian, gay, and bisexual people who were subjected to aversion therapy under the college’s care.

    Psychiatrists misleading on sexual orientation

    A formal complaint has, in April, been lodged with the General Medical Council (GMC) against the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) and three leading psychiatrists over the College’s public statements about homosexuality.

    The complainants accuse the Royal College of neglecting its public duty by making misleading statements about same-sex attraction at the time of the same sex marriage Bill whereby it claimed that sexual orientation was biological and fixed at birth and then, quietly, a year later, stating that sexual orientation was neither inborn nor unchangeable.

    The complainants highlight the influence of the Royal College on public discourse and argue that its long delay and failure to publicise the eventual correction widely, constitute negligence.

    Psychiatry and LGB People

    An historic Apology..

    ‘It is important to acknowledge that this was once standard procedure within mental health services’

    dinesh bhugra‏ @dineshbhugra Feb 23

    Congratulations @JohnJCrace. Well said on efficacy of anti-depressants. Thank you for sharing your experiences :Dismayed to discover a bear behind at the Baftas

    Dismayed to discover a bear behind at the Baftas … part two ..

  28. WND Exclusive

    Media Go Wild Over ‘Junk’ Antidepressant Study

    By David Kupelian


    David Healy

    Fortunately, not all experts share this sunny view of massive psychotropic medicating being the solution to all human distress. Some, like Urato, are outspoken with regard to the serious risks. And there are others speaking out.

    One of the highest-profile voices sounding the alarm is Dr. David Healy, an internationally respected psychiatrist, psycho-pharmacologist and author of 20 books, including “Pharmageddon.”

    Based in the U.K., Healy didn’t hold back when I asked him for his most candid assessment of the Oxford study. In fact, he pretty much ripped it to shreds.

    “This paper is junk,” he began, saying it “is based on ghostwritten papers with no access to the data.”

    “No one,” he said, “not the regulators such as MHRA [Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, Britain’s version of the Food and Drug Administration] or FDA, have had access. Few if any of the notional authors of the papers will have had access, and none of them can let me or any independent experts have access.”

    But Healy was just warming up….

    Healy confirms a common-sense truth that pharmaceutical manufacturers and marketers – and most doctors – will never concede: “Most drugs that can cause suicide, including the antidepressants, mood-stabilizers, antipsychotics, smoking cessation drugs and others, can also cause violence. The akathisia, psychotic decompensation, or emotional disinhibition these drugs trigger that lead some to suicide, lead others to violence.”

  29. Optum taps Andrew Witty, former Glaxo chief, as its new CEO

    The former chief executive at pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, Andrew Witty, has been named chief executive at Optum, the huge and still fast-growing health care services business of UnitedHealth Group.

    One of Optum’s primary businesses is pharmaceutical benefits management

    Witty said in a statement: “In many ways, even with all its accomplishments, Optum feels as though it is just getting started.”

  30. I think there is another reason why Americans do not want to be separated from, if not their actual guns, the freedom to have them if they want. Not too long ago, in cultural time, white settlers were expanding westward from the coast into a vast territory that was, for practical purposes, devoid of any readily accessible law enforcement. Geographically isolated, they were pretty much on their own regarding safety and self-defense. I once had a conversation with a man from Egypt who was completely baffled by our need for yards. After a bit of thought, I explained that I thought is was a remnant of the “homestead,” a patch of land that was yours to cultivate and defend, a guarantor of privacy and self-sufficiency, the foundation of survival in an agricultural economy. I’ve never been to England, but I think the household garden plays much the same role there in its history and importance. I think Australia has a similar history of settlement and they seem to have adjusted rather quickly to not having easy access to guns, and it’s had the desired result. In the US however, as you note, we have the Revolution mythology. I would sum it up for me that while easy access to guns facilitates thousands of deaths each year in the US, the bigger problem is the cultural value placed on the efficacy of violence to solve disputes. Michael Moore makes the same point in Bowling for Columbine, where he contrasts the Canadians who do not have the violence and murder rate the US does despite having plenty of guns In short, it’s not so much the guns as the gun culture. Or more accurately, the culture of violence.

    • Katherine Anne

      These are good historical points. I wonder whether in the comparison with Canada and Australia population density is an issue (although the US still has a lot of space compared with the UK).

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