The Thalidomide Catastrophe

May, 14, 2018 | 5 Comments


  1. Sounds like a must-have book.

    Getting down to basics, and the history of Thalidomide is electrifying, and, what do brave, tenacious and unlimbed intelligent humans do, they keep calm and they carry on ..

    On and on, fighting the great battle of Political cover ups and Persons of Stature in Governments and elsewhere refusing what is apparent to all, that this Scandal is not far removed from present day scandals – although we still have our limbs, the invisible damage .. ?

    Thalidomide is still around in various forms, brought to life ..

    The return of Thalidomide

    Medical Education
    Uploaded on 22 May 2017
    Subscribe 17

    Dr David Healy presents “Is Science Authoritative? Authorship & Authority”

    End Q : ”Are things getting better, no they are not” ..

  2. One of the big problems is the delusion that we become more enlightened. Long before I became definitively anti-Blair I shuddered at the spectacle of the first Holocaust Memorial Day.

    We all know that the main lesson which was learnt by governments and industry from Thalidomide was how to cover up better, nor was it a public imperative to make amends – why should these victims have had to demand justice? While we only begin to contemplate the wreckage of so many pharmaceutical drives of the last 60 years we also have the spectacle of the UK Department of Health with its hideously manipulated contaminated blood and Camelford inquiries stretched out over decades, ending with grotesquely fudged and cynical results. And yet government ties with industry only become tighter as the decades roll past, and the big problem now is that the levels of social devastation are such that it is hard to see how we can ever recover.

  3. Earlier this year, David Healy questioned whether teenagers should be given these types of meds when clinical trial results had been poor.

    New figures reveal that prescriptions for under-18s in Grampian has soared since 2012, with almost 1,100 receiving medication in 2016 – some as young as five.

    Scotland needs to create space for all voices

    This is my short film that explains the actual context of Insulin Coma Therapy:

    Furor Therapeutica – Insulin Coma Therapy

    Michelle Ballantyne‏ @MBallantyneMSP May 10

    On Wednesday I asked the SG about the overuse of antidepressants. Clearly there are serious issues arising yet the answer I received was poor. Peter Gordon, a NHS doctor, sent me the following analysis of the Minister’s answer  @maureenSNP

    There are people who are doing wonderful work so as not to have a ‘National Emergency’ Disaster – repeat ..

    Our ‘New Generation’ from 5 years, up ..

    Aye, 5 ..

  4. Agog ..

    ‘loosen up’ ..

    How YOU have paid to help legalise mind-bending party drugs (because your taxes have been spent testing their use for depression)

    By Jonathan Gornall For The Daily Mail
    Published: 23:03, 14 May 2018 | Updated: 00:55, 15 May 2018

    But according to Professor Nutt….to “loosen” otherwise fixed, maladaptive patterns of cognition and behaviour, particularly when given in a supportive, therapeutic setting’.

    Reminds me of when a psychiatrist drew me a diagram on a piece of A4 paper with a large circle and said this is anxiety, at the top, and this is depression, at the bottom, and Seroxat will stop the cycle .. I had no input to his diagram, as I thought to myself, I don’t have anxiety and I don’t have depression but I sure might have, when listening to another lecture with no input from me …

    Seroxat withdrawal elicited ‘would you like me to send you a relaxation tape’, the practise nurse, at the surgery suggested ‘brown paper bags’ to blow in to for Seroxat withdrawal.
    The GP could not make up her mind, one minute it was ‘endogenous depression”, the next minute it was ‘I don’t think this patient is depressed’..

    Of course, when all was said and done – they were way out of their depth ..

    “Thalidomide, banned after it was found to cause birth deformities, has made a comeback as an effective treatment for certain types of lung cancer, for example.

    But I have profound reservations about this sudden interest in illegal drugs and fear it will erode our drug laws further. 

    As a doctor who has worked in drug addiction, this makes me profoundly uneasy. “

    Debates & Talks

    Minds, Madness and Medicine

    Deaths from heart disease have fallen by almost two thirds since the 1960s. Yet outcomes for those with mental illness have not improved for decades. Is this because we have the wrong categories and the wrong diagnoses? Might neuroscience enable us to have more precise descriptions offering more effective treatment? Or is it a mistake to think that biological accounts of mental illness will ever provide the answers?

    Users and Abusers of Psychiatry author Lucy Johnstone, psychiatrist David Nutt, and The Antidepressant Era author David Healy consider plausible alternatives to diagnosis.

    Sunday 27 May

    HowTheLightGetsIn .. the antidepressant era ..

  5. We will get this book, the knowledge it contains may be extremely helpful in our fight to get isotretinoin removed from the market, as Accutane has similar horrendous birth defects and then lifelong damage ( in some people) to Thalidomide.

    Our biggest problem is that dermatologists insist they have nothing effective other than Accutane to treat acne. My son tried a Stone Age diet, when his acne began, aged 14, and it worked, but a few scars remained, and when aged 15, after a long wait meantime to see a dermatologist, she offered RoAccutane which he refused (on our advice, therefore we were branded as interfering nuisance parents). She told him he’d never get rid of the scarring. This made him body dysmorphic and ashamed. (She was wrong, as it turned out). But he stuck with us.

    In later years, aged 30, he was so successful in his own IT business that he was able to pay for Dr Tony Chu’s excellent Blue Light and laser therapy. His acne was then made almost imperceptible. But, and here’s the tragedy, he’d had some courses of RoAccutane from age 21 and it messed with his mind and body and he struggled with a synthetic kind of brain fog/depression ever after. And, when given Olanzapine in mid 2012 for this synthetic anxiety/depression, back came the acne, with a vengeance. The RoAccutane had never helped the acne before, it was the diet and the Blue Light and finally, when eruptions stopped, the brilliant laser work, which did.

    With Thalidomide, there were plenty of other ant anxiety drugs to substitute. So Thalidomide use presumably stopped once the connection had been made with the birth defects. With Accutane we are so far not able to offer what dermatologists accept as an effect quick alternative. So prescriptions have risen by 680% in the last 4-6 years. When sufferers like our son report mental and physical side effects they are treated as mental cases, because, unlike Thalidomide side effects, the damage cannot be seen. They have sexual dysfunction, aching bodies and brain fog, sometimes behave aggressively, sometimes are overcome with shaking and weeping. They often alienate their families by their inexplicable behaviour.

    What we parents cannot grasp is why, when we all KNOW that Vitamin A is toxic, (which this drug mostly is) when we KNOW that chemotherapy drugs (which this also is) make people feel grim, why does the MHRA not immediately stop the slaughter and denial, take this drug off the market and insist that well funded research into the causes of acne start at once? Why deny that diet works? Why not see that a healthy non-toxic liver function can help too, so good hydration helps. All that’s needed is a regime to offer people which yes, may take time and effort, but will pay dividends in the end, increase their energy, and their brain power.

    I am so thankful that our son didn’t take any RoAccutane till he’d finished his school education and achieved fine results. Sadly, just when he had next the easy prospect of a First in Biological Sciences at Uni, he weakened and took this stuff. He wanted to look perfect for his 21sr birthday event and he felt just a little shame amongst his peers about his skin. After he took the prescribed drug, his brilliant mind was never the same again. Nonetheless he left uni and worked in IT, built a business, and so afforded the laser treatment. But his mind anxiety led to Olanzapine prescriptions which led to voids in thinking, more acne, more shame, and death. And this is happening daily to thousands of others, and we struggle with Government just like the Thalidomide folk did. Wouldn’t you think they’d learnt something from Thalidomide? One person a month dies by Suicide after taking RoAccutane isotretinoin. And that’s just from MHRA”b own conservative yellow card figures….

    We can’t get universities to do acne research because their science departments get funding from Roche, who make this very lucrative drug, and have convinced dermatologists that it’s their only magic bullet. So the market is stitched up.

    Thanks for telling us about the book David. Onward and Upward.

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