Seroxat Why I resigned over this disgraceful "happy pill" cover-up

Discussion in 'Health and medical' started by John, Mar 28, 2004.

  1. John

    John Guest

    You can see what goes on over drug safety, eg vaccines.

    Why I resigned over this disgraceful "happy pill" cover-up
    For years the government has known Seroxat anti-depressants
    can be dangerous. When one expert was asked to hide the
    truth, he quit. Here he reveals why. by RICHARD BROOK Daily
    Mail March 23 2004 CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF MIND LAST week I
    resigned from the Government's watchdog on anti-depressants
    after it tried to cover up its own ten-year failure to
    identify serious side-effects of the controversial drug
    Seroxat. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulation
    Agency found from information that had been in its
    possession for more than a decade that high doses of the anti-
    depressant can lead to aggression and thoughts of suicide.
    But instead of revealing the truth to the 17,000 people
    taking high doses and the other half-million Britons on a
    safer dose, the MHRA sat on its findings. Astonishingly, I
    was actually threatened with legal action by Professor Kent
    Woods, chief executive of the MHRA, if I revealed this.
    Mind, the mental health charity, has been tracking Seroxat
    for a decade and found it to be the most problematic anti-
    depressant. Side-effects include nervousness, aggression,
    irrational thoughts and, in some cases, feelings of suicide.
    Although Seroxat has been effective for thousands suffering
    from severe depression, there are many who blame tragic
    events, including murders and suicide, on it. Last year,
    BBC's Panorama showed that — despite denials from the
    manufacturer — people can get hooked on Seroxat and suffer
    terrible withdrawal symptoms when trying to come off it. The
    drug's manufacturer, Glaxo-SmithKline, has sought to play
    down its side-effects, denying until last year that it could
    be addictive. Mind — along with dozens of people suffering
    the drug's side-effects — held a demonstration last June
    outside MHRA's headquarters in London, calling for the drug
    regulator to take action. BY THE end of that week,   I  
    had   been invited   to   join   its expert panel to look at
    the effectiveness of the so-called 'happy pills', selective  serotonin re-
    uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) — drugs prescribed to tackle
    depression, anxiety and other psychological problems. They
    include Prozac and Seroxat. I hoped we could issue clear
    guidance to doctors on how to prescribe SSRIs safely. But my
    colleagues at the regulator, all from the medical
    establishment — doctors, academics and psychiatrists — had
    different ideas. They appeared more interested in putting
    their reputations, and those of drugs companies, before the
    safety of patients. In October, the MHRA reviewed data from
    the earliest trials of Seroxat. The information was supplied
    by GlaxoSmithKline in the late Eighties, and it was the
    MHRA's responsibility to analyse the statistics to inform
    its decisions. In four reviews of these statistics over ten
    years, the regulator had failed to pick up the vital
    information that any dose of Seroxat above 20mg a day
    doesn't work any better but significantly increases the side-
    effects. Some 17,000 people were prescribed more than 20mg
    of Seroxat last year. But the panel wanted to kick the
    findings into the long grass, passing it to European
    regulators. It would take months. In that time, hundreds
    would be prescribed dangerous levels or Seroxat. It was then
    that Professor Woods made clear I faced prosecution if I
    revealed what the regulator had found, citing the need to
    protect the 'commercial confidentiality' of drugs firms. On
    the MHRA website, Professor Woods defends the watchdog,
    saying its advice is backed by clinical data. A few days
    later, I went to see Health Minister Lord Warner to tell him
    of my concerns. He said he would speak to the regulator, and
    soon after they reluctantly published the findings. Their
    statement 'reminded' doctors not to prescribe more than
    20mg, as if it had been common practice all along.
    Previously, the MHRA's recommended 'safe' dose was 20mg to
    50mg a day. I resigned. If a regulator will not own up to
    its mistakes, who knows if data about other drugs has not
    also been overlooked, with potentially fatal results.
    Regulators are supposed to be a stop-check for safety
    issues. But at the MHRA, many of the people who work there
    or advise it have ties to drugs firms. Some have shares in
    the companies, research departments funded by them or
    receive fees for advice. The only protection is a musical
    chairs system where you leave the room if you have an
    interest in the drug being discussed or its manufacturer, or
    you can stay but not vote. THERE is an urgent need for an
    independent inquiry into the MHRA. The Government must also
    change its culture of secrecy. Seroxat is far too
    extensively prescribed, especially for mild and moderate
    depression. But anti-depressants — including SSRIs — do
    work, and can prevent suicides in severe cases. However,
    they are not wonder drugs. GPs should clearly outline all
    the options to sufferers and anti-depressants shouldn't be
    the automatic answer. If vital information such as that the
    MHRA tried to cover up is not released, these decisions
    cannot be fully informed. Likewise, patients on Seroxat
    concerned by my findings should consult their doctor before
    adjusting their medication. Mind does a lot of work with the
    Government, and we have a good relationship. But I am very
    concerned that I was put under such pressure not to reveal
    the regulator's findings. My only hope in speaking out is
    that the regulator will change. It must listen to people
    suffering negative side-effects of drugs and to be more
    accountable to patients rather than to pharmaceutical
    companies. Dr Alastair Benbow, European  medical  director 
    at GlaxoSmithKline, says: 'We remain fully confident in the
    effectiveness of Seroxat, an important medicine that has
    helped many millions around the world lead fuller lives.' •
    RICHARD BROOK is chief executive of Mind. REPORTING by
    Gideon Burrows.
     
    Tags:


  2. David Wright

    David Wright Guest

    In article <1ad65102.0403280037.3[email protected]>,
    john <[email protected]> wrote:
    >You can see what goes on over drug safety, eg vaccines.

    Another fine example of John's dishonesty -- he takes a
    controversy over an antidepressant and attempts to
    smear vaccines.

    -- David Wright :: alphabeta at prodigy.net These are my
    opinions only, but they're almost always correct. "If I
    have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were
    standing on my shoulders." (Hal Abelson, MIT)
     
  3. [email protected] (David Wright) wrote in news:2BN9c.34449$Qt4.20145
    @newssvr31.news.prodigy.com:

    > In article
    > <[email protected]>, john
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>You can see what goes on over drug safety, eg vaccines.
    >
    > Another fine example of John's dishonesty -- he takes a
    > controversy over an antidepressant and attempts to smear
    > vaccines.
    >

    john whaleto isn't just dishonest. He is a liar and the
    number of ways that he lies is almost without bounds. He is
    a prime example of everything that is wrong with anti-
    vaccination group and with many alt-med proponets like
    Hulda, Bertha, the CCRG, etc. "If the facts don't fit your
    agenda, make them up" appears to be their manifesto.

    r

    --
    Nothing beats the bandwidth of a station wagon filled with
    DLT tapes.
     
  4. Samy Wang

    Samy Wang Guest

    Why ? May be he is right, and he would not be the first one
    then, to be right with all the others being wrong

    --
    New method to heal & improve performance ! ( detailed on
    web site )

    Samy Wang


    "David Wright" <[email protected]> a écrit dans le
    message de
    news:[email protected]...
    > In article
    > <[email protected]>, john
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >You can see what goes on over drug safety, eg vaccines.
    >
    > Another fine example of John's dishonesty -- he takes a
    > controversy over an antidepressant and attempts to smear
    > vaccines.
    >
    > -- David Wright :: alphabeta at prodigy.net These are my
    > opinions only, but they're almost always correct. "If I
    > have not seen as far as others, it is because giants
    > were standing on my shoulders." (Hal Abelson, MIT)
     
  5. David Wright

    David Wright Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Samy Wang <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Why ? May be he is right, and he would not be the first one
    >then, to be right with all the others being wrong

    If John is right, it'll be an epochal event. He's been
    cruising along with a near-perfect record of error so far.

    I believe John being right is one of the signs of the
    Apocalypse.

    -- David Wright :: alphabeta at prodigy.net These are my
    opinions only, but they're almost always correct. "If I
    have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were
    standing on my shoulders." (Hal Abelson, MIT)


    >"David Wright" <[email protected]> a écrit dans le
    >message de
    >news:[email protected]...
    >> In article
    >> <[email protected]>, john
    >> <[email protected]> wrote:
    >> >You can see what goes on over drug safety, eg vaccines.
    >>
    >> Another fine example of John's dishonesty -- he takes a
    >> controversy over an antidepressant and attempts to smear
    >> vaccines.
     
Loading...