Monsanto Roundup Lawsuit


Citizens Commission on Human Rights Award Recipient (Twice)
Humanist, humorist

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Karma Catches up with Dr. Graham Emslie



Disgraced Psychiatrist, Dr. Graham Emslie

It's no secret several unethical doctors pretended to write the Paxil 329 Study. Adding their names to the shady ghostwritten article was sequentially responsible for persuading doctors to prescribe Paxil off-label to children and adolescents despite that the drug is dangerous and ineffective.

One of these despicable 'experts' was Dr. Graham Emslie (67), a psychiatrist based in Dallas, Texas. Emslie received research support and consultant money from several drug companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, the company for whom he agreed to add his name to the ghostwritten 329 Study. Emslie's dishonesty participation in the 329 Study put children at risk of harm and death despite that Emslie claims his clinical expertise is in child and adolescent depression.

In 2009, Emslie was investigated by the US Senate Finance Committee, led by Senator Chuck Grassley, as one of many medical academics with serious conflicts of interest and financial ties to Big Pharma. The Senate committee was concerned these conflicts resulted in fraudulent research that promoted prescriptions of harmful and ineffective drugs to unsuspecting consumers and without adequate safety warnings. (Source)

Today Karma Catches up with Emslie

Recently Emslie has been reprimanded by the Texas Medical Board after it learned one of Emslie's patients, an unnamed male, died by suicide whilst under the "care" of Emslie. The doctor demonstrated a lack of due care in several areas. Emslie's punishment was far lighter than he should have received for likely contributing to the suffering and death of his patient, but at least the Texas Medical Board took some action regarding Emslie's careless remote prescribing.

On the 25th August 2017, the Texas Medical Board heard evidence surrounding Emslie's conduct and charged Emslie with breaching the medical standard of care. It was learned Emslie prescribed stimulant and sedative medications to the patient for several years without appropriate evaluation, monitoring, and medical record-keeping. The patient went on to kill himself. Emslie claimed he knew the patient who was the brother of an acquaintance of Emslie's daughter.

When asked for the 17-year medical records of the now-dead patient, Emslie told the Texas Medical Board the records could not be produced. Emslie claims he only kept "scant" records scribbled on a notepad. The board was also told that Emslie regularly prescribed benzodiazepines and amphetamines over the telephone without physically examining his patient. (remote prescribing)

Further, Emslie also assisted the patient in "pharmacy shopping" to ensure drug refills could easily be obtained at various pharmacies. Despite that the patient's history included a "drinking problem," Emslie did not refer his patient to an addiction specialist for alcohol dependence nor does it appear Emslie adequately informed the patient regarding the possible ADRs associated with Emslie's prescriptions and alcohol consumption.

Despite all of the above conduct, Emslie does not think he erred in the care of his patient.

The Texas Medical Board imposed a range of disciplinary actions against Emslie, none of which, in my opinion, fit Emslie's crime.

Emslie received a "public reprimand" (whoopy-doo) and 8 consecutive monitoring cycles of his clinical practice. The board also imposed 24-hours of  "continuing medical education" for Emslie. Emslie was ordered to pay costs to the Texas Medical Board. However, no costs for the funeral of his deceased patient were imposed.

The agreed order, signed by the disgraced Emslie, can be obtained by contacting me via email.

Special thanks to Jan Eastgate of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights for alerting me to Emslie's latest scandal.

Bob Fiddaman


Friday, September 29, 2017

Dolin Vs GSK: Personal Vendetta or Bigger Picture?



Andrew Bayman - King & Spalding
Source: Google Images

Jury finds for plaintiff.
Defence appeals and asks for new trial.
Judge rejects defense motion for new trial.
The defense now rejects the decision of Judge.

The never-ending saga between the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical corporation, GlaxoSmithKline, and grieving Chicago widow, Wendy Dolin, has taken yet another twist, one that was anticipated yet it shines a deplorable light on Glaxo and their hired attorneys from Atlanta, King & Spalding.

After losing their case against Dolin (Back story) Glaxo filed motions for a new trial citing amongst many things, that the judge, who led the trial, didn't allow them witnesses, didn't allow evidence to be brought in, didn't instruct the jury correctly. Further, they claimed that Dolin's expert witnesses were wrong and, unbelievably, the jury was too.

Being present at trial I witnessed Glaxo's attorneys, King & Spalding out of Atlanta, GA. They set their stall out early on by blaming everyone but the company they were representing. Stewart Dolin's Dr, Stewart Dolin's state of mind, another pharmaceutical company (Mylan), and the FDA. The laborious, and often quite funny, cross-examination of plaintiff witnesses by King & Spalding's "deadly duo", Andrew Bayman and Todd Davis was, for want of a better word, embarrassing.

Bayman, at times, looked like he was going to blow a gasket whilst the sleek, nae smarmy, Davis all too often blundered - his southern twang often sending the majority of jurors into a comatose state.

So, now, it appears once again that Glaxo doesn't wish to play ball with Dolin, or indeed the judge and jury, who awarded Dolin $3 million, to date she has not seen a penny of this.

Glaxo, via King & Spalding, has now posted a supersedeas bond of $3,037,400 to the court which will delay the $3 million owed to Wendy Dolin. (Nice)

To put this in laypersons terms, Glaxo are now rejecting Judge Hart's decision not to grant them a new trial and, by filing new documents and a supersedeas bond of $3,037,400 they are saying it's a matter of law that Judge Hart made the wrong decision in not permitting them a new trial.

The points they are making with the "new" files (now sent to the Court of Appeal) have already been addressed at trial, the jury heard the points, weren't convinced so returned a verdict against them.

King & Spalding, in particular, Andy Bayman, simply won't accept anything that doesn't fit into their belief system.

Imagine, if you will, the following scenario:

Bayman is like the kid in a classroom of 40 or so pupils who is told the answer to a question was successfully answered by 39 pupils, only one pupil got the answer wrong (him) - but he's having none of it and he's being urged to stand his ground by his parents, even though his parents know he is wrong too. The parents, in this case, being GSK and other pharmaceutical companies counsel.

I say other pharmaceutical companies counsel because the verdict has serious ramifications for other pharmaceutical companies whose patents have expired on their brands of antidepressants too.

King & Spalding are not just representing Glaxo, they are, in essence, representing other major pharmaceutical companies who were all waiting anxiously in the wings for a verdict of no liability in the Dolin case. Either that or Andrew Bayman has some sort of vendetta against Wendy Dolin? It's not often that one woman can take on the might of a pharmaceutical company and beat them. Maybe this is (excuse the pun) too much of a bitter pill to swallow for Bayman and he's taking it all very personally? Maybe he cannot accept that he had his chance and blew it - embarrassing himself in the process and, of course, letting down all of the other interested parties who were probably told the verdict would be favorable.

I find it difficult to accept that Bayman would take things personally. As much as I despise the pre-trial antics of King & Spalding (See here) I can't think for one minute why Bayman would have such a bee in his bonnet, other than the fact that he has let down the whole of the industry by failing to win a case that, presumably, he thought was a slam dunk!

When the verdict came back it opened the floodgates for other possible litigation against the bigger pharmaceutical companies and that, ladies and gentleman, is, more than likely, the real reason why Glaxo have chosen to pay $37,000 over the initial award of $3 million to try and hammer Stewart Dolin's widow into the ground.

Wendy Dolin, via her acclaimed team of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman and Rapoport Law Offices, continue to show dignity - There's no shouting from the rooftops, "Give us what you owe us", nor, indeed, any form of gloating that they were successful at trial.

Glaxo now wants to hit the big stage, the 7th Circuit Court, where, once again, the spotlight will be thrown on a condition known as akathisia, a condition that can be induced in some people who take brand named antidepressants and, indeed, generic versions of the said brands.

Glaxo played down this condition during its clinical trials of Paxil, they played down the condition after the clinical trials and they continued to play down the condition during the Dolin trial.

What King & Spalding fail to see is the attention they are drawing to the condition that, for many, is an unknown word. To have the whole subject of akathisia played out on a big stage is a dream come true for advocates such as myself and, I'm sure the same can be said for Wendy Dolin and others left to mourn the loss of their dead children, husbands, and wives.

The Dolin trial was originally played out in Chicago, it drew local media attention once the verdict came through. I'm salivating at the prospect of the media attention akathisia will get once Glaxo takes it to the 7th Circuit Court.

This is one instance where I believe Glaxo, probably through bad legal advice, have shot themselves in the foot.

#TeamDolin


Bob Fiddaman

Back Stories

Coverage of the Dolin Trial

Dolin v GSK - Opening Arguments

Dolin Vs GSK - Day Two - "Jack-In-The-Box"

Dolin vs GSK - Healy 'Rocks Da House'

Dolin Vs GSK - JP Garnier Video Deposition

Dolin Vs GSK - The Dunbar Tape

Dolin Vs GSK - Day 4 - Slam Dunk

Dolin Vs GSK - 8.9 Suicide Increase For Adult Paxil Users

Dolin Vs GSK - Day 6 - Ass Kicking Semantics

Dolin Vs GSK - Day 7 - Abraham Lincoln

Dolin Vs GSK - Day 8 - Get to the Point, Todd!

Dolin Vs GSK - Glenmullen Nails It!

Dolin Vs GSK - "Babes"

Dolin Vs GSK - Wendy's Cross and GSK's Petition

Dolin Vs GSK - Robert "Bling Bling" Gibbons

Dolin Vs GSK: Suicide Prevention Warning "Futile", Claims GSK Exec

Dolin Vs GSK : Jury shown List of the Dead in Paxil Clinical Trials

Dolin Vs GSK: Last Man Standing & The Return of Dr. Healy

Dolin Vs GSK: Closing Arguments

Dolin Vs GSK - The Verdict

Exclusive: Interview With Wendy Dolin


From Chicago to New York - The Legacy of Stewart Dolin

Dolin Wins...Again








Friday, September 15, 2017

Dolin Wins...Again






GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has been delivered a devastating blow by Judge William T. Hart in their efforts for a new trial against Plaintiff Wendy Dolin who, earlier this year, won her case against GSK after a jury found that GSK had not properly added adult suicide risk warnings to the label of paroxetine, the controversial antidepressant popularly known by its brand names of Paxil, Aropax and Seroxat.

Hart pulled no punches after GSK tried desperately in vain to blame his decisions during the trial, a trial in which they blamed everyone but Paxil for the death of Stewart Dolin.

GSK wasn't happy with the verdict decision by the jury so immediately filed motions for a new trial claiming, amongst many things, that...
 - The jury wasn't reasonable enough because they didn't return a verdict in favour of GSK.
 - Stewart Dolin's Dr should have told Stewart about the Paxil suicide risk in adults, even though GSK never made this clear on the labeling
 - It wasn't their responsibility to change the label, it was the FDA's
 - Stewart killed himself because of an underlying illness, in any event, he took a generic version of their drug and even though they (GSK) were responsible for the label of that generic drug doesn't mean they should be held liable
 - Dolin's expert witness testimony wasn't reliable
 - There is no causal link between Paxil and suicide
 - The judge never instructed the jury properly
So, every possible excuse under the sun then. In not accepting defeat graciously GSK, via their hired suits of King & Spalding have made themselves look like spoiled little brats, and we all know how to treat spoiled little brats, right?

Well, Judge Hart does. He looked at their limp-wristed motions and answered them in stylish fashion. Pay particular attention to his stance of whether or not Paxil can cause suicide.

Regarding Stewart's doctor failing to warn about the adult risk of suicide in adults taking Paxil, Judge Hart ruled that Stewart's Dr was not aware of the suicide risk, further, the Paxil label did not adequately warn of an increased risk of suicide for adults taking Paxil.

He told them they did not provide the court, or indeed the jury, with evidence that the FDA would never have allowed such a warning on the label, adding that because Stewart took the generic form of Paxil does not mean that GSK cannot be held liable.

He disagreed with their claim that Dolin's expert witnesses were unreliable by merely counteracting it with "they were reliable."

He went on to tell GSK that there were no errors in instructing the jury.

Most damning of all was the following...
"There is a causal link between Mr. Dolin’s ingestion of paroxetine, his side effects, and consequent suicide."
For years pharmaceutical companies and global medicine regulators have claimed that correlation does not equal causation - However, unlike Stewart Dolin's widow, Wendy, and her legal team of  Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman PC, and David Rapoport and Matthew Sims of Rapoport Law Offices PC., regulators never investigate the suicides so they can always claim that correlation does not equal causation - if they actually went out and spoke to doctors and the grieving family members, they may learn a thing or two.

So, what happens now? Will GSK walk away licking their wounds and cough up the $3 million awarded to Wendy Dolin back in April, or will they retain the services of King & Spalding once again to take this matter to the Supreme Court? King & Spalding had nigh on 6 weeks to cross-examine, they did so with inane questions that were more designed to try and catch witnesses lying rather than strike home the point that Paxil does not cause some adults to kill themselves. They failed on a humungous scale and they may, if given the go-ahead from GSK, try their embarrassing tactics on a bigger stage, that of the Supreme Court. At what point does GSK or, indeed, King & Spalding not realise that the whole of the industry is in a complete state of apoplexy watching their comedic performance? Seriously, Messrs Bayman and Davis, along with the bald-headed guy who filed his fingernails at the King & Spalding table in court, should be up for Best Comedy Performance by a legal team in 2017. That's one presentation I would attend, if only to give them a much-deserved standing ovation as they went to collect their award.

If I were GSK I'd take a long, hard look at those they hire to defend cases for them. In this instance, King & Spalding, the legal outfit from Atlanta have not only embarrassed themselves, they have embarrassed GSK too. (If that's possible) They have all the traits of narcissism, believing that they are all-empowering. GSK's grandiose sense of self-importance obviously rubbed off on the King & Spalding team when they opposed the judge in this case. Their sense of entitlement is all too plain to see, as is their lack of empathy and unwillingness to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others. Finally, their arrogance is staggering - The jury was wrong, Dolin's experts were wrong. the judge was wrong.

It will be very interesting to see how this will now unfold. Will GSK take a look at King & Spalding and think, 'well, that was another bag of money wasted at our stakeholder's expense', or will they continue to argue that black is really white and everybody else is wrong? King & Spalding didn't just fail GSK by losing this case and the chance for a new trial, they failed every other single pharmaceutical company waiting anxiously in the wings to see if they could themselves be held liable in potential future litigation.

As a blogger writing and researching GSK for the past 11 years it gives me great pleasure to write about them and all their failings, their dystopia is my utopia.

Here's another ditty to them.

Sing to the tune of Hot Chocolate's 'So You Win Again' (Lyrics beneath video)



"Dolin Wins Again"

Just to admit one mistake
That can be hard to take
I know you've made them all
Like fools, you come back for more
Being the fool you are
I figured in all your plans, Glaxo
Your endless motions didn't say
About the Paxil deaths, you hid away.

Dolin wins again, she wins again
Here you stand again, the loser
And just for fun you took Stew's life and run,
And now you've been outdone

You can't refute her
But now you know that you're the fool
Who lost your case, you lost it all
If you come back, you'll lose again
And I am proud to say
The Press will have a field day
Now she's the one who's crying
Because of your denying
When will her heartache end?
Will her whole life depend on fading memories
You took his life so stop now, please

Dolin wins again, she wins again
Here you stand again, the loser
And just for fun you took Stew's life and run,
And now you've been outdone

2017 (C) - Fid Chocolate 
(Original lyrics by Russ Ballard 1977)



Coverage of the Dolin Trial

Dolin v GSK - Opening Arguments

Dolin Vs GSK - Day Two - "Jack-In-The-Box"

Dolin vs GSK - Healy 'Rocks Da House'

Dolin Vs GSK - JP Garnier Video Deposition

Dolin Vs GSK - The Dunbar Tape

Dolin Vs GSK - Day 4 - Slam Dunk

Dolin Vs GSK - 8.9 Suicide Increase For Adult Paxil Users

Dolin Vs GSK - Day 6 - Ass Kicking Semantics

Dolin Vs GSK - Day 7 - Abraham Lincoln

Dolin Vs GSK - Day 8 - Get to the Point, Todd!

Dolin Vs GSK - Glenmullen Nails It!

Dolin Vs GSK - "Babes"

Dolin Vs GSK - Wendy's Cross and GSK's Petition

Dolin Vs GSK - Robert "Bling Bling" Gibbons

Dolin Vs GSK: Suicide Prevention Warning "Futile", Claims GSK Exec

Dolin Vs GSK : Jury shown List of the Dead in Paxil Clinical Trials

Dolin Vs GSK: Last Man Standing & The Return of Dr. Healy

Dolin Vs GSK: Closing Arguments

Dolin Vs GSK - The Verdict

Exclusive: Interview With Wendy Dolin


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

From Chicago to New York - The Legacy of Stewart Dolin




Wendy and Stewart Dolin

Death by Deception

A couple of cracking pieces were published in the New York Times (NYT) 48 hours ago about Paxil and the Dolin vs. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) trial. The articles covered Paxil-induced akathisia and the flawed logic GSK vainly tried to use to defend its Chicago product liability case. (Paxil is a SSRI that, for many unsuspecting consumers, is neither safe nor effective.) Rabin adeptly highlights Paxil-induced akathisia, a serious condition caused by SSRIs that often precipitates iatrogenic suicide. Paxil's drug label, like most SSRI labels, states akathisia is a "feeling of inner-restlessness" and, well, that's about it. But Rabin rightfully communicates that akathisia is "a state of acute physical and psychological agitation."

I tip my hat to Rabin and her balanced, informative articles as major news outlets rarely cover pharma topics without being influenced by industry funding and shady spokespersons. Many organizations that freely provide "expert" sources for quotes and soundbites take drug money and/or have strong industry ties. These include the Science Media Centre, the MHRA, the FDA, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

In addition, many newspapers fail to require that authors and sources ethically disclose conflicts of interests. We recently saw this when The Guardian published Mark Brown's article, 'Antidepressants work, so why do we shame people for taking them?' but failed to inform readers of any conflicts of interest the author and sources may have to the pharmaceutical industry and "mental health" organizations. When a reader asked The Guardian if it follows any journalistic standards for ethical disclosure, The Guardian responded with censorship, removed the comment from public view and absurdly claimed the reader failed to "abide by our community standards."



Click images to enlarge

Apparently, The Guardian believes the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) doesn't have appropriate community standards either. The SPJ code states ethical journalism should "serve the public" and "avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived." Authors should "disclose unavoidable conflicts."

For all the above reasons, it is refreshing to see Rabin's NYT reporting. Lawsuit Over a Suicide Points to a Risk of Antidepressants.' and 'Suicide Data Incorrectly Reported in Drug Trials', Suit Claimedhave received many comments in the past 48 hours. Some readers share their own experiences with prescription drug-induced akathisia and ignorant doctors. Others refuse to accept that SSRIs can cause unwanted deaths. Many deniers do so because it's difficult to realize their trusted doctors may unwittingly be poisoning them. Other deniers may believe SSRIs like Paxil are helping them when in actuality, the symptoms they experience upon stopping these drugs are caused by withdrawal and not by any underlying illness

Intentional Omission & Labeling

Can you imagine if GSK and other pharmaceutical companies accurately described akathisia on Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft et al. labeling? Few people would buy these products. GSK argued at the Dolin trial that they did everything in their power to change the labeling but the FDA wouldn't let them. Boo hoo and not true: GSK had an opportunity to meet with the FDA, and GSK declined. Pharmaceutical marketing purposefully hides the truth about akathisia because companies want to cover up this deadly adverse drug reaction (ADR). Companies carefully craft SSRI labels and instruct young, pretty drug reps to downplay akathisia when talking to doctors about the products they peddle. Their profitable game of semantics creates a deadly game of Russian Roulette for unsuspecting consumers. However, the public is becoming increasingly aware of fraudulent marketing and akathisia. This progress is due in part to the families of SSRI victims who actively advocate for akathisia awareness and Informed Consent.



Outside the Chicago court house with mothers and wives whose loved ones were lost due to SSRI-induced akathisia and a lack of Informed Consent

My previous coverage of the Dolin trial (links at the foot of this post), showed the ineptness of GSK's attorneys, King & Spalding. It was clear from day one that Wendy Dolin's attorneys--Brent Wisner and Michael Baum of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman and David E. Rapoport and Matthew Sims of Rapoport Law Offices P.C.--are more talented lawyers than the clowns from King & Spalding. That they were able to bring the Dolin case to trial was an accomplishment in and of itself given the complexities of this ground-breaking case.

Some might not understand how one can sue a pharmaceutical company who didn't make the actual pill responsible for the victim's death. But Wendy's attorneys correctly looked at the labeling issues. Just who, exactly, is responsible for the product label? It is GSK, the makers of Paxil. The verdict is a landmark result, and one can see why GSK is disturbed. The Dolin verdict opens the door for other Paxil and generic Paxil victims to sue for suffering and death caused by GSK's drug and labeling. The successful Dolin verdict also may lead to similar lawsuits filed by victims of other generic drugs and mislabeling. Wendy's team had all the odds stacked against them, but they succeeded. It shows how compassion can play a vital role in successfully taking these cases to trial. I believe compassion and compelling evidence swung the jury.

King & Spalding offered no compassion nor compelling evidence during the trial. But GSK attorney, Andy Bayman, did utter some words he may now regret. He asked the jury, “Don’t you think if these medicines caused suicide someone would have spoken up?” The jury's verdict showed Bayman and GSK that the dead are speaking up through a very skilled team of compassionate attorneys.

Victim Blaming

I've covered the abhorrent criminal behavior of GSK for 11 years. However, when I attended the Dolin trial I was still a bit surprised to see just how unscrupulous GSK can be. The company is a tight ship run by dodgy captains and crew-members more befitting to a pirate movie starring Johnny Depp. (But the GSK movie would have to carry an R rating or 18 certificate.)

GSK and their ill-prepared attorneys futilely tried to blame everyone for Stewart's death. They claimed it was the FDA's fault. They claimed it was the doctor's fault. They claimed it was Stewart's fault. They claimed Dolin was mentally ill and, hence, jumped in front of a train after a normal business lunch. What I saw at the trial was shameless victim blaming--a PR tactic akin to the mental health industry's recent imaginary "pill shaming" campaign.

During the Dolin case, it emerged that 20 subjects died by suicide in Paxil clinical trials, and 80% of these deaths were consumers over the age of 30. All were taking Paxil and not placebo at the time of their deaths. Paxil, like other SSRIs, does not discriminate by age when it comes to causing akathisia. It, like other SSRIs, does not discriminate by age when it comes to creating withdrawal ADRs. I was flabbergasted when Dolin's brilliant attorneys showed the following display in court. I think the jury was surprised too, as Wendy's attorneys vividly highlighted the truth.



Plaintiff's Exhibit 347

GSK didn't vigorously deny its product causes akathisia and suicide. They focused more on keeping evidence out instead of downplaying the evidence that was already in. During the trial when Paxil withdrawal and birth defects were mentioned, GSK's legal clowns repeatedly objected. Heaven forbid the jury to hear that Paxil not only can cause violent, unwanted deaths, but that Paxil also causes harm to fetuses and severe withdrawal ADRs.

Since the Dolin verdict, I've been at loggerheads with British drug regulator, the MHRA, to learn why there is no stringent warning for adults taking SSRIs. It is bizarre that a regulator would refuse to place a suicide warning on a drug that causes akathisia and death. When I've requested data from the MHRA, they play the pharmaceutical industry's game of semantics or ask that I pay for information. They made the payment request claiming it will take them too much time to research and reply. This information should be free and available to the public.

Nevertheless, the public is increasingly becoming aware of akathisia--a word with a melodic rhythm that sounds like some sort of sweet tasting pudding, not a condition that causes suicidal thoughts and suicide. GSK, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, et al. have known about akathisia for decades but choose to hide the truth to make a buck. They could use some of their dollars to wipe their blood-stained hands after each avoidable death their greedy business plan creates. But some people don't mind blood on their hands and would never waste an ill-gotten dollar.



Preventing Prescribed Suicide

As for Stewart's widow, Wendy, she continues to bang the drum for drug safety. A $3 million award from the jury, of which she has not yet seen a penny, doesn't dampen her resolve to ensure other families don't bury loved ones whose avoidable deaths were precipitated by prescriptions. For more information about akathisia, see the Medication-Induced Suicide Prevention and Education Foundation in Memory of Stewart Dolin website. MISSD is a non-profit organization whose mission is to raise awareness and educate the public about the dangers of akathisia. In October, MISSD will hold its third annual fund raising event in Chicago.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, organizations such as AFSP and NAMI could join MISSD to reduce deaths caused by prescription drugs. However, given that the pharmaceutical companies are some of their biggest financial donors, it is doubtful they will ever earnestly work to reduce iatrogenic suicides.

AFSP's financial report is here. One of their largest donors, Johnson & Johnson, was forced to pay a $2.2 billion fine for fraudulently marketing the antipsychotic Risperdal to children. (Source)

NAMI's financial report is here. They conceal the amount of drug money they take, but one of their biggest "supporters" is Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, makers of the SSRI Zoloft. Pfizer was forced to pay a $2.3 billion fine for "misbranding" and provided kickbacks to health-care providers to encourage them to prescribe drugs including Zoloft. (Source)

Bob Fiddaman


Coverage of the Dolin Trial

Dolin v GSK - Opening Arguments

Dolin Vs GSK - Day Two - "Jack-In-The-Box"

Dolin vs GSK - Healy 'Rocks Da House'

Dolin Vs GSK - JP Garnier Video Deposition

Dolin Vs GSK - The Dunbar Tape

Dolin Vs GSK - Day 4 - Slam Dunk

Dolin Vs GSK - 8.9 Suicide Increase For Adult Paxil Users

Dolin Vs GSK - Day 6 - Ass Kicking Semantics

Dolin Vs GSK - Day 7 - Abraham Lincoln

Dolin Vs GSK - Day 8 - Get to the Point, Todd!

Dolin Vs GSK - Glenmullen Nails It!

Dolin Vs GSK - "Babes"

Dolin Vs GSK - Wendy's Cross and GSK's Petition

Dolin Vs GSK - Robert "Bling Bling" Gibbons

Dolin Vs GSK: Suicide Prevention Warning "Futile", Claims GSK Exec

Dolin Vs GSK : Jury shown List of the Dead in Paxil Clinical Trials

Dolin Vs GSK: Last Man Standing & The Return of Dr. Healy

Dolin Vs GSK: Closing Arguments

Dolin Vs GSK - The Verdict

Exclusive: Interview With Wendy Dolin















Monday, September 04, 2017

The Pill Shaming Myth





There seems to be a new Goebbels-type saying doing the rounds, it's picking up momentum and it's often used as a line of defence when one speaks out about the dangers of SSRIs, or any psychiatric drug for that matter. I don't know who coined the term but it's not only being used by patients, it's also being used by healthcare professionals and The Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Pill Shaming

I had to go to the Urban Dictionary to find out more about this term.

The action or practice of making mocking or critical comments about people who take medication.
Pill shaming is most-often directed at people who take/endorse taking psychotropic medicactions as part of a mental health relapse-prevention/recovery plan. As with fat shaming, pill shaming achieves little other than frustrate and humiliate individuals who may already be feeling self-conscious and vulnerable..
Those who indulge in pill shaming are often ideologically driven (eg: scientologists), but sometimes they're just ignorant fools. Since 2013 the act of pill shaming is sometimes called-out on Twitter with the hashtag #pillshaming.

In my 11 years of research, I have not met one single person who has ever mocked or been critical of another person who has decided that medication is their best course of action. Not one.

One would have thought with the line of work that I do that I would have met many.

Maybe the mothers I've spoken to over the years who have lost children to SSRI-induced suicide, or maybe those who have lost loving partners or even surviving siblings of those who have lost a loved one to SSRI induced suicide.

The answer is still no. Not one of the above mentioned has ever, to my knowledge, "pill-shamed."

So, if I've never met anyone then where are these so called 'pill shamers'?

It was a question I put to Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist, Annie Hickox on Twitter after she had tweeted the following:
Her tweet was in response to an article President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Wendy Burn, had earlier tweeted:

With this in mind, I asked Hickox if she could give me an instance of this "shaming". She tweeted back to me the following:

I understand that people have to work. I was, however, surprised to learn that for the next two hours Hickox continued to tweet and retweet on her page. Maybe she found the question I put to her too difficult to answer, or maybe, she just didn't have any examples of instances where pill shaming had occurred?

The term pill shaming has often been used against me for speaking out regarding the dangerous side of antidepressants, normally followed by "they save lives" or "you're a conspiracy theorist."

I talk about this in a recent podcast I did with James Moore via the Mad In America website. You can listen to it here.

I do hope Wendy Burn and her colleagues at the Royal College of Psychiatrists tune into it too.

And Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist, Annie Hickox. They might learn a thing or two and may just start listening to patients rather than throwing labels around.

Coming later this week is a blog post about the Guardian article both Burn and Hickox were promoting on Twitter. The Guardian, it appears, were stifling voices in the comment section of the article. More on this later in the week. In the meantime, here's the article.

Bob Fiddaman


Friday, September 01, 2017

The Prognosticator Pariante





Earlier this week the British tabloid, The Evening Standard, ran with an article that posed the question, Why are prescriptions of antidepressants at an all-time high?

Finally, I thought, evidence to show why antidepressant prescriptions have risen by 92% in the UK over the last ten years.

Alas, I was wrong. The article rolled out the standard fare and it appeared that the column inches were given to two members of the Science Media Centre (SMC). You can read about the SMC here.

A day later, another British tabloid, this time The Guardian, rolled out an article from Mark Brown, this one was entitled, Antidepressants work, so why do we shame people for taking them?

Leading the push to increase the 92% increase in prescriptions for antidepressants was none other than Swedish professor of pharmacology, Elias Eriksson who, in the past, has been on advisory boards and/or received speaker's honoraria from Eli Lilly and H Lundbeck, both of whom, you've guessed it, promote and manufacture antidepressants. Swedish friend and fellow investigative journalist, Janne Larsson, who has been researching Eriksson for years, told me, "You should know that his next target is children; to make a “reanalysis” of the studies on antidepressants done by the companies, to show that the pills are “safe and effective” also for children and that the claims about increased suicidality are completely wrong."

Today, however, I wish to concentrate on the Evening Standard article because it throws up yet another popular myth from the field of psychiatry.

Last month the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) ran a disastrous PR campaign via Twitter, this coming after the BBC had aired A Prescription For Murder. The RCP, it seemed, wanted to orchestrate the general consensus that Panorama was scaremongering when they dared to point out that an antidepressant called Zoloft could have been implicated in the slaying of cinema goers in Aurora, Colorado (2012).



Spearheading this initiative was, amongst others, Carmain Pariante and Wendy Burn, both of whom have strong connections to the RCP and SMC. It was an initiative that backfired as hundreds of people, concerned about the side effects of antidepressants, pushed questions at them. In the end, they were forced to concede that the chemical imbalance theory, that they had been promoting for many years, was now something that they no longer agree with. No apology, no explanation as to why they ever promoted this nonsense, just a tweet...



So, with one myth busted what do they, the RCP do? Well, they create another one, once again offering no proof whatsoever. They, after confessing that they no longer supported chemical imbalance theory wrote this...


So, the story of Hansel and Gretel and the mysterious hut made of sweets continues. Hansel and Gretel, although I say so myself, is a good analogy to use here - they too were duped into believing the mysterious hut was everything they could wish for, what kid wouldn't like to see a hut made of sweet tasting candy, right? They were basically lured into the hut by the wicked witch who, in some versions of the old fairy-tale, was a cannibal.

Now, I'm not suggesting for one minute that Wendy Burn and Carmain Pariante are your modern day versions of the wicked witch or, indeed, cannibals, but the antidepressants they, seemingly, promote are aimed at the public in pretty much the same way of luring (making false promises).

You see, for many years people have questioned where depression comes from. Logical people will tell you that it's more than likely down to circumstances in your life, you know, financial woes, relationship problems, work related stress, etc.

The pharmaceutical industry, along with the field of psychiatry don't know why people get depressed, nobody does. So, to sell a pharmaceutical product one has to create a problem that it can cure or, as with the case of antidepressants, stabilize. That's why the chemical imbalance theory was born and, as you can see above, later (much later) officially thrown out of the pushchair by the RCP.

However, with one myth gone they had to create another - let's face it, without antidepressants a good 80% of psychiatrists would be unemployed. So, along comes the 2017 version of the chemical imbalance, in that antidepressants increase new brain cells. You see, anyone can say pretty much anything about the human brain because it's an organ that has been studied by the medical establishment for many years, they have guessed, second guessed and created theories because, well, because if they look at the workings of the brain on a rat and then treat that rat with a chemical then that treatment will, more than likely (they claim) work on the brain of a human.

So, is it possible to actually create new brain cells? There are many who claim that this is, indeed, is a possibility. However, those that make these claims outside of the incestuous industry do so by offering the fruits of mother nature.

Blueberries, dark chocolate, Omega-3 fatty acids, turmeric, and green tea are also said to create new brain cells, as is sex. To my knowledge, none of the above carry any risk of suicide or any withdrawal problems.

If it's true that these natural products can create new brain cells then why is Pariante jumping on the back of mother nature and now claiming that antidepressants do the same? The Evening Standard article quotes him:

"The action of antidepressants is more complex than that and involves stimulating the birth of new brain cells and regulating stress hormones."

Nowhere in the article does Pariante offer any evidence to back his claim. Why would he? For years people like him continued to tout the chemical imbalance nonsense - for years he, just like many others, refused to budge, resulting in millions of prescriptions to unsuspecting members of the public who were told by their general practitioner that they had something chemically wrong going on inside their brains...but fear not, there is a product on the market that can correct it.

The latest creation of new brain cells myth will, no doubt, go unanswered for many years, is it true, isn't it true? It doesn't really matter whether it is or not, at least not to the likes of Pariante et al. He just needs something in place to deflect the reasons why he and his colleagues duped so many people for years.

Just like the witch did to Hansel and Gretel.


Bob Fiddaman






Monday, August 28, 2017

MHRA Mumblings








More correspondence from the MHRA.

First off, you may recall last month that the MHRA's enforcement officer, Danny Lee-Frost found himself in hot water regarding comments he made about antidepressants on Sky TV.

I wrote to both Lee-Frost and Sky News for clarification. Lee-Frost told me, "My reference to suicides was in relation to a case that the MHRA is aware of involving addiction to Zopliclone." Whereas Sky News informed me that they edited Lee-Frosts's original statement after the MHRA contacted them about their blunder. (Back story)

I wrote back to Lee-Frost the following:
Dear Mr. Lee-Frost,
Thanks for your rapid response. It was the fastest reply I've ever received from MHRA in more than a decade of correspondence.
Your response is appreciated but has further confused me about several issues. I hope you and other MHRA staff can help clarify.
1. Your original Sky News interview quote was:
"The sleeping pills and antidepressants are a lot more dangerous. People have committed suicide as the ultimate resort to try and get off them. These are fiercely addictive."
Sky News has now changed your quotes and deleted most of your references to antidepressants. Please help me understand why Sky News would inexplicably change your direct quotes. Did you or other MHRA staff contact Sky News regarding your original statements?
2. Your reply to me also states "Sky did not include the interview in its entirety in their piece." Do you mean to imply that by not running the entire article, Sky News misquoted you and misrepresented MHRA's views? If so, will MHRA please set the record straight by requesting that Sky News release the full article? Doing so can help MHRA clearly communicate serious risks to the public it professes to serve.
3. You specifically mentioned “antidepressants” twice on Sky News, and the entire point of my email to you was about your reference to antidepressants. Given this, it is peculiar your reply made no mention whatsoever to antidepressants. What you did state is “My reference to suicides was about a case that the MHRA is aware of involving addiction to Zopiclone”. You mention “a case” – i.e. one instance – in relation to Zopiclone.
Given the importance MHRA has placed on this single Zopiclone death, when can the public expect MHRA to release a report or press interview about the multiple cases of suicides precipitated by drugs labeled "antidepressants?" (There is no shortage of well-documented and reported antidepressant-induced deaths in the last 20 years.) It is my understanding antidepressants are so dangerous that their packaging now contains an explicit warning regarding suicidal thoughts and antidepressants.
4. As previously noted, Sky News later changed your direct quote to, "Sleeping pills particularly, they can be addictive. People have committed suicide as the ultimate resort to try and get off them. These are fiercely addictive."
As I understand you were referring to Zopiclone when you mentioned the "sleeping pills," correct?
Your reference to addiction and withdrawal-induced "suicides" confuses me because nowhere on the product labeling does it suggest Zopiclone can be addictive when first starting it. Moreover, the SPC label does not mention suicide as a result of consumers trying to withdraw from the drug. Can you or other MHRA staff show me otherwise? Also, please clarify for me, to what class of drug does Zopiclone belong?
The  SPC-DOC_PL 41684-0003.PDF is hosted on the MHRA website and last updated on 02/06/2017 
5. In your reply, you also state "matters of clinical diagnosis are not in my area of expertise."
This statement is a surprising inclusion given that issues relating to clinical diagnosis have nothing to do with either the Sky News article, your original interview quotes, nor my first email to you. As Head of Enforcement with the MRHA, it is absolutely within your remit to make such statements about prescribed drugs such as antidepressants and tranquilizers--as you indeed did.
Thank you for your time and attention; I look forward to your reply.
Lee-Frost, without going into any detail about the Zopiclone question I put to him, wrote back:
Dear Mr Fiddaman,
Thank you for your response to my email. I hope I am further able to clarify matters for you.
When I was interviewed by Sky News it was about the dangers of buying medicines from outside the regulated supply chain, either from websites operating illegally or through websites like Facebook. During the interview, Diazepam and Zopiclone were two specific medicines that we discussed and I misspoke when I referred to them as anti-depressants.
My discussion points were anecdotal. During the preparation for, and discussions with the Sky journalist I emphasised that as I am in the Enforcement Group, I am only able to make statements relating to criminal activities involving medicines. The point about the piece was to highlight the dangers of illegally operating websites and the health dangers of buying medicines without the supervision of a treating physician who is able to appropriately prescribe medicines and monitor the patient’s treatment.
The article merged several statements together and did not include quotes in their entirety. We requested Sky to use the quotes in their proper context so the message we were conveying could get through. As the online article now reflects the topics we discussed in their proper order, we will not be asking Sky to release anything further as we believe that the piece highlights the dangers of buying from illegally operating websites as intended. However, you are free to contact Sky if you so wish.
I trust this explanation clarifies the position for you, and any further correspondence should be directed through the appropriate channel: info@mhra.gov.uk
Kind regards,
Regards
Danny Lee-Frost MSc
---

Make of that what you will. It appears to me as if he is saying he was wrong, without actually admitting he was wrong. I won't be writing back to the address he provided.

More Mumblings

As regular readers know I have, for some time, been at loggerheads with the MHRA regarding SSRI clinical trials. The MHRA have, for whatever reason, been reluctant to release that information to me, citing that it would cost too much money to release such information (I had asked them six questions) - I offered to crowd fund to get the money they requested and they backtracked, claiming that it was a mistake and I didn't need to pay anything. I then asked them a slimmed down version of my original 6 questions, namely; How many deaths occurred in the persons aged 24 or over in clinical trials for Prozac. How many were by suicide and how many of those patients were taking Prozac at the time of their death?

Their answer, which took a further 20 working days:

Thank you for your most recent FOI request dated 17th July 2017. You have asked for how many deaths occurred in the persons aged 24 or over in clinical trials for Prozac. How many were by suicide and how many of those patients were taking Prozac at the time of their death?

The MHRA do not hold individual case details from fluoxetine clinical trials and are therefore unable to provide a specific analysis of individuals aged 24 years or over. 

Quite why they couldn't have told me this over 3 months ago when I fist asked them still remains a mystery.

Back stories:

SSRI Deaths in Clinical Trials

MHRA Seek Payment For Info on Deadly Drugs

MHRA: No Deaths in Pediatric Trials, But What About Adults?

It hardly seems worth it to ask them about other SSRIs, they'll either not have that information or by the time they answer me someone would have invented a time machine!

The whole SSRI clinical trials question came to light during the Dolin Vs GSK trial in Chicago. Evidence presented at trial showed that during the Paxil (Seroxat) clinical trials 20 patients had died by suicide, all 20 were taking Paxil at the time of their suicide, all were over the age of 30. (Dolin Vs GSK : Jury shown List of the Dead in Paxil Clinical Trials)

It's obvious to me that the MHRA are failing on a grand scale to safeguard the British public, moreover, doing everything, it seems, to protect their own interests rather than those they are served to protect. I can only assume is obvious to those who read my blog too.

Yet more stalling

A week or so ago I asked them a simple question. It did not need to be treated as a Freedom of Information request, however, for some bizarre reason it has. My question was simple and, as yet, has not been answered:

Why do SSRI patient information leaflets list the risks yet don't list the benefits?

I'll let you know when they send me further mumblings.

Bob Fiddaman



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