If anti-depressant’s were so effective then why is it that almost every person who commits suicide has been on them?…
Details have yet to emerge.. but it’s looking like a typical anti-depressant induced suicide…
Jane Birkin’s daughter Kate Barry dies after fall from Paris flatBody of British-born photographer, 46, found on pavement outside her home in French capital on Wednesday eveningBritish-born photographer Kate Barry, daughter of the actor and singer Jane Birkin, has died after falling from the window of her fourth-floor Paris flat.
Her body was found around 6.30pm on Wednesday on the pavement outside her home in the 16th arrondissement.
Barry, 46, was Birkin’s eldest daughter and was born in London. Her father was the British composer John Barry, best known for his film music including the James Bond theme and Out of Africa. He died in 2011.
Her parents separated shortly after she was born in 1967, and Birkin moved to France where she brought up her daughter with the French singer Serge Gainsbourg, and later the film director Jacques Doillon.
Barry carved out a name for herself as a fashion photographer, but in France remained less famous than her actor half-sisters, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon. Barry once said she preferred to remain behind the scenes.
“At first, I was better known because of my family: my mother, my stepfather, my father, my sisters … now I hope I’m known a bit more for my own work,” Barry said.
She was thought to have been alone in the flat, where antidepressants were reportedly found by police, who have launched an inquiry into her death. The door to her flat was locked from the inside.
“The matter is under investigation, but we can confirm the death,” a police spokesperson said on Thursday.
Birkin has often spoken about her closeness to her daughters, saying not a week passed when she did not talk to all three.
“My eldest daughter, Kate, looks most like me. She’s a photographer. She had a Polaroid camera in her hand from a young age and photographed her sisters all the time,” Birkin, 66, said in an interview.
Barry spent many years battling drug and alcohol addiction and in 1994 set up a free centre for addicts in France.
Two years later she began her photography career, which took off with a major exhibition in Japan. Afterwards her images were published in several major publications, including British Vogue and Paris Match.
As well as her mother and half-sisters, she leaves a 26-year-old son, Roman de Kermadec.
Jane Birkin and John Barry’s daughter Kate Barry dies after falling from apartment in apparent suicide
- DECEMBER 13, 2013 1:27AM
The building where British photographer Kate Barry was found dead after jumping from her Paris flat. Picture: AFP Source: AFP
British actor and singer Jane Birkin with 7-month-old Kate Barry, her daughter by composer John Barry, on November 9, 1967. Picture: Getty Source: Getty Images
PHOTOGRAPHER Kate Barry, daughter of singer-actress Jane Birkin and famed Bond film composer John Barry, has died after falling from her fourth floor Paris flat in an apparent suicide.
The 46-year-old was found beneath her flat in the city’s wealthy 16th district on Wednesday evening.
Barry lived alone and anti-depressants were discovered inside her flat, which was locked from the inside, police said.
She was the daughter of British-born Birkin, best known as the muse and partner of late French singer Serge Gainsbourg, and British composer John Barry, famous for writing 11 James Bond movie themes includingGoldfinger and Diamonds Are Forever.
Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti paid rich tribute to Kate Barry, saying that her “loving and heartfelt thoughts” were with a “family we all love”.
Barry had studied fashion but turned to photography later. She had drug and alcohol problems which prompted her to open a centre for addicts near Paris.
“Her fragility touched us,” Mr Filippetti said, adding that Barry was an outstanding photographer whose “sense of light and composition was very pictorial”.
Kate Barry had said in an interview that she was fascinated by photography as a child, starting out with Gainsbourg’s Polaroid.
“For me it was something miraculous, the image appeared almost immediately,” she said.
Birkin and John Barry, who died in 2011, separated in 1967, the year of Kate Barry’s birth, and she was brought up until her teenage years by Birkin and Gainsbourg.
At the time, they were the most famous couple in France, as much for their bohemian and hedonistic lifestyle as for their work. Gainsbourg, a chronic alcoholic, died, aged 62, in 1991.
Kate Barry was also the half-sister of actresses Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon.
Her photographs had appeared in leading French magazines such as Paris Match, Elle andLe Figaro and she had recently held an exhibition of her works entitled Point of View. Portraits. Still Life in Paris.
She had one son, Roman, who was born in 1987.
just 16 but within a week of starting seroxat had began self harming.
|October 9 2004, 4:59 PM|
Sarah Thompson says she
self harmed on Seroxat
Sarah Thompson was prescribed Seroxat for depression three years ago. She was just 16 at the time.
She had never had suicidal thoughts before taking the drug, but within a week had began self harming.
She told the programme: “I’d never thought about suicide before I took Seroxat and when I was taking it. I was obsessed about death it was part of my every day life.
“I would cut myself mainly and then I started to burn myself and found other methods, but it was mainly cutting myself to start with.
Three years on, she has strong views about the regulation of the drug: “Looking back at what happened to me because of Seroxat, and the great affect it has had on my life and to my relationships with my family and my future.
“I don’t think that the regulators are doing their job properly, because they allowed me to take a drug that has in effect taken away part of my childhood.”
Shanghai health official suspended following GSK scandal
- Staff Reporter
- 17:34 (GMT+8)
A man walks by a GSK branch in Tianjin. (Photo/Xinhua)
Huang Fengping, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning, is said to have been suspended following an investigation into his alleged involvement in economic crimes related to British pharmaceutical and healthcare giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), reports the Guangzhou-based 21st Century Business Herald.
Huang, born in 1965, is a well-known expert in neurosurgery, and previously served as vice president of the Huashan Hospital affiliated to the Fudan University in Shanghai. Insiders claim that Huang was taken away by related investigators in mid-September, and was recently taken back to Shanghai.
His position within the commission had already been taken down from its official website on Dec. 6, while a commission spokesman declined to comment further on Huang and the ongoing case against him, the paper said.
Aside from his position at the commission, Huang is also vice chairman of the Shanghai Municipal Committee of Chinese Peasants and Workers Democratic Party, but the committee’s website has also deleted Huang from its leaders’ list.
Insiders claim that Huang is involved in the GSK bribery case via the Huashan Hospital, while one of his close relatives also works for the multinational.
GSK, meanwhile, is facing the biggest risk in China since it entered the nation in 1908 as police are investigating whether its executives are involved in alleged economic crimes, the Beijing-based Economic Observer reported in mid-July.
Executives of the British pharmaceutical giant are said to have bribed government officials, some medical associations and foundations, hospitals and doctors by inviting them to attend overseas academic seminars, covering their expenses during the trips, the Economic Observer said.
On July 11, a report from the Ministry of Public Security said that GSK, in order to establish the channel to sell its drugs, had used travel agencies to directly bribe or indirectly sponsor some pharmaceutical industry associations, hospitals and doctors.
Legal bid over swine flu jab link to narcolepsy
Patients who developed narcolepsy after receiving Pandemrix swine flu jab launch a class action against manufacturer GSK – but taxpayer could foot compensation billPandemrix was administered to high-risk groups during the swine flu pandemic Photo: GETTY IMAGES
A group of 38 British people who developed narcolepsy after receiving the “Pandemrix” swine flu vaccine have launched a legal claim against its manufacturer.
The Government admitted in September that evidence suggests the jab can cause the neurological disorder, which results in excessive drowsiness and severely disrupted sleeping patterns.
Lawyers representing the group, most of whom are children, claim each could be due to £1 million in compensation after launching a class action against its manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
But any award is likely to be paid for by the taxpayer because an indemnity agreed between GSK and the Department of Health states that any compensation claims and costs must be paid by the government.
The vaccine was administered to high-risk groups including children and adults with asthma, diabetes and heart disease at the height of the swine flu pandemic in 2009-10.
Evidence compiled by the Health Protection Agency earlier this year suggests that about one in 55,000 vaccinated children – or about 20 in total in the UK – may have gone on to develop narcolepsy.
The condition causes serious disruption to patients’ sleep and everyday life, and in some cases sufferers develop a related condition called cataplexy which results in total loss of muscle control.
Peter Todd, a solicitor at Hodge Jones & Allen, who is representing the 38 families, described the indemnity agreed between GSK and the government as “almost unprecedented”.
He added: “I did not expect GSK to invoke their entitlement to be indemnified by the UK Government – however they have done so immediately after the UK Government itself admitted a link between the vaccine and narcolepsy.
“Narcolepsy is a serious, incurable condition requiring a lifetime of medication and management. Many of the activities that most people take for granted can be totally compromised, such as study, work and the ability to have sole care of young children. The innocent victims of this deserve support and provision for their futures.”
A GSK spokesman said the government had agreed to “manage and share the responsibility of any legal claims” because of the “unprecedented” scale and speed of vaccination programmes against H1N1 pandemic flu.
“Patient safety is our number one priority and we are actively researching how narcolepsy is triggered and how this vaccine might have interacted with other risk factors in affected individuals,” they added.
A Department of Health spokesperson said: “We are aware of this claim and are working with GlaxoSmithKline to consider it as quickly as practicable.”
GSK have received a lot of good press over the past year for their promises of transparency and access to data. They received particularly glowing praise by Ben Goldacre (author of Bad Pharma). However, no real transparency has actually occurred. Even if GSK did fulfill their promises- for Seroxat users and ex-Seroxat users- damaged by the drug- this will be of no use-whatsoever because GSK said they will only be giving (controlled) access to data post-2000 therefore that leaves out Seroxat data (and data for many other dangerous/dubious GSK drugs). So much for transparency!…
Good PR though..
To what extent the Glaxo effort will take hold remains to be seen. Nisen says the drugmaker has, so far, received 10 proposals and about 100 inquiries for data. Already, though, Glaxo has encountered criticism. For one, there is concern that its independent panel, which was established to review data requests, is not fully independent, if only because one member previously worked as a consultant to the drugmaker (see this). Glaxo has refused such assertions.
Separately, the drugmaker is haggling with a group of researchers who want clinical study reports for an infamous study of its Paxil antidepressant. They maintain Glaxo has balked at the request and has raised doubts about its commitment to releasing data. In the process, the dispute has raised questions about whether Glaxo complied with a 2004 consent order with the New York State Attorney General to publicly disclose the Paxil trial data (more here).
Eight years ago, I wrote a cover story for the Sunday magazine of the San Francisco Chronicle. It began with the story of a teenage girl I called Angela Reich who became depressed after enduring months of grueling chemotherapy for leukemia. She resisted suggestions that she try antidepressants and saw a therapist for a while but her sadness and despair didn’t lift. So she relented and saw a psychiatrist, who started her on Paxil, an antidepressant made by the British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.
The doctor increased the dose a little at a time, even after Reich told him she was feeling strange in her body and worse than she had before. She became increasingly anxious and jittery, with a relentless discomfort inside her body that caused her to constantly shake her leg. Finally, one morning, she attempted suicide by trying to swallow multiple doses of Ativan, Paxil and other medications she found around her house. Her father broke down the door of the bathroom, interrupting her pill-binge and rushed her to the hospital. His action may have saved her life.
Other teenage Paxil users were not so lucky. Jake Garrison, a 15-year-old who suffered from acne, was prescribed Paxil by his dermatologist for “body dysmorphic disorder,” a condition that leaves people feeling preoccupied with their own perceived physical defects. He took the medicine for a while, then stopped, and then, in September 2002, began taking it again. Three days later, he shot himself to death.
As I looked into the story at the time, several things became clear: GlaxoSmithKline was promoting the drug for use by teenagers even though it had never been cleared by the FDA for anyone under 18. The company also knew—but hadn’t revealed to doctors and patients—that, in some children, Paxil seemed to magnify their distress and increase their risk of thinking about or attempting suicide. GSK also seemed to be manipulating data from its clinical trials to minimize the number of suicides or attempts that might be blamed on its pills—“cooking the books,” in the words of a former Navy lawyer who took on the British pharma giant.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that GlaxoSmithKline had agreed to pay $3 billion in criminal and civil fines for its misdeeds in inappropriately marketing Paxil and another antidepressant, Wellbutrin; for withholding information on the cardiovascular risks of Avandia, a diabetes drug that has been shown to cause heart attacks; and for promoting Advair, an inhaled lung drug, to patients with mild asthma even though it wasn’t approved or appropriate for them. The fine was the largest ever imposed by the U.S. on a pharmaceutical company and settled both civil and criminal charges.
The settlement agreement and the attached documents were full of juicy details that have now been widely reported: How GSK orchestrated the publication of a “misleading,” ghost-written study purporting to show that Paxil helped children when evidence suggested the opposite. How the company paid doctors, including “Dr. Drew” Pinsky, to promote Wellbutrin and how sales reps pitched Wellbutrin to doctors as the “happy, horny, skinny drug,” claiming it was also good for obesity and sexual dysfunction although it was approved only for depression.
As I read through company documents released by government lawyers, I began thinking about some of the victims I’ve interviewed during two decades of reporting on the pharmaceutical industry and its marketing of flawed, sometimes dangerous drugs—people like Angela Reich and the anguished parents of other children who died. I also thought about the statements made by Sir Andrew Witty, Glaxo’s chief executive officer, who expressed “regret,” said the company had learned from “the mistakes that were made” and asserted that under his leadership the company was now “putting patients first, acting transparently…and displaying integrity in everything we do.”
I wanted to talk to some of the people who had been harmed by taking GlaxoSmithKline’s drugs and the lawyers who represented them to see how they felt about the company’s admission of guilt and its $3 billion fine. First, I connected with Angela Reich, who was back in the Bay Area from an eastern school where she is now pursuing a PhD in literature. (She again asked that her name be changed, as it was when I first wrote about her in 2004.)
She recalled her Paxil experience and her subsequent effort to wean herself from the drug as a nightmare, and was outraged that the company failed to warn patients about the dangers.
“I think it’s despicable what they did and I think a $3 billion fine is pathetic,” when the company’s earnings are considered, she told me. “No specific individual executive has been prosecuted or punished or fined; there’s nothing to take away the incentives for huge drug companies to commit fraud. I’m infuriated.”
In fact, Glaxo’s legal and financial liability goes beyond the DOJ settlement. The company has been hit with jury verdicts and settled thousands of cases alleging that Paxil caused suicides, addiction and birth defects in babies whose mothers using the drug during pregnancy. A couple of years ago, my former colleagues at Bloomberg News estimated that Glaxo had paid out about $1 billion to settle Paxil-related cases. That was before a raft of birth-defect cases had been settled or tried.
Michael Baum, a partner at Baum-Hedlund, a Los Angeles firm that handled some of those cases, told me about 1500 had settled and a few remained. Both he and Sean Tracey, the Houston attorney whose firm handled most of the birth-defect cases, declined to estimate the value of the settled cases because they were made secret under the terms of the settlements.
Then there’s Avandia. Baum thinks that GSK’s apology and partial admission of guilt may make it harder and more expensive for the company to settle a number of still-unsettled Avandia cases. He estimated the number at about 1800 and says his office is involved in 180 of them. About 50,000 Avandia cases have been settled.
“Their admissions in the plea agreement and the information (the criminal complaint) puts GSK’s experts and corporate representatives in a corner,” Baum said. “It makes it difficult for them to say they did not hide information from physicians.”
As part of the plea agreement, the company made a commitment: it had to pledge that its executives won’t lie in the future. That requirement, Baum said, “is going to make it difficult for them.”
So will the penalties imposed on GSK really deter nefarious behavior in the future? Baum agreed with his former client, Angela Reich, that while the fine itself is serious money, it doesn’t compare to the revenue the company made from fraudulent marketing. “The public exposure of the conduct may be more of a deterrent than the fines,” Baum said.
Last year, GSK had a net profit of 5.3 billion pounds ($8.2 billion) on revenue of 27.4 billion pounds ($42.6 billion). Paxil, which entered the U.S. market in 1993, had sales of $11.7 billion in the nine years starting in 1997. Avandia came on the market in 1999, reached peak annual sales of $3 billion in 2006, then fell to $1.2 billion in 2009, two years after a study in the New England Journal of Medicine linked Avandia to a 43 percent increased risk of heart attack.
“If pharma companies can flout the law and then simply write a check when they get caught, they’re never going to stop,” said Sean Tracey. “The money is too large. Until and unless someone’s liberty comes to jeopardy, they simply consider this the cost of doing business.”
The full set of documents relating to GSK’s suppression of information on the cardiovascular risks of Avandia has still not come to light and GSK is still working to keep those documents under wraps, Baum said. “They’re fighting us on releasing these documents that show what really happened,” he said. “They should allow the press and the public to see them.”
Tracey, meanwhile, is gearing up for another battle. Two years ago, he won a $2.5 million judgment against GSK for the family of a three-year-old boy, Lyam Kilker, whose mother took Paxil while she was pregnant. He subsequently settled 35 other cases. Now, on behalf of 150 clients, he is preparing to take on Pfizer, the maker of Zoloft, an antidepressant that came on the market around the same time as Paxil, and has also been alleged to cause birth defects. Stay tuned.
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Cronyism, Chinese Style
Cronyism - Favoritism shown to old friends without regard for their qualifications, as in political appointments to office.
British PM, David Cameron, is off to China, apparently he needs to drum up some business. It appears that the Prime Minister can’t do this alone, he needs to convince the Chinese government that the UK are good guys to deal with.
So, who better to tag along with Cameron than his old chum, Andrew Witty.
Witty, whose company, GlaxoSmithKline, are currently being investigated by Chinese officials for corruption, bribery and other misdemeanors, is part of David Cameron’s business council.
I find this really amusing. Here we have the leader of a country who wishes to convince Chinese officials that business with the UK is the way forward. To help convince China that the UK have wonderful business practices the UK bring along a knight, a sir, if you will, whose company, a British one, who are currently under investigation by Chinese authorities.
Laugh? I almost soiled myself!
However, this knight is not shining, in fact Witty must be cringing at the thought of being asked about Glaxo’s behaviour in China. I can just imagine how the phone call between Cameron and Witty went. Maybe it was something like this…
DC – Hey, Andy me old mucka, DC here, you fancy an all expenses paid trip to China?
AW – Are you taking the piss, DC?
DC – No mate, honest, we seriously need to drum up some business and investors. The UK has pretty much had it and nobody really trusts me anymore, if you believe the polls that is.
AW – But you are aware the Chinese authorities are investigating my company, aren’t you?
DC – Of course Andy but why are you worried about something so trivial, it never happened on your watch did it?
AW – No, and that’s the position that I have taken. I would have used the era excuse but it was fairly recent and I just didn’t think people would buy into it again.
DC – So, let’s have dinner. I’ve invited some of our business greats along too.
AW – But don’t you think it will be awkward for me if the press start to ask probing questions about the bribery allegations?
DC – Andy, Andy, Andy. C’mon, It’s just a few bad eggs, don’t stress my friend. Bring some Seroxat with you in case you get an anxiety attack.
AW – Sod that, have you seen what that shit does to kids?
DC – Just part of an era though, hey mate.
Back stories on the China scandal below.