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I’ve recently set up a PayPal account and readers have the option of making a donation towards the upkeep of this blog– should they wish to (if not- that’s totally fine too). I got the idea from reading the Guardian website (which also offers a donation option). In the digital age, broadsheet newspapers are finding it difficult to survive, and most now offer a donation option or have a paywall. I don’t expect much in the way of donations to be honest, as my blog isn’t a commercial or mainstream site, however I do believe that the research, writing, blog posts and activism, I have done over a decade here, attest to the work and dedication I have put in.

Writing and blogging, takes time and effort, and I’m proud of the work I have done for over 10 years now. I like to write anyhow, and the stuff I write about needs to be expressed. I get regular hits from the BBC and the Guardian (among many others), and I have certainly covered a wide range of controversial topics in the best journalistic manner I could over the years. I try my best to blog well, and I try to blog about interesting topics not often covered in the mainstream.

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GSK Failing To Warn Of Risks Of Their Drugs Seems To Be A Habit-Forming Thing For Them…


 

A federal judge overseeing hundreds lawsuits by women who claim the anti-nausea drug Zofran causes birth defects and that GlaxoSmithKline PLC failed to warn of its risks on Wednesday said the first trial nationally would take place in January.

U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor in Boston set the Jan. 13 date for the bellwether case after previously pushing back what was to be a September trial so he could hear new arguments about whether federal law preempts the women’s state law claims.

To read the full story on WestlawNext Practitioner Insights, click here: bit.ly/2Z18Wb3

Interesting Comments On Dr Peter Gordon’s Seroxat Experience In The Daily Mail…


Seroxat should have been banned years ago…

 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7202413/I-hope-spared-hell-went-depression-pills-says-NHS-psychiatrist.html#reader-comments

 

Seroxat is a very dangerous drug.

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There are many psychiatrists now who won’t prescribe it.

Thank you so much !!!! For this very reason I just don’t think about stopping my anti depressant medication. Don’t want to take it but too afraid to stop.

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Amazing work Dr Gordon

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I was put on an antipsychotic by a psychiatrist, for an anxiety related condition, which I was told was a psychosis. Horrendous side effects were ignored by this dr for over 6 months when they were changed after the only blood test was done. These too are over prescribed and, I believe, do not help.

 

have written on this site many times about casually being put on Seroxat 20+years ago by my then G.P… 3 Times over the years since, I have tried different ways to stop taking them, all unsuccessful… Thank you to this young man for fighting in our corner!

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I’m a psych nurse and went on meds after 9/11. It just dulled everything so I gradually stopped them. I pass pills out daily to patients; many who come in and out of the hospital like a revolving door. There is no specific answer, but developing coping skills can be very helpful. The longer I work in psych, the less I think of psychopharmacology, with the exception of psychosis. My heart goes out to those poor people.

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Doctors are all too quick to dismiss your experiences

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He’s putting the spotlight on a very worrying issue. He should be praised not attacked by the dirty tricks brigade.

 

Important well balanced article. All Patients prescribed these drugs should be recruited into a long term study.

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Only the pharmaceutical companies can afford the cost of doing long term studies…..and THEY are not going to pay for studies which would tell the TRUTH about these damaging drugs are they?

 

Honestly I dont believe medication is the cure for depression. Exercise is 10x better, NHS should suggest other self help remedies before drugging people up as a quick fix

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Thank you for being so brave and trying to help. Seriously, thank you.

 

 

 

 

Many Dr.s underestimate the effects of coming off long term meds. It was hell getting off venaflexine. Brain zaps, feeling confused and blank. I had to switch to Prozac to titrations liquid and use cbd for side effects did same with gabapentine..nasty drug made my brain dumbed down and can cause brain cell changes, but that is the power of big pharma making chemicals that wouldn’t give to an animal.

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One tablet of seroxat and I was a wreck.

 

About 25 years ago I started having panic attacks and my doctor put me on Seroxat. I had terrible side effects from taking it. When I told him about them, he said there weren’t any associated with it, so he doubled my dose, which made me worse, so I went back in and he upped it again. I use to shake and feel like my head was full of electricity. I also used to hear these explosions that would scare the hell out of me, but no one else heard them. The side effects became so bad, that after about a year, I tried killing myself and but for the grace of God, I was found in time. The psychiatrist at the hospital insisted I carried on taking them, not one medical professional I spoke to believed I was having side effects and thought it was a developing psychosis. So one day I just stopped taking them, it took a few weeks to get over the withdrawal, but I am so glad I did. It took me years to get over what that drug did to me. Seroxat has ruined my life completely.

 

I have been on paroxetine for 20 years. They destroyed my sex drive so worked hard with GP and psychiatrist to get off them and try other pills. Finally found the right combination but my GP doesn’t know that I’m buying paroxetine online because I just can’t get off it.

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The drug seroxat caused me to be admitted to hospital. The effects when starting to take it were severe anxiety/restlessness and suicidal thoughts. The effects when my GP switched me to a different anti-depressant were also serious. Known as Dystnonic reaction. Face and mouth muscles went into spasms. Really horrible. Now take Sertraline which is good but I will never come off them. Over 20 yrs now.

 

 

 

Such a brave man. A heartfelt thank you for speaking out and sharing.

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Thank you for championing this and for fighting for practitioners to declare their sources of income.

 

My child was put on antidepressants aged 15, by Camhs without my knowledge, aided by their school. Six years later he is in a dreadful state. His life has been destroyed.

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That is awful to not have any knowledge what is going on with your own child.

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so sad 😦

 

 

15 years a family member has been on Seroxat and same problem, you cannot get off them safely. Doctors either definitely don’t want to know and or definitely don’t want understand.

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I don’t think the doctors have too many options to offer when the patient seems unable to get off them. It must be very frustrating to have nothing else to offer your patients.

Dr Peter Gordon Describes His Seroxat Hell In The Daily Mail..


https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7202413/I-hope-spared-hell-went-depression-pills-says-NHS-psychiatrist.html

I hope others can be spared the hell I went through with depression pills, by an NHS psychiatrist who says coming off them left him suicidal

  • Dr Peter Gordon is an acclaimed psychiatrist at St John’s Hospital in West Lothian
  • Twenty years ago he tried Seroxat, a drug that had only recently been licensed 
  • Unfortunately, he suffered devastating side-effects which caused him great pain 
  • He now campaigns for openness about the dangers of antidepressant drugs

Like millions of Britons who’ve taken prescribed antidepressants, when I tried to stop taking the pills I suffered serious psychiatric symptoms. In fact, I felt so suicidal that I had to be admitted to hospital.

One thing marks me as different, though — I am a practising NHS psychiatrist. My experiences have led me to campaign for openness about the dangers antidepressant drugs can pose — in particular to patients who want to stop taking them.

I have also lobbied for my professional body, the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych), to become fully open about its links with the pharmaceutical industry. For I believe that the drug companies hold a perilous financial grip over the College.

You’d think that my colleagues would be generally sympathetic. However, I have been marginalised, ignored and vilified as a troublemaker — and a leading member of the RCPsych even wrote to my employer questioning my sanity.

Victim: Dr Peter Gordon is an acclaimed psychiatrist at St John’s Hospital in West Lothian

Victim: Dr Peter Gordon is an acclaimed psychiatrist at St John’s Hospital in West Lothian

Very few psychiatrists have ever spoken about their own experiences of taking antidepressants. So I know I have been putting my head above the parapet.

Nevertheless, I persist in talking about the problems that I and many others have suffered on antidepressant drugs, because I believe that we must have an open and honest debate about their benefits and harms.

Last October, a review by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence suggested around four million people in England may experience symptoms such as anxiety, sleep problems and hallucinations when withdrawing from antidepressants — and in about 1.8 million people, these symptoms may be severe.

My own problem began more than 20 years ago, when my first child was born. I was sleeping badly and feeling increasingly anxious, not least because my professional exams were coming up for membership of the Royal College.

My GP said I had generalised anxiety disorder and recommended I try Seroxat, a drug that had only recently been licensed.

At the time, I was a junior psychiatrist in training, and my career began just as the big Defeat Depression campaign was launched by the RCPsych and the Royal College of General Practitioners, to raise awareness of the condition and to encourage people to seek treatment. This campaign was sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry.

The campaign told professionals that when patients’ symptoms were ambiguous, we should err on the side of treating them as having the condition.

At the time, several new drugs were launched for depression, including Seroxat, a branded version of the drug paroxetine. These drugs are SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) thought to work by raising the levels of serotonin in the brain.

Danger: Twenty years ago he tried Seroxat, a drug that had only recently been licensed

Danger: Twenty years ago he tried Seroxat, a drug that had only recently been licensed

As doctors, we were educated, as part of the Defeat Depression campaign, that SSRIs ‘corrected a chemical imbalance in the brain’.

Thus I felt that this was the right treatment for me, even though I had anxiety, not depression.

Defeat Depression was spearheaded by Professor David Baldwin and Professor David Nutt, the key opinion-leaders promoting Seroxat for generalised anxiety.

Professor Baldwin had led a European study recommending Seroxat as a treatment for generalised anxiety, which, itself, was a new classification of disorder.

Some four or five months after I was prescribed Seroxat, I thought that I didn’t need it any longer, so I stopped taking the drug. To me, the benefits had seemed limited.

After all, I did not have a mood disorder: it was anxiety about my situation that had troubled me. Within 24 hours, I experienced difficulty walking and my head was bursting with pain. When I resumed taking the Seroxat, the symptoms went away.

I tried halving the dose, and then quartering it, but this just resulted in sweating, ringing in my ears, headaches and vivid dreams. It was awful.

I got no professional advice on ceasing the drug. My psychiatrist colleagues said my symptoms were not due to withdrawal.

And my GP knew nothing about Seroxat withdrawal. I felt I had to stop trying to come off the drug and so continued to take it for the next three or four years.

In 2003, I decided to try cutting down the dose by minute amounts, by using the liquid form of Seroxat and administering it using a micropipette. But I still got the withdrawal symptoms. I felt my mood dropping to lows that I had never experienced before and started to have suicidal thoughts.

Four weeks after stopping Seroxat, I sought help from my GP, who was so concerned that he helped me be urgently admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

'Within 24 hours, I experienced difficulty walking and my head was bursting with pain. When I resumed taking the Seroxat, the symptoms went away,' Dr Gordon said

‘Within 24 hours, I experienced difficulty walking and my head was bursting with pain. When I resumed taking the Seroxat, the symptoms went away,’ Dr Gordon said

The clinicians tried me on countless psychiatric drugs, but none of them worked and, at one point, I tried to hang myself in hospital, but fortunately failed.

I was transferred to another hospital, where they gave me ECT (electroconvulsive therapy).

My personal experiences convinced me that, while antidepressants can work, there is a danger when starting to stop them that they increase people’s impulsivity and restlessness.

Indeed, only last week, a study in the journal Psychotherapy And Psychosomatics warned that adults who take antidepressants for depression are 2.5 times more likely to attempt suicide than those taking placebo pills.

The researchers said that health professionals should warn patients of the danger when proposing to prescribe the drugs. But they stressed it was also important that people should not suddenly stop taking the pills.

Ultimately, I was restarted on Seroxat, but it was two years before I was able to get back to where I was before.

I have been too frightened to try withdrawing again. My young family suffered so much. They almost lost their daddy and my dear wife had to be there for them, and me, while continuing her work as a GP.

It is also clear to me that I will have to withdraw from my SSRI over many years and that, throughout this time, I would suffer from the withdrawal symptoms.

Frankly, I am very scared about what would happen if I stopped taking it. I fear putting my family through hell again.

My work as a psychiatrist has changed as a result of my own experiences. I continue to prescribe the drugs as, in the right circumstances, they have a role. But I always explain to patients what we know about the benefits and harms of short-term treatment with SSRIs and the dearth of evidence on the benefits and harms of long-term treatment.

WHAT IS DEPRESSION?

While it is normal to feel down from time to time, people with depression may feel persistently unhappy for weeks or months on end.

Depression can affect anyone at any age and is fairly common – approximately one in ten people are likely to experience it at some point in their life.

Depression is a genuine health condition which people cannot just ignore or ‘snap out of it’.

Symptoms and effects vary, but can include constantly feeling upset or hopeless, or losing interest in things you used to enjoy.

It can also cause physical symptoms such as problems sleeping, tiredness, having a low appetite or sex drive, and even feeling physical pain.

In extreme cases it can lead to suicidal thoughts.

Traumatic events can trigger it, and people with a family history may be more at risk.

It is important to see a doctor if you think you or someone you know has depression, as it can be managed with lifestyle changes, therapy or medication.

Source: NHS Choices 

I and others who question antidepressant use have been labelled as ‘pill shamers’, ‘demonisers’ and even ‘villains’ by leading figures in the Royal College.

All I want is to help people to understand that we need to be careful with these drugs. All medication should be properly studied for benefits and harms —and the whole range of experiences in between. Such studies should consider the effects of both short and long-term prescribing.

One reason this hasn’t happened is that psychiatry is too close to the pharmaceutical industry.

We don’t see drug company reps around surgeries handing out gifts any more, but a significant number of our opinion-leaders — who help with the ongoing education all psychiatrists must go through —have received funding from the drug industry. A similar situation exists with the people on panels that decide guidelines for treatment and prescribing.

But none of the current professional regulations requires practitioners to fully declare their incomes, which makes it impossible to know how much they’ve received from the industry — or for what.

I’ve been trying for a year to get the College to support ‘sunshine legislation’ — which makes it mandatory to show what pharmaceutical industry funding people have received.

Last November, I resigned in protest from the Royal College, saying I felt that it was too close to the industry. I also criticised its treatment of patients who have suffered less than positive, and sometimes harmful, effects of prescribed medications.

I’ve had no response. Instead, a senior member of my profession contacted the medical director of my employer and questioned my mental health. I was quite distressed by that. I think such action is unprofessional — I was not unwell, I see myself as a questioning psychiatrist.

And, following this, I was off sick with stress for five months. I’ve just returned part-time — the NHS board I work for wanted me back. I still love being a doctor and I have got supportive colleagues — some call me the ‘ethical psychiatrist’.

Medications do have a role. But the vast amount of research evidence for prescribing them is usually based on studies lasting only 12 to 18 weeks.

If people are helped by the drugs, that is fine and good. But we all need to be aware that the evidence for long-term use of most psychiatric drugs is perilously lacking — we should have evidence that covers the amount of time people really take these medications, which can be years.

As well as being honest and open with patients about the benefits and harms of drugs, it’s vital we provide far more support for those who do suffer problems such as withdrawal symptoms.

Of course, there can be difficulties in determining whether someone’s symptoms are evidence of withdrawal or relapse, but we would get much better at this if we took the issue seriously.

And, importantly, we also have to give clear guidance that people should not suddenly try to stop taking antidepressants. They should be supported by their doctor as they taper down their medication safely, which may take many years. There needs to be a debate about where all this professional support would come from, and about funding it. I believe that the drug companies have a moral duty to contribute here.

I also think our professional leaders now need to consider seriously whether antidepressants are actually helping to reduce suicide rates.

If the drugs were helpful here, we surely should have seen a dramatic drop in suicides since the launch of the Defeat Depression campaign and the huge rise in antidepressant prescriptions it brought about. Instead, figures in fact show an increase in rates of suicidality and suicide.

From my experience, I believe antidepressants can increase the risk of suicide by causing major changes in impulsive behaviour when people are started on them or try to stop them.

Yet the medical and scientific professions persist in ignoring this — through what I can only call wilful blindness.

I Will Not Stop Exposing GSK Until Seroxat Sufferers Get Their Justice..


“…The group of patients wants the manufacturer of the antidepressant to recognize that Seroxat can lead to serious side effects in young people, such as aggression and an increased risk of suicide….”

 

https://www.omroepzeeland.nl/nieuws/113800/Zeeuwse-stichting-dient-miljoenenclaim-in-bij-producent-van-antidepressivum

 

I’ve been blogging about GSK and Seroxat for 13 years, and I will not stop until there is justice for Seroxat sufferers.

New post coming soon….

(2) Thomas Reilly’s Damning Complaint Against GlaxoSmithKline… Why Did Andrew Witty Do Nothing?…Emails seem to reveal a culture of cover ups and malfeasance at GSK..


“….Former GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) pharmaceutical manufacturing quality control expert Cheryl Eckard Meads was presented the “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the 15th Annual Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund (TAFEF) Conference for exposing rampant fraud at GSK’s Cidra, Puerto Rico manufacturing plant and for her efforts to forge alliances between whistleblowers and attorneys…”


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It’s surreal to think in the same year of 2015- that Thomas Reilly was informing former GSK CEO, Andrew Witty, of the serious compliance and manufacturing malfunctions across GSK’s entire fleet of plants worldwide (a former GSK employee) Cheryl Eckard– was receiving an award for exposing GSK compliance breeches at GSK’s Cidra plant.

Did Glaxo learn nothing from Cidra?

Was the 750 million fine no deterrent for them?

It seems not.

Cidra’s compliance issues are the stuff of notoriety and are legendary in terms of unethical and dangerous pharmaceutical company behavior.

At GSK’s Cidra:

“...There was reason to believe that some of the medications were contaminated with bacteria, others were mislabeled, and some were too strong or not strong enough. It’s likely Glaxo would have gotten away with it had it not been for a company insider: a tip from Cheryl Eckard set off a major federal investigation….”


If Thomas Reilly is right, that GSK’s entire manufacturing systems are all potential Cidras, could that explain the dozens of recalls of GSK drugs over the years? (before, during and after Cidra)

I documented them here

If GSK CEO Andrew Witty was aware of these dangers to consumers, from potentially contaminated meds etc, why did he do nothing? why did he ignore Thomas Reilly’s pleas? (see my first post here)

In the following series of emails- taken from the publicly downloadable documents from Reilly’s case on Pacer, it seems that many in GSK are, and were, aware of GSK’s major manufacturing compliance issues. This is a public scandal of epic proportions. How many people are harmed, year upon year, from GSK’s compliance defects and contaminated drugs and products is anyone’s guess. Why are the MHRA or the FDA not doing anything about this scandal and danger to public heath?

 


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“Our values still very much remain at the core of GSK,” she added. “That is something we do not want to compromise on.”


“…And Glaxo intends to keep things similarly limited on the sales rep side, too; sales professionals will have to go through integrity training and compliance training “to even be eligible” for incentive-based compensation, Mullen said.

“Our values still very much remain at the core of GSK,” she added. “That is something we do not want to compromise on….”


Absurd article about a GSK executive trying to justify bribing doctors and then further making a fool of themselves by trying to convince us that GSK have, or had, any values.

Values?

The GSK corporate integrity agreement has barely lapsed and GSK intends to get back to these antics, which is basically legalized bribery. Bribing its reps with increased money to push the drugs harder.

This is exactly the kind of thing that leads to unethical behavior.

https://www.policymed.com/2012/07/glaxosmithkline-gsk-settlement-and-corporate-integrity-agreement.html


“….The five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA) includes novel provisions that require that GSK implement and/or maintain major changes to the way it does business, including changing the way its sales force is compensated to remove compensation based on sales goals for territories, one of the driving forces behind much of the conduct at issue in this matter.

Under the CIA, GSK is required to change its executive compensation program to permit the company to recoup annual bonuses and long-term incentives from covered executives if they, or their subordinates, engage in significant misconduct. GSK may recoup monies from executives who are current employees and those who have left the company.  Among other things, the CIA also requires GSK to implement and maintain transparency in its research practices and publication policies and to follow specified policies in its contracts with various health care payors….”

“Our five-year integrity agreement with GlaxoSmithKline requires individual accountability of its board and executives,” said Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “For example, company executives may have to forfeit annual bonuses if they or their subordinates engage in significant misconduct, and sales agents are now being paid based on quality of service rather than sales targets.” 


Anyhow none of this is even relevant anymore considering that GSK’s entire manufacturing fleet is not fit for purpose!

Even if GSK does give incentives to its reps to increase sales, the meds themselves are coming from factories with an entirely defective operating system, which means that there’s the potential for any GSK product to be like a (dodgy) Cidra -like product!

See Whistle-Blower Thomas Reilly’s publicly available lawsuit documents here


 

 

 

 

(1) The Most Scandalous Case In Pharma: GSK’s Manufacturing Cover Up Puts Millions At Risk Of Harm.


(you can download the evidence from the publicly available site- Pacer- or from here – from Exhibit 25)Exhibit 25

There’s a case brewing in the US (that I have been following attentively), which I think could be one of the most scandalous cover-ups in Big Pharma history. The documents I am about to reveal (all publicly available and downloadable through the Pacer Website) are absolutely damning for GlaxoSmithKline. However the public must be warned because lives are at risk.

The case basically involves a whistle-blower called Thomas Reilly who has taken a  wrongful termination case against GSK. Reilly was head of GSK’s Global IT systems (the computer systems that run GSK’s product manufacturing globally). In 2015- When Reilly tried to warn the CEO at the time- Andrew Witty- that there are serious problems, Witty seemed to brush him off (see excerpts below). If Thomas Reilly’s allegations of serious problems with GSK’s manufacturing are true (and I have no reason to believe that they are untrue, particularly considering the dozens of recalls – that I have documented- of their various products- over the years) then this essentially means that no GSK product can be trusted to be safe.

It also means that many millions of people globally, are at risk, of ingesting either a defective, contaminated, or just shoddily produced GSK product at any time. We are all at risk here, because we all need drugs/treatments from time to time, due to illness or injury etc, and GSK are one of the biggest suppliers of Pharmaceuticals/consumer health products in the world. Even those who work for GSK are at risk (they take meds too), and their family/friends etc are at risk also- because due to their dodgy manufacturing/defunct IT processes within their global supply chain- we simply do not know if a GSK product is ever safe or not (for a long, but not extensive, list – of GSK recalls- see this link)

Read from Exhibit 25 (page 4) –  screen grab below.

Link here-

https://www.pacermonitor.com/public/case/21357104/REILLY_v_GLAXOSMITHKLINE,_LLC

And see how GSK’s Andrew Witty (CEO at the time- 2005) glibly and nonchalantly dismissed IT Expert (and GSK employee at the time) Thomas Reilly’s serious concerns about GSK’s global manufacturing/IT systems.

Bear in mind, that GSK have had many criminal investigations against them over the past decades, and that they have previously been fined (as a felon) in a 3 Billion lawsuit – instigated by the Department of Justice and Whistle-blower Greg Thorpe in 2012.

They were also fined in China in 2014 for similar damning corruption and fraud allegations.

GSK has a long history of breaking ethics/morals and harming consumers (see the Seroxat and Avandia debacles for a taste of how bad GSK treat users of their products).

We have no reason to trust them in any sense whatsoever.  They have given us absolutely no reason to trust them- ever.

I have documented many dozens of their recalls, from various products – ranging from asbestos contamination, to splinters in toothpaste. (see here)

how many cases like this of bad batches of drugs/products slip through oversight and go unreported? how bad are GSK’s manufacturing processes? and how many people get harmed from using GSK products without even realizing it?

How many Cidra‘s has GSK got?

And why are the authorities allowing them to operate?

(if any  journalists/whistle-blowers are interested in this scandal – please contact me by email)

I will cover more of these publicly available and downloadable documents over the coming days.

This is just the beginning of another GSK scandal; a scandal that illustrates how everyone (across the globe)is at risk of harm from a dodgy GSK product because of their defunct manufacturing cover up.

GSK is no stranger to scandal, and no stranger to harming people with dodgy meds, but the sheer scale of harm to consumers from this current massive cover-up is staggering.


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A Brave And Courageous Psychiatrist Speaks Out…


“….after trying to take his own life in 2004 as a result of severe withdrawal symptoms when he attempted to wean himself off Seroxat.“….

 

 

https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/17692699.psychiatrist-peter-gordon-claims-royal-college-gaslighted-him-in-antidepressant-row/?ref=twtrec

 

Psychiatrist Peter Gordon claims Royal College ‘gaslighted’ him in antidepressant row

Exclusive by Helen McArdle Health Correspondent

Psychiatrist Dr Peter Gordon at his Stirlingshire home (Pic Gordon Terris)

Exclusive

Psychiatrist Dr Peter Gordon at his Stirlingshire home (Pic Gordon Terris)

A PSYCHIATRIST said he was “gaslighted” by his own professional body after openly criticising its stance on antidepressant withdrawal and conflicts of interest.

Dr Peter Gordon, an experienced old age psychiatrist from Bridge of Allan, resigned from the Royal College of Psychiatrists Scotland in November last year.

In his resignation letter – which he subsequently published on his online blog – Dr Gordon criticised the College’s treatment of patients who had suffered “less than positive, and sometimes harmful, effects of psychiatric interventions including prescribed medications”.

Read more: Antidepressants – So there is a problem, but we still don’t know how big

He said the College was too close to the pharmaceutical industry, adding: “as a direct consequence informed consent and realistic psychiatry are compromised”.

Within days, however, Dr Gordon was shocked to learn that Dr John Crichton – the chairman of the College in Scotland and vice-president of its UK body – had contacted the medical director of NHS Lothian directly to raise concerns about Dr Gordon’s mental health.

Dr Gordon, 51, said: “I was quite distressed by that. I was not unwell. At that point I thought, ‘I’ve just had enough of how I’ve been treated by the Royal College of Psychiatrists for trying to raise ethics of good medical practice, patient safety’.

“We’re supposed to be encouraged to have freedom to speak up and put patients first. That’s all I’ve tried to do.

“I just felt like I had been gaslighted.”

The term ‘gaslighting’ refers to manipulation of someone into doubting their own sanity.

In emails seen by the Herald, Dr Crichton, a forensic psychiatrist and adviser to the Scottish Government, denies this claim and insisted he had genuine concerns for Dr Gordon’s welfare at the time.

Dr Gordon, who works at St John’s Hospital in West Lothian, has been an outspoken campaigner for greater transparency around antidepressants after trying to take his own life in 2004 as a result of severe withdrawal symptoms when he attempted to wean himself off Seroxat.

Read more: Scots psychiatrist spearheading campaign for transparency in medicine

The married father-of-two had been originally prescribed the medication to alleviate anxiety and later spent more than a year very slowly reducing his dose.

Despite this, stopping Seroxat triggered his only episode of depression and left him feeling suicidal.

Dr Gordon, an NHS doctor for 26 years, resumed taking the antidepressant and said he is too scared to try stopping again.

Following Dr Crichton’s intervention in December, Dr Gordon was referred to NHS Lothian’s occupational health department who subsequently gave him a clean bill of health and confirmed he was fit to work.

He has recently returned to St John’s two days a week.

It comes as the latest workforce figures for NHS Scotland revealed that vacancies for consultant psychiatrists are at a record high, having doubled to more than 80 in the past four years.

Read more: The patients hooked on antidepressants – and harmed by withdrawal 

Dr Gordon believes he has been seen as a troublemaker by psychiatry’s leaders for speaking openly about his own experience of withdrawal, as well as campaigning for greater transparency around potential conflicts of interest such as links to drug manufacturers.

In 2014, Dr Gordon petitioned the Scottish Parliament for a ‘Sunshine Act’ which would require doctors to declare all payments and the cash value of gifts they had received on a publicly accessible register.

He said patients deserved to know whether medical professionals including GPs and psychiatrists, had been paid by commercial companies.

In the months before his resignation, Dr Gordon had also made a Subject Access Request to the College seeking copies of all communications relating to him.

In response, he received more than 300 pages of documents, of which 93 A4 sides were completely redacted and 94 had blacked out everything except a subject heading, date and address.

The remainder was also heavily redacted, but included an email where Dr Gordon was described as “being quite difficult”.

Dr Gordon is the only working psychiatrist in Scotland who has spoken out about antidepressant withdrawal to express his belief that the problem is more widespread than the pharmaceutical industry or profession want to admit.

He said: “I am absolutely certain that this was an effort to marginalise me and question my credibility, maybe even to silence me.

“But this is a doctor who knows nothing about me.

“I’m not a critical psychiatrist. It would upset me deeply if anyone thought I was trying to undermine people who have had positive experiences from antidepressants.

“I’m just openly asking questions about ethics, transparency and patient safety.”

Marion Brown, a psychotherapist from Helensburgh who has been petitioning MSPs on prescription pill harm, said: “This is happening to people who raise issues – they’re silenced.

“As patients and patient campaigners, people have tried to silence us. But they mostly just ignore us.

“But Peter Gordon, because of who he is, I’m sure he has been seen as a threat.”

A spokeswoman for the Royal College of Psychiatrists Scotland said: “All medical practitioners have a duty to protect patients and must raise concern about a colleague’s health if there is a patient safety concern.

“It would be inappropriate to comment any further.”

A spokesman for NHS Lothian said it was unable to comment on matters relating to individual staff members.

Cosy..


https://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/17683034.art-of-the-deal-at-donald-trump-business-breakfast/

 

Barrow woman sits beside Donald Trump at meeting with Theresa May

By Tom Murphy Audience and Content Editor
See both photos

The Barrow-born boss of a major pharmaceutical company sat next to US president Donald Trump at an event today.

Emma Walmsley, chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, which has a plant in Ulverston, was among 10 business leaders invited to the business roundtable at St James’s Palace, co-hosted by Mr Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May.

Also around the table was Sir Roger Carr, chairman of BAE Systems, which has its Submarines facility in Barrow.

Five UK companies were chosen to attend the breakfast event, because of their large presence in America, along with five American firms.

It was part of Mr Trump’s three-day state visit to the UK.

Prince Andrew, The Duke of York and Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka, also attended.

Mrs Walmsley said prior to the event: “The US is one of the most important sources of healthcare innovation in the world.

“Life sciences is also a strategic strength for the UK and there is a great opportunity for us to partner further to retain and accelerate both countries’ global leadership in this sector, generating better outcomes for patients and economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Sir Roger said: “Our relationship with the USA is long-standing and operates to our mutual benefit on the firm foundation of trust, transparency and true partnership.”

Mr Trump, who wrote The Art of the Deal, said the the US was already the UK’s largest trading partner and that he believed there was scope for further expansion.

Mrs May said that there were huge opportunities for Britain and the US to work together in the future.

She said: “I think the range of companies around this table shows us the huge scope of transatlantic business links that we have between the US and the UK.

“It is a great partnership, but I think it’s a partnership that we can take even further.

“That’s with of course a bilateral free trade agreement.

“I think there are huge opportunities for us to seize together, and challenges for us to work together on to tackle as well.”

Prior to the meeting, the Government said discussions were expected to focus on research, development and innovation and investment in infrastructure.

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