(LONDON) – Despite disastrous press surrounding their current $3B fraud settlement, the British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKlein is moving ahead with the release of a controversial new product: antidepressants for babies.

“On behalf of GSK, I want to reiterate that we have learnt from the mistakes that were made. We’re eager to put this unfortunate business behind us and move ahead.” said Chief Executive Sir Andrew Witty at an unveiling “That’s why we are excited to unveil our latest product: NatalPax, antidepressants for babies.”

Glaxo’s ‘NatalPax’ will be the world’s first ever anti-depressant especially developed for babies 18 months old and younger.

“Every mother knows the sting of a baby that won’t stop crying and cannot be reassured, only to sleep for a few hours and wake up crying and then fall asleep with a bottle in their hand. At GSK, we recognize these are all classic symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder.” He added “Sometimes a sad baby is really a S.A.D. baby.”

GSK developers point to the fact that, to a baby, side-effects like vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue and anal leakage are just part of every day life.

Said Witty; “Paxil is for everyone, so consult your pediatrician today.”



Morals Versus Profits? : With GSK… Profits Always Win…

“Irony is wasted on the stupid”  (Oscar Wilde)

Interesting to see Seroxat back in the news of late- this time though not because of its propensity to cause suicide, homicide, birth defects or withdrawal- but because apparently GSK are being accused of an illegal ‘pay to delay’ deal with their generic rivals going back to the early 2000’s.

What makes this interesting is the response from GSK CEO – Sir Andrew Witty- his comments about this latest accusation in relation to GSK’s notorious Seroxat drug are subtle but loaded…

You will notice that Andrew Witty fails to really deny that GSK did a ‘pay for delay deal’- but he implies that the headlines on this scandal have been ‘misleading‘. I think for a drug company which has consistently misled its patients, share-holders, regulators, governments and practically every stakeholder related to it for the past 20 years- to use the word ‘misleading’ in any context is an irony that Oscar Wilde would surely appreciate…

With Supreme Court weighing a case, GSK’s

Andrew Witty says ‘pay-to-delay’ label

misleading, defends such settlements

POSTED: Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 2:48 PM
David Sell
GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty at new office in the Navy Yard. March 21, 2013. ( AKIRA SUWA / Staff Photographer )

As drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline reported 25 percent lower, after-tax profits in the first quarter of 2013 compared to a year earlier, chief executive officer Andrew Witty said Wednesday that the company would reorganize its pharmaceutical operations, opening the potential of sale of older brands.

Glaxo is based in London, but has about 1300 employees in Philadelphia’s Navy Yard and more in other facilities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Meanwhile, with UK authorities criticizing GSK for trying to delay the introduction of generic competitors nearly 10 years ago and the U.S. Supreme Court weighing a case, Witty defended the business practice.

The UK’s Office of Fair Trading alleged on April 19 that GSK had abused its dominant position in the UK to delay the introduction of generic medicine by paying off three generic drug companies. GSK said the allegations stemmed from activity between 2001 and 2004, that it was cooperating with the investigation, but thought it had acted within British law.

In many countries, patents on drugs give manufacturers exclusivity in the marketplace, allowing them to charge more for a drug.

In the United States, branded and generic companies have had made such deals for nearly 30 years, and they are called reverse payments or pay-to-delay deals. Basically, the generic company applies to the FDA for approval of a drug that it says is close to a copy of the branded product, but not so close as to infringe on the patent. The branded company sues, claiming patent infringement. Sometimes they settle the suit, with the generic drugmaker able to sell its version earlier than it would have if it waited for the patent to expire.

But sometimes those settlements are made with the branded company paying the generic company, and that prompted the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to object. The FTC argues that the growing number of deals involving payment restrict trade and hurt consumers and taxpayers.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on March 25 and will likely decide whether such deals are legitimate by the end of its term in June.

When asked by the Inquirer about the practice, Witty declined to discuss specific cases, but he defended the general practice.

“I push back at the description of ‘pay-to-delay’ as a label,” Witty said from London in a conference call with reporters. “It is a convenient label that people have chosen to use. But in many situations – and I’m talking generically here and not specifically about any particular case – there has been a settlement between the patent holder and a non-patent holder, which usually leads to the generic product being made available before the expiration date of the patent. What is achieved in that is the elimination of uncertainty for both sides.

“The patent holder has a patent. The challenger wants to challenge that patent. But neither side knows what the outcome of that [litigation] is going to be – other than it is going to be a difficult process and expensive. As a consequence, sometimes settlements make sense for parties concerned. But almost always, those settlements lead to the generic being made available earlier than waiting for the patent to expire. Within that, I think it is entirely reasonable that the patent holder should be able to come to settlement to take away the uncertainty. Presumably, the challenger would only enter into such a settlement if it also made sense for them, for the mirror image reason, ie., they don’t have certainty either. Every case is different and every challenge is different. But I would push back on this, I think, misleading label.”

As for the reorganization inside the pharmaceutical division of the company, Witty said GSK will shift about 50 “legacy” prescription medicines that are promoted lightly, if at all, into one category and that group’s finances would be reported separately starting in January of 2014. This group of products will be called “Established Products.”

Glaxo has a consumer segment that sells such things as toothpaste and denture products. But the other two pharmaceutical groups would be one that deals with products currently on the market and receiving promotional resources, with the second being products in the pipeline but not yet approved or launched. Glaxo has submitted six drugs for approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency.

Witty said the established products – such as Zantac, Imitrex and Zofran – amount to about $4.5 billion in revenue, and he was asked if it signaled an intent to sell those products.

“How it might play forward beyond that is an open question,” Witty said. “It is a sensible move for us to make sure we are maximizing value in the short run. But, of course, it opens optionality for the future. I would not give any guidance on how or when that might evolve, but it opens some optionality.”

Glaxo had $9.9 billion in sales in the first quarter, which was a drop from $10.1 billion in the same period in 2012.

The after-tax profit for the first quarter of 2013 was $1.57 billion, which compared to $2.1 billion for the same period in 2012. One factor in the difference in profit was that in January of 2012, GSK reported the $660 million sale of some of its over-the-counter brands to Prestige Brands Holdings, Inc.

Witty said Wednesday, as he has done in the past, that he has no plans for GSK to enter the generic drug market.

“There is absolutely no interest in going into the generics business,” Witty said. “That is a long-held view of mine and that view has not changed.”

A link to the quarterly financial report is here.

Here are some articles pertaining to how GSK have consistently been accused of ‘misleading’ the public..

GSK misled over Serevent data?

October 10, 2005
| PharmaTimes

GlaxoSmithKline is in the firing line again after a letter published in The Lancet accused the firm of misleading regulators over clinical data for its asthma compound, Serevent (salmeterol), which is also an active ingredient in its multi-billion dollar offering Advair (salmeterol/fluticasone). However, the news has been strongly combated in a responding article from the UK drug giant. Public Citizen, the US consumer group, said a 1996 trial – the Salmeterol Multicenter Asthma Research Trial – showed an increased risk of asthma death amongst patients taking GSK’s drug. These results have never been published, it says, despite interim results being presented to the US Food and Drug Administration in July 2003 at a review by the agency’s advisory committee. Final study data were submitted to the FDA on August 29, 2003, but included adverse event observations reported six months after the 28-day trial ended, which Public Citizen claims went against the trial’s protocol: “The inclusion of the post-study data reduced the apparent dangers of salmeterol with respect to four critical study outcomes, including asthma-related death.” The FDA questioned the results in 2004, and in July its advisory board recommended strengthening the warning labels for both Serevent and Advair to caution about the risk of asthma-related death [[14/07/05a]]. However, the agency has yet to make its final decision. “The behavior of GlaxoSmithKline in submitting these faulty data is deplorable,” said Peter Lurie, deputy director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group and co-author of the letter. Without “greater transparency at the FDA, we will never know how often this kind of self-serving data analysis occurs.” However, in a hard-hitting response to Dr Lurie, the company said: “GSK has acted responsibly and transparently and communicated with a sense of urgency to ensure that healthcare professionals and patients had access to the results of SMART.” It argued that the protocol did specify both the collection of reported events during the 28-week study period and during a 6-month follow-up. The results, it stresses, were disseminated in a variety of means: the company said it issued two ‘Dear Healthcare Professional’ letters, posted notices on its website and that of the FDA, presented the results at a medical meeting in 2003, and included the information in its online clinical trial registry. However, GSK will likely be unhappy at being back in the spotlight again as it was questions over its antidepressant, Paxil/Seroxat (paroxetine), that led to the global move towards making clinical trial data – both positive and negative – publicly available [[03/06/04a]], [[17/06/04b]].

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Home » Pharmalot » UK Funds: Glaxo Misled On Avandia Risks

UK Funds: Glaxo Misled On Avandia Risks

Posted Sat, 09/15/2007 – 9:08am by Ed Silverman 0
jp-garnier.jpgJust one more example of investor dissatisfaction with JP Garnier. The North Yorkshire Pension Fund and the Avon Pension Fun, which together manage more than $6 billion in assets, are vying to be lead plaintiffs in a US class-action lawsuit filed against the drugmaker for misleading investors over the risks of its Avandia diabetes pill.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages related to a slide in the group’s share price that followed a study published in May in the New England Journal of Medicine claiming that Avandia raised the risk of heart attack by 42 per cent. The findings, denied by GSK, wiped about $18 billion off its market capitalisation.

The two UK funds claim they lost roughly $5 million. “We are joining [the lawsuit] because it is in our members’ interests to do so,” Neil Sellstrom, of the North Yorkshire fund, tells The Times of London.

The lawsuit alleges Glaxo “engaged in a scheme to deceive the market and a course of conduct that artificially inflated GSK’s stock price” and “failed to adequately disclose” important risk info. Glaxo is accused of “fraud” and “deceit.” A spokesman for GSK said that the company believed the lawsuit had no merit and would vigorously defend itself.

Glaxo investors are increasingly unhappy with the drugmaker’s share price and some are agitating for Garnier to sell off various pieces, such as the consumer healthcare business or vaccines research. For his part, the indefatigable Garner refuses to consider such moves and last week brushed aside the criticism.

Garnier, however, continues to suffer setbacks. At week’s end, the FDA further delayed approval of Entereg, an experimental constipation med that’s being developed by Glaxo’s partner, Adolor. The agency previously issued an approvable letter back in June, which itself was a disappointment.

Professor says GSK knowingly mislead about Paxil safety

Jon Jueridini, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Adelaide in Australia, recently authored an article claiming that the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline seriously misrepresented safety and effectiveness data when publishing information about its antidepressant Paxil, also known as paroxetine. GSK was previously known as SmithKline Beecham, and is currently involved in ongoing Paxil litigation over birth defects.

In an article for the Website “The Conversation,” Jueridini details information that he came across while examining internal documents as an expert witness in a case against a pharmaceutical company.

Between 1993 and 1998, he writes, GSK paid $5 million for research into Paxil.

Researchers subsequently published the results in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry in 2001, asserting that Paxil “is generally well tolerated and effective for major depression in adolescents.”

Jueridini characterizes this as a “serious misrepresentation of both the effectiveness and safety of the drug.” Children on Paxil did no better than those on placebo in the studies, Juerdini writes, but the company misrepresented or flat-out omitted any negative findings in the published results.

Other alarming information has since come to light concerning Paxil and other antidepressants classified as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. In July of 2007, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that showed babies born to mothers who took SSRIs such as Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft during the second half of pregnancy had a significantly increased risk of being born with birth defects, including serious respiratory disorders.

See the article here:

Related posts:

GSK Paxil settlement has lessons for consumers
Study questions safety of antidepressants
GSK CEO addresses company’s fraud allegations
Paxil manufacturer paying record settlement for fraud
Book takes critical look at antidepressant marketing
Unpublished studies distort assessment of treatments
Article questions psychiatry’s reliance on drugs
Psychologist believes antidepressants overprescribed

Could Prescription Meds Result in Gun Confiscation?

An attorney for an upstate New York gun owner claims his client’s permit to own firearms was suspended by state police because he received a prescription for anti-anxiety medication.

The action, Tresmond said, resulted from the New York SAFE (Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement) Act of 2013, signed into law on Jan. 15 in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shootings, in which gunman Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults.

“It’s disconcerting to know that if your doctor prescribes you a psychotropic medication … that results in the state police trolling to pick up this information, and if you do have a gun license, it will be revoked,” Jim Tresmond, attorney and gun-rights advocate, told Buffalo news station

Authorities have not confirmed that the man’s prescription for anti-anxiety medication was the cause for the suspension of his gun permit, though Tresmond said it was.

Irish Psychiatrist Pat Bracken Talks About GSK’s 3 Billion Fine For “Corrupting Psychiatrists”

The debate above shows the utter farce of Irish Psychiatry.
As usual, nobody who actually has experienced psychiatry- or as Pat Bracken calls them the ‘service users’- are represented on the show.

In the following video- a typical example of the patient/psychiatrist divide is illustrated by a woman who was forcibly drugged and Electro-Shocked.

The condescending manner of psychiatrists towards their ‘patients’ is clearly illustrated by Anne Jeffers here. Psychiatry is about power and ego- nothing else.

Psychiatrists excuse their drug treatments away by claiming that they don’t have funding for talk-therapists, yet many consultant psychiatrists are paid hundreds of thousands a year- how about they take a cut in their wages and employ a psychologist and psychotherapist to work alongside them? They won’t do this because they want to keep their monopoly on the lucrative business of ‘mental health’- a business which uses human distress as fodder…

Lundbeck, The manufacturers of SSRI Cipramil are the main sponsors of the Irish association of Suicidology- Check out the document below and ask yourself- how lucrative is human distress for the pharmaceutical industry and psychiatrists in Ireland?

Remembering Laurie And Ryan Yorke : Mother Speaks on Seroxat/Paxil Withdrawal

Mother speaks on Paxil withdrawal: “Until you have witnessed it, you cannot even imagine what it is like”

Posted on April 3, 2012 by
3 Votes

Posted by Maria Mangicaro

Laurie Yorke, a NJ nurse, shares her family’s experience at one of the ISEPP (formerly ICSPP) conferences.

For more information on Paxil withdrawal please visit

PaxilProgress is a peer-to-peer message board community for people to share their personal experiences with taking antidepressants, and allows others to ask questions, and to learn from each other, and make their own, more informed decisions.

The International Society for Ethical Psychology & Psychiatry is an independent organization which currently takes no monies from external sources.  Our annual conferences are a major outlet for cutting-edge information in mental health.

The ISEPP 2012 conference, “Alternatives to Biological Psychiatry II: Treatments That Work“, is scheduled for November 2-3 at the Airport Marriot Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care will be joining ISEPP at the conference and will be leading a strategy session on Satuday afternoon. We are also collaborating with MindFreedom International which will host a one-day event on Thursday, November 1 at the hotel and the The Philadelphia Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology (PSPP) which will be hosting an event on the afternoon of Sunday, Novmber 4, 2012 at the hotel.

One of the keynote speakers will be Dr. Grace Jackson, author of Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs: A Guide for Informed Consent and Drug-induced Dementia: a perfect crime.

Click here for registration information.

**THIS VIDEO DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treat.  Abrupt stopping of psychiatric medications can be dangerous, please consult your physician to make any decisions about changes in psychiatric medications.

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Looking for more information on effects of paxil withdraws after taking it for ten years and the doctor stops it all of a sudden. Any information will help. Thank you

GSK accused of ‘market abuse’ in UK

GSK accused of ‘market abuse’ in UK

UK News | April 19, 2013

Ben Adams

GSK accused of 'market abuse' in UK

GlaxoSmithKline is being accused of undertaking unfair ‘pay-for-delay’ delays with several generics firms in the UK over the sale of copycat forms of its drug Seroxat.

The allegations have come from the UK’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) which believes GSK had agreements which “infringed competition law” with three generics companies: Alpharma, Generics (UK) and Norton Healthcare, by paying them to stop the supply of generic Seroxat (paroxetine) in the UK.

More damningly, the OFT also alleges GSK’s conduct amounted to an “abuse of a dominant position in the same market” by undertaking these deals between 2001 and 2004.

The generics firms had been selling copycat paroxetine, but GSK challenged the generic companies’ with allegations that their products would infringe its patents.

To help resolve these patent disputes, each of the three generic companies eventually signed a financial agreement with GSK, stopping the distribution of the generics – a deal potentially unlawful in the UK.

Seroxat (known as Paxil in the USA) was one of GSK’s biggest selling medicines before losing its European patent in 2006 and US patent in 2007, and has licenses to treat depression and anxiety.

The OFT said in a statement that its provisional view is that these agreements included “substantial payments” from GSK to the generic companies in return for their commitment to delay their plans to supply paroxetine independently.

The OFT considers that if companies act to delay the potential emergence of generic competition, the NHS may be denied significant cost savings.

These types of pay-for-delay deals have been illegal in the UK since 1998 and breaching these rules could be a big deal for the firms involved as they could be fined up to 10% of their worldwide turnover.

Ann Pope, senior director of services, infrastructure and public markets at the OFT, said: “The introduction of generic medicines can lead to strong competition on price, which can drive savings for the NHS, to the benefit of patients and, ultimately, taxpayers. It is therefore particularly important that the OFT fully investigates concerns that independent generic entry may have been delayed in this case.

“No assumption should be made at this stage that there has been an infringement of competition law. We will carefully consider the parties’ representations to the Statement of Objections before deciding whether competition law has in fact been infringed.”

GSK were not immediately available for comment.

Another potential knock to GSK’s reputation

If the charges against GSK are successful, this may do some damage to the firm’s carefully built reputation under the recently knighted Sir Andrew Witty, the man also hailed by the British Medical Journal last month as: ‘the acceptable face of pharma’.

Pay-for-delay deals have been a big problem in some countries – especially the USA – where pharma firms developing branded drugs make payments (or other transfers of value) to a generic company in return for that firm to delay its entry into the market.

This means the generic firms are compensated for delaying the sale of their drugs, and firms with blockbuster medicines can keep artificially bringing in the revenue from their branded medicine, even after the patent has expired.

But as the OFT points out, only pharma wins here, to the detriment of healthcare systems who could be spending millions more on a patented drug when a generic is legally available.

More Seroxat trouble

And this is not the first time Seroxat has landed GSK in trouble: just last year the firm was fined $3 billion after pleading guilty to healthcare fraud covers offences relating to some of GSK’s best-selling drugs between 1997 and 2004.

This included the firm paying doctors in the USA to prescribe the drug to under-18s, even though it had no licence for this, and there were in fact clinical trials suggesting using this drug in children could increase the risk of suicide and depression.

BBC: GSK Allegedly Screws The NHS (and thus the English tax-payer) For 300 Million for Delaying Generics of Seroxat

Click on the link to hear how GSK allegedly screwed the English Tax Payer of up to 100 million a year , over 3 years, by bribing the generic competition…

19 April 2013 Last updated at 09:06 GMT Help

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has been accused of market “abuse” by the consumer watchdog, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

The OFT alleges that the pharmaceutical giant paid rivals to delay the release their own versions of GSK’s Seroxat treatment.

Alpharma, Generics UK and Norton Healthcare all received money not to enter the market with their copies of Seroxat, it said.

GSK said it “acted within the law”.

“GSK supports fair competition,” it added. “In fact, these arrangements actually resulted in generic versions of paroxetine entering the market before GSK’s patents had expired,” the company said in a statement.

Speaking to Today business presenter Simon Jack, Dr Stephen Godwin, senior research fellow at the Planning Shop International, said that these were very serious charges.

“Companies rely on branded drugs and anything that is seen to delay the generic competition is good for a branded maufactoring company,” he explained.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Friday 19 April 2013.

GlaxoSmithKline accused of paying rivals to delay generic Seroxat

OFT launches investigation into allegations GSK abused market dominance to keep price of antidepressant drug Seroxat high


Seroxat is GSK’s brand name for the antidepressant drug paroxetine. Photograph: Jack Sullivan/Alamy

GlaxoSmithKline has been accused of paying other drugs companies to slow down production of generic versions of its most profitable antidepressant drug, according to the Office of Fair Trading.

An investigation into GSK has been launched by the OFT into allegations the company abused its market dominance by agreeing so-called “pay for delay” agreements between 2001 and 2004 to protect the position of its drug Seroxat.

GSK admitted agreements were reached but said they did not lead to delays in the generic versions coming to market.

Ann Pope, senior director of services, infrastructure and public markets at the OFT, said: “The introduction of generic medicines can lead to strong competition on price, which can drive savings for the NHS, to the benefit of patients and, ultimately, taxpayers.

“It is therefore particularly important that the OFT fully investigates concerns that independent generic entry may have been delayed in this case.”

GSK said it refuted the allegations, adding that two similar investigations by the EU had concluded there was no wrongdoing.

But the OFT appears determined to discover if Alpharma, Genetics UK and Norton Healthcare were paid by GSK to delay production.

In a statement, the regulator claimed: “The generic companies were each attempting to supply a generic paroxetine product in competition to GSK’s branded paroxetine product, Seroxat. However, in each case, GSK challenged the generic companies with allegations that their products would infringe GSK’s patents. To resolve these disputes, each of the generic companies concluded one or more agreements with GSK.

“The OFT’s provisional view is that these agreements included substantial payments from GSK to the generic companies in return for their commitment to delay their plans to supply paroxetine independently.”

Seroxat, which is still available on the NHS, was launched in the early 1990s and became one of the biggest-selling drugs in the world, overtaking Prozac.

However, the patent came to an end in 2004 and generic, cheaper versions flooded the market, hitting profits.

A spokesman for the pharmaceutical giant said: “GSK supports fair competition and we very strongly believe that we acted within the law, as the holder of valid patents for paroxetine, in entering the agreements under investigation. These arrangements actually resulted in generic versions of paroxetine entering the market before GSK’s patents had expired.”

A spokeswoman for Pfizer, owners of Alpharma, said: “We are reviewing the statement of objections as it relates to a business Alpharma divested years before its acquisition by King. Pfizer, which subsequently acquired King, did not have any knowledge about this agreement, which dates to 2002. We will fully co-operate with the Office of Fair Trading regarding this matter.”

A spokesman for Norton Healthcare in the US said he was unaware of the allegations and would issue a statement shortly.

Generics UK was unavailable for comment.

Dr David Healy Versus Dr Moosajee Bhamjee: Irish Radio Show on SSRI’s

Dr Moosajee Bhamjee is a South African -born- Indian-Irish Psychiatrist. He was also a politician for a time in Ireland. He made headlines for suggesting that the Irish government should put Lithium in the drinking water to help Irish people get their daily dose of psychiatric drugs through their tap water.

Dr David Healy is an Irish born psychiatrist working from the university of Wales. He is an internationally renowned expert on SSRI’s. He is a pariah to the pharmaceutical industry.

One of these psychiatrists is completely and utterly bonkers

One is not…

Can you guess which one it is?

Have a listen…

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

First do no harm… providing it’s no longer than 8 minutes

Dr Bhamjee, caused controversy back in 2011 when he called on the Irish Government to add lithium salts to the public water

Dr. Moosajee Bhamjee, a soon to be retired psychiatrist from Ireland, showed exactly why the profession of psychiatry needs to take a long, hard look at itself when he was a guest on the George Hook radio show in Ireland on Thursday [11 April]

Hook had been contacted by Irish blogger, Leonie Fennell regarding a GP he had interviewed a week previously on his show.

The GP, Dr. Ciara Kelly, offered her opinion to a recent article that had appeared in the Irish press [Irish Examiner] that highlighted how GP’s handed out antidepressant medication at the drop of a coin. An undercover journalism student, Niamh Drohan, had approached 7 GP’s in Ireland and told them she was suffering from stress and anxiety problems from her final year in college. On each visit a prescription for an antidepressant was written for Drohan. Her article ‘Depressing Truth about Treating Depression In The Young’ can be viewed here. Fennell gives her take on it here.

Hook’s interview with Ciara Kelly enraged Fennell so much that she emailed the show to set the record straight. Kelly had claimed , during the course of her interview with Hook, that “the drugs themselves are not dangerous, they’re not addictive, they’re not even dangerous at high levels of overdose.”

Fennell’s son, Shane, took 39 Cipramil in 17 days and his toxicology report showed a ‘toxic to fatal’ amount in his system. On the 17th day Shane, under the influence of the antidepressant citalopram, killed himself and another man. Podcast with Leonie Fennell here goes into more detail.

Fennell, along with antidepressant expert Prof. David Healy, were invited by Hook to offer their opinion as was Dr. Moosajee Bhamjee.

The interview [below] is interesting in as much that Bhamjee argues that in his 40 years as a healthcare professional he has never seen any patient who has experienced aggressiveness on these types of drugs. He also argues that Dr’s only get an 8 minute slot to determine if someone is mentally ill and needs prescription medication. And there I was thinking that the Hippocratic oath taken by Dr’s carried no disclaimers!

Bhamjee, caused controversy back in 2011 when he called on the Irish Government to add lithium salts to the public water supply in a bid to lower the suicide rate and depression among the general population.

Anyway… here’s the debate from the Hook show.

George then spoke to two medical practitioners about the prescribing of antidepressants. Dr. Moosajee Bhamjee, Consultant Psychiatrist to Bushy Park Treatment Centre and Galway Clinic, told George that he had been administering antidepressants for 40 years and found them very beneficial and in his opinion they had helped prevent suicides; ‘I haven’t come across anyone becoming aggressive on any antidepressant in my forty years of practice’.

Dr. David Healy, Professor of Psychiatry at Cardiff University had a very different view and was much less sanguine about the effects of antidepressants; ‘violent reactions happened very regularly’.

We get a huge reaction to the discussion. Many listeners texted in to say that antidepressants had quite literally saved their lives; ‘I could not have gotten through the last 4 years without it. I have now turned my life around….’

While others spoke of the damage antidepressants had done to them; ‘it gave me suicidal thoughts where I had none before, damaged my liver, caused incredible weight gain. GP wouldn’t listen to my complaints and kept upping the dose.’

You can hear the whole discussion here.

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If you are having trouble with the audio player then the audio can be downloaded direct to your computer by right clicking and ‘save as’ HERE

Leonie Fennell’s blog

Bob Fiddaman