Murder-Suicide Again In Ireland: What Did They Prescribe Michael Greaney?

A psychiatrist’s report said it would be safe to allow him back to the family home, subject to his being on whatever medication and receiving any psychiatric attention he needed.” 


Which psychiatric medication was Micheal Greaney prescribed? What dose? And why was he, or his family, not warned of the dangers?

“They expressed fears that the glass of wine may have reacted with his medication to drastically alter his mood.” (Evening Herald 30/12/2014)

It looks like there had been another murder-suicide in Ireland, and this case, like the many others, in Ireland and world-wide, it seems likely that it’s linked to psychiatric medication. It has been well established that psychiatric medication can cause hostility, aggression, suicidal thoughts and homicidal impulses. These effects are now listed in patient information leaflets, however many people are still in the dark about these dangerous side effects and withdrawal symptoms. I felt these side effects on GSK’s Seroxat drug, an SSRI which is notorious for causing suicide, violence, and sometimes murder/suicides. I wonder was  Michael Greaney’s family warned of these side effects, and particularly the dangers of mixing psychiatric meds with alcohol. Irish psychiatrist, Dr David Healy, has been warning of these lethal dangers of psych-drugs for decades, and Irish state pathologist, Declan Gilsenan has also spoken out on what he said were “too many suicides linked to these drugs.” Many other psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, researchers, and in particular (ex) psych service users, have also been calling for wider warnings on psychiatric drugs for years now…

Dr Gilsenan, who retired last year, says he has seen “too many suicides” among people who had started taking the drugs. In his considered view the evidence was “more than anecdotal” and he now hopes to raise the matter with Kathleen Lynch, minister of

state with responsibility for mental health.”

 I hope the Greaney family find peace. RIP.

Gardaí have said they are not looking for anyone else in connection with an incident in which a man was found dead, his wife stabbed to death and their 21-year-old daughter left critically injured.

The bodies of Michael Greaney (53) and his wife, Valerie (49), were discovered in their house at O’Neill Place in Cobh, Co Cork, and their eldest daughter, Michelle, was lying in the road after fleeing the house.

Mr Greaney had returned to the family home in recent weeks after being discharged from the Central Mental Hospital in Dublin in November.

A businessman is believed to have fatally stabbed his wife and left his daughter fighting for her life before knifing himself to death – just months after he was released from a mental hospital.

Michael Greaney, 53, who had a history of ‘serious’ mental issues, stabbed his daughter Michelle, 21, in the chest before killing his wife Valerie, 49, at their home in Cork, reports suggest.

The physical therapist was admitted to the Central Mental Hospital in 2013 after being found guilty of assaulting and falsely imprisoning a woman and a barring order was put in place.

But the order was removed at the request of the family after his wife pleaded on his behalf saying he had been under tremendous financial and psychological pressure at the time.

“He seemed to be in quite good form coming up to Christmas. I think his friend just wanted to wish him well for Christmas over a quick drink,” a former Irish Navy colleague of Mr Greaney’s told the Herald.

They expressed fears that the glass of wine may have reacted with his medication to drastically alter his mood.


Mass Murderers and Psychiatric Drugs
by PHIL on SEPTEMBER 22, 2014323
There’s an interesting article in the current issue of the National Psychologist written by David Kirschner, PhD, a New York psychologist.  The National Psychologist is a newspaper-type magazine that publishes articles of general interest to psychologists and others working in this field.  Most issues contain a mix of opinion pieces, news, changes in government regulations, etc…

Dr. Kirschner’s article is titled Mass shooters received only limited treatment.

Here are some quotes:

“As a forensic psychologist, I have tested/evaluated 30 teenage and young adult murderers, and almost all of them had been in some kind of ‘treatment,’ usually short term and psychoactive drug-oriented, before they killed.”

“After each episode of school killings or other mass shootings, such as the Aurora, Colo., Batman movie murders and Tucson, Ariz., killing of six and wounding of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others, there is a renewed public outcry for early identification and treatment of youths at risk for violence.

Sadly however, most of the young people who kill had been in ‘treatment,’ prior to the violence, albeit with less than successful results.”

“Most of the young murderers I have personally examined had…been in ‘treatment’ and were using prescribed stimulant/amphetamine type drugs before and during the killing events. These medications did not prevent but instead contributed to the violence by disinhibiting normal, frontal cortex control mechanisms.”

“Prior to the violent event, for which he is currently serving a life without parole sentence, Jeremy [Strolmeyer], an honor student with no history of violence, was misdiagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and ‘treated’ with nothing more than a bottle of Dexedrine following a brief 20-minute ‘cost-effective’ psychiatric consultation.”

“And so, despite ongoing congressional debates regarding stricter gun control laws vs. improved access to mental health treatment, our concern should be about the quality of mental health care, not just a societal safety net insuring treatment for all children and young adults. Almost all of them are covered by some type of managed care or insurance company, and the issue is not access to preventive treatment. The real problem, in my opinion, is the quality and competence of therapy for potential violent offenders when insurance companies are the gatekeepers.”

Obviously it’s a compelling article, particularly Dr. Kirschner’s assertion that “almost all” 30 young murderers he has worked with had been in some kind of treatment and had been taking psychiatric drugs.  Dr. Kirschner’s call for more competent and more intensive therapy makes sense, but as long as the mental health system is dominated by psychiatrists and psychiatric dogma, it is likely that psychiatric drugs will continue to be the essential ingredient of these interventions.  And as long as this is the case, all that we can reasonably expect is more of the same.

Dr. Kirschner’s comments are, of course, anecdotal. But there is an ever-growing body of anecdotal information implicating psychiatric drugs in mass killings and suicides. There is a desperate need for a formal study of this matter, but calls for such studies have been routinely ignored and resisted.

In December 2012, a petition on the White House “We the People” website calling for the government to initiate such an investigation was removed without explanation, even though it was well on the way to receiving the requisite number of signatures.

And let us not forget what Patrick B. Kwanashie, Assistant Attorney General for the State of Connecticut, said on this matter on August 22, 2013 when he was pressed in a freedom of information meeting to release Adam Lanza’s history of psychiatric drug use.

“…you have to advance reasons that you actually do have a real interest in the…medical records.  The plaintiff, the complainant have not shown any such interest.  The complainant is proposing that they can make generalizations, generalized from one single incident, no matter how the outcome of the use of antidepressants, or the causal link between the use of antidepressants and the kind of violence that took place in Newtown.  You just can’t, that’s not a legitimate use of that information.  You can’t generalize just from one case.  Even if you can conclusively establish that Adam Lanza’s murderous actions were caused by antidepressants, you can’t logically from that conclude that others would commit the same actions as a result of taking antidepressants.  So it’s simply not legitimate, and not only is it not the use to which they are proposing to put the information not legitimate, it is harmful, because you can cause a lot of people to stop taking their medications, stop cooperating with their treating physicians, just because of the heinousness of what Adam Lanza did.  As the material, the FDA material that they submitted show, it would take a lot of studies over a long period of time and among, and within various demographic groups to even begin to establish causal links between antidepressants and aggressive actions or suicidal behavior.  And the informed opinion has not quite reached the point to say definitively that there’s a causal link between the use of antidepressants and violent behavior.  Having correlations, there are correlations, but to say there are correlations doesn’t necessarily mean the relationship is causal.  And this is an issue the FDA is still grappling with, and so far it’s been willing to do is ask the drug makers to put warnings on their products and to advise physicians, treating physicians, to follow monitor their patients closely at the beginning of the taking of antidepressants.  So it’s a complex issue, and to pretend that you can just, based on this one case, make recommendations as to how people should make judgment choices is a disservice to the public and illustrates why these types of reports should not be made available, because in the wrong hands they can be the source of mischief.” [Emphasis added]

In other words, psychiatric drugs are safe until proven dangerous.  And, apparently, the only acceptable evidence is a large scale, randomized, controlled trial.  But the only group who has the data and the resources to conduct such a trial is psychiatry-pharma!  And meanwhile we should cover up any anecdotal information that might cast the drugs in a bad light – because that might induce people to stop taking them!

Psychiatric drugs are not medications in any meaningful sense of the term. Whatever temporary lift they may give people in the short term, is offset by their adverse effects – particularly their contribution to suicides and murder.

Information on this issue is being spun and suppressed by psychiatrists, and by their moneyed collaborators in pharma.  How much longer must this destructive charade continue?

Last updated by Phil at September 21, 2014.

Related posts:

The Link Between Psychiatric Drugs and Violence
Psychiatric Drugs and Suicide
Mass Murders and Mental Health
Another Mass Shooting: Link to SSRIs?
Opposition to Psychiatric Drugs is Fuelled by Puritanism!


Save The Children, GSK And The Non Child-Friendly Seroxat Pill

The company they keep


December 2014

Ian Brown on the love-in between the big charities and transnational corporations.

– See more at:

 Save the Children’s message couldn’t be clearer: ‘Teaming up with Save the Children to market a new or existing product could boost your sales, profile and customer base.’

But do such partnerships offer the win-win solution claimed by the NGOs and their corporate funders, or are there losers? Does Erinch Sahan, an Oxfam private-sector adviser, have a point when he blogs: ‘I want to believe that pursuing profits will result in a sustainable world and the end of poverty’? One such partnership involves Save the Children and pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Since 2011 Save the Children has benefited from GSK’s initiative to reinvest 20 per cent of the profits it makes in the world’s least developed countries (a fraction of its global $7.5 billion profit in 2013) back into projects which strengthen healthcare infrastructure and support the research and development of child-friendly medicines. Save the Children’s website claims a million children will be helped as a result of a ‘ground-breaking’ deal signed with GSK to improve children’s health in some of the poorest countries of Africa.

‘Teaming up with Save the Children to market a product could boost your sales, profile and customer base’ – Save the Children’s assurance to potential corporate partners

No mention on Save the Children’s website, however, of one of GSK’s less child-friendly products – the antidepressant Paxil (Seroxat/paroxetine).

In 2012 the company was fined $3 billion by the US government after pleading guilty to criminal charges, including bribing doctors and encouraging the prescription of Paxil to children, even though the drug was unsuitable and unapproved for this use.2

We would never refrain from speaking out on an issue because we had a partnership with a particular company. That would clearly compromise our values,’ claims Save the Children.

When contacted for a response, it admitted it was ‘aware of reports on the historic issues relating to Paxil… but our belief is that the risks are outweighed by the benefits of the partnership.’3

– See more at:

On A Different Note..

Ólafur Arnalds – A Stutter (feat. Arnor Dan)

Seeing as it’s Christmas and all..

I can’t stop listening to this beautiful track by Icelandic artist Arnalds Olafur.

The lyrics are beautiful too..


Ólafur Arnalds – A Stutter

The sun is old on water
Yearling flakes keep whirling by
“Carry me awry”

Collapsing breaths discover
Turning hope, new-boarded highs
Receding howls dew the skies

Closing eyes recover
Amber light in wintry bed
“Can you pull me under the cold, charred sea?”

Whispered words of summer
Fallen ode, a bawling bless,
Serenades the water and carries me anew.

In softest air, a stutter
Steers the heart away from the bane,
Leaves the lasting sorrow and carries me anew.

Last few posts before finishing up blogging..

Happy Christmas Folks 🙂

Ben Goldacre… Alltrials…Sense About Science… Take note…

“Joining forces with AllTrials is pretty on the eye yet deceiving.

GSK, in this instance, are your street magician. They are showing the public the delights of magic and the public applaud.

Always bear in mind that magicians often use secret helpers to accomplish their magic. They also use sleight of hand to make things just disappear… Think Paxil 329.”

Bob Fiddaman (see full post below) pretty much nails the hypocrisy of Alltrials and their GSK ‘collaboration’…

Ben Goldacre needs to start to listen to patients’ concerns and not the concerns of corrupt pharmaceutical companies like GlaxoSmithKline….

Isn’t Ben a doctor after all? and don’t they take an oath?

Bob Fiddaman was a patient (like myself) who was lied to about Seroxat’s side effects yet people like Ben Goldacre dismiss us as conspiracy theorists…

4 BBC panorama documentaries on Seroxat, a 3 billion dollar fine for GSK in the US, countless news stories, blogs, forums, petitions, GSK payouts in the US for Paxil (seroxat) etc and millions of hits on blogs and videos about Seroxat prove that what myself and Fid, and many others, have been banging on about (GSK’s Seroxat primarily) are far from conspiracies. Our opinions, and experiences, are based on facts and realities… they are thoroughly researched after over a decade of reading and educating ourselves… the truth of Seroxat is inescapable now, the truth is self evident.

I wish Seroxat was a conspiracy theory, I wish it was fantasy..

but unfortunately for those prescribed it..

It was very much a horrible, incomprehensibly nasty… reality…

Ben Goldacre should take a look at the stories of all those kids and teenagers who were driven to suicide from this disgusting drug and the next time he gets cosy with Andrew

Witty of GSK he should ask him why the hell is this vile drug still on the market?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Andrew Witty: The Acceptable Face of Big Pharma?

Dr David Healy has a belter of a post over at his website. The post, entitled, “Persecution: He Who Would Do A Great Evil”, throws out much for debate and readers have been forthcoming with comments.

Many of the comments mention the AllTrials Campain, spearheaded by Dr Ben Goldacre. He and I have never really seen eye to eye, he thinks I’m one of those “angry smeary conspiracy theorists”, (Fig 1) which is a shame. I’m really just a patient seeking answers from a big corporate company who lied about one of their prescription drugs that I took.

Fig 1

Three days ago All Trials published a letter from Ben Goldacre on their website, the crux of which sees the announcement that Goldacre, along with Síle Lane (Director of Campaigns at Sense About Science) are going to be banging on the doors of individual pharma companies to ask them what they’re doing to fix the problem of future clinical trials reporting.

At present pharmaceutical companies carry out clinical trials for their drugs and hand over the successful trial results to medicine regulators in efforts to get a licence to sell their wares to the public. Any failed trials (that shows the drug didn’t work or caused serious adverse events) are kept away from the regulators, doctors and the public.

I’m almost certain that Ben Goldacre didn’t wake one morning and think to himself, “I know what needs to be done, I’ll start a campaign calling for transparency and enter into a partnership with GSK on their terms.”

He probably (and this is just an assumption) was delighted when the UK’s biggest pharmaceutical company jumped on board the AllTrials train. His measure of elation overriding what lay beneath GSK’s reasons.

It looks great for GSK, even more so for AllTrials – what a coup!

One of the most abhorrent pharmaceutical companies in the history of medicine agreeing to open their doors to “the privileged” so “the privileged” can just see how GSK are trying, oh so desperately, to make it look as though they have nothing to hide.

Do you think for one minute that GSK would have jumped on board any campaign spearheaded by any of their fiercest critics?

The Seroxat User Group, back in 2011, asked for a meeting with GSK’s Andrew Witty. The meeting was an attempt to ask Witty for help on behalf of the thousands of patients suffering severe withdrawal problems at the hands of his company’s antidepressant Seroxat (known as Paxil in the US)

Witty declined, even though Janice Simmons, who operates the Seroxat User Group, had amassed over 60,000 emails from Seroxat patients, most of them are struggling to get off Seroxat.

GSK’s UK medical director Dr Pim Kon wrote back to Janice informing her that they (GSK) was not allowed to discuss personal matters with patients and that they should ‘talk to their doctor‘. [See – **Exclusive – GSK’s Andrew Witty in Patient Aftercare Snub]

It’s a perfect escape route for GSK. 60,000 emails from patients complaining about one of their products and 60,000 patients being told “Um, we can’t talk about your experience or offer you any guidance regarding withdrawing from our product… but you can talk to your doctor.”

AllTrials, however, have had red carpet rolled out for them by GSK because their campaign would actually make GSK look good. I mean whose idea was it to forget the 60,000 or so patients wanting help from GSK and, instead, focus on how to make GSK look like a great, caring company.

Put the two together – what’s more important?

GSK had nothing to gain by meeting Janice Simmons but they have everything to gain by teaming up with AllTrials. It’s all about image. Not the image of AllTrials. Not the image of Dr Ben Goldacre. The image of GSK.

Dr David Healy has given evidence against GSK in US Courts. Would they have been so obliging to him had they had been approached by him regarding a campaign to open their doors to show their clinical trials?

I think we know the answer.

So, why have they teamed up with Ben Goldacre who has, in the past, been slightly critical of them?

Well, Ben, as mentioned above, seems like the sort of chap who can be beneficial to GSK. Labelling me an “angry smeary conspiracy theorist” would have, no doubt, given the likes of former Glaxo spokesperson Alistair Benbow and Andrew Witty a jolly good laugh – “Way to go Benny boy, that Fiddaman guy is just a blogger and knows nothing about our medicines and how they have helped millions of people all over the world.”

By turning against the patient, be they disgruntled or be they advocates pushing for answers, Ben Goldacre has created a divide. He, himself, is a physician and any patient with questions about prescription medication should not be turned away and be labelled in such a way to make them feel they are wrong.

I think the concept of AllTrials is a good one. I think the terms under which pharmaceutical companies are agreeing to open their doors is a recipe for disaster. Goldacre, for what its worth, seems like a decent enough guy, I wouldn’t like him if he were my doctor though, especially if he could dismiss my concerns over a drug with a brush of the hand and a slur of conspiracy theorist.

If the likes of GSK wish to be transparent then they should be so with absolutely no restrictions.

Joining forces with AllTrials is pretty on the eye yet deceiving.

GSK, in this instance, are your street magician. They are showing the public the delights of magic and the public applaud.

Always bear in mind that magicians often use secret helpers to accomplish their magic. They also use sleight of hand to make things just disappear… Think Paxil 329.

Bob Fiddaman.

Andrew Witty , You’re Full Of Shit…

Considering that I’m finishing my (8th year) blogging adventure soon, I decided that I would not mince my words with my last few blog posts about Seroxat and GlaxoSmithKilne.

GSK’s CEO-  ‘Sir’ Andrew Witty-  is full of shit…utterly and totally -full of it…

There is no other way to describe the CEO of one of the most corrupt and devious pharmaceutical companies on the planet, and calling him that is really very tame. Dr. David Healy didn’t say that in his latest blog post, but it’s pretty much what came to mind when I read it… so why should we mince our words when it comes to these sociopaths? They don’t give a crap about people damaged by the drugs they sell, we mean nothing to them, dead babies from Paxil mean nothing, dead teenagers from suicide from Seroxat or Wellbutrin mean nothing, or patient heart attacks from Avandia, our lives mean zilch. We are disposable consumers, road kill, collateral damage.

Pharma CEO’s care nothing for damaged consumers, or the dodgy drugs their companies make  because they are rolling in cash and enjoying the good life that all this blood money gives them… well enjoy the millions Mr Witty… Just like your predecessor, JP Garnier– You’re utterly full of crap and when you do retire, if your conscience doesn’t twitch because of your lifetime of service to GSK, and all the disturbing crimes which they have been involved in– (crimes which resulted in deaths of some users of your drugs) then you were well suited to the job because it’s likely you are a sociopath… However, if your conscience does twitch its likely too late to do anything about it…  either way, good luck… enjoy the millions, but remember- don’t reflect- ever, don’t spend too much time alone for fear you might face yourself, and if ever you’re faced with the long night of the soul… don’t say I didn’t tell you so…

Persecution: He Who Would Do A Great Evil

This is the Fifteenth in the Persecution Series, after The Persecution of Heretics, The Persecution of Vulnerable Adults, Harassment from the BBC to GMC, Harassment from Rolf Harris to James Coyne to Doctor WhoPersecution: Black Riders in the Shire  & Persecution: Rumbles from Mordor, of which there were eight in the SUI Cide Series SUI Cide in Betsi, SUI Cide Trick or Treat , The SUI Cide Note & SUI Cide or Homicide,SUI Cide in the OK Corral. SUI Cide & Peace in our TimeThe SUI Cide Apparatus, Professional SUI Cide.  This marks a new Pharma sub-series.

Hope Witty 3

He who would do a Great Evil must first persuade himself
he is doing a Great Good

Faced with questions about the $3 Billion fine imposed on GSK in 2012 – is it just the cost of doing business? Andrew Witty snapped back:

“Although corporate malfeasance cases end up looking very big, they often have their origin in just… one or two people who didn’t quite do the right thing. It’s not about the big piece. The 100,000 people who work for GSK are just like you, right? I’m sure everybody who reads the BMJ has friends who work for drug companies. They’re normal people… Many of them are doctors”.

The $3 Billion fine stemmed in the first instance from Study 329 for which New York State sued GSK for fraud.  This is the study that colleagues and I are rewriting at the moment – at what risk?


Pharma has taken a regulator to Court twice.  The second was in 2013 when AbbVie took the European Medicines’ Agency (EMA) to the European Court to protect Humira in 2013.

The first case happened in 1969, when Upjohn took FDA to Court over Panalba.

The 1962 amendments to the Food and Drugs Act required companies to show their drug was effective using controlled trials.  For all drugs licensed prior to 1962, FDA insisted on a retrospective Drug Evaluation Study Initiative (DESI) to look at these. DESI convened panels of medical academics to adjudicate on each of the older drugs.

At the time there were many combination products – combinations of two antibiotics or an antidepressant and a tranquilizer.  FDA and most academic physicians did not approve of combination products, whether antibiotics, analgesics or psychotropics. DESI recommended removing most of them from the market.

In 1969, DESI lined up Upjohn’s Panalba for the chip.  Panalba was a combination of tetracycline and novobiocin. By FDA’s calculations Panalba was likely responsible for 12-15 deaths per year that would not have happened if doctors had used tetracycline alone. At the time Panalba was making $18 million per year for Upjohn – 12% of their income; $1 million per death. There was evidence that Upjohn knew of the risks the drug posed and in house evidence that Panalba was no more effective than tetracycline alone.

Upjohn’s Options

  1. to pull the drug immediately from the market,
  2. to stop production but let doctors use up the supplies available,
  3. to continue to produce but stop marketing,
  4. to continue to produce and to promote until it was actually banned,
  5. to attempt to overturn FDA’s decision using the Government and Judicial System

The company chose option 5.

Liaising with the Secretary of State for Health in the new Nixon Administration that had just taken power, Upjohn pursued a legal action all the way to the Supreme Court.

Business Ethics

When the details of the case were presented some years later to business management students in the University of Pennsylvania, Scott Armstrong found that none of his class supported Upjohn and all bar two of the 71 found Upjohn’s behavior irresponsible.

But when he got students to role play the Upjohn Board and faced them with the decision to pull the drug or not, he found to his astonishment that 79% of respondents opted to take the same course of action as Upjohn and none withdrew the drug. This result has been widely replicated in different national groups with socialist Swedes behaving the same as capitalist Americans, and the idealistic young in just the same way as their cynical elders.

Debriefing the subjects and attempting to adjust the board and the circumstance to see if behavior could be modified, Armstrong and others were left with the conclusion that it is generally accepted that the primary duty of Board members is to stockholders rather than to society at large. Board behavior can be modified by appointing stakeholders but even then few Boards opt to remove Panalba from the market.

Armstrong modified the role play experiments by introducing an Upjohn safety officer who told the Board that the company did have hidden evidence supporting the complaints – to no effect.

In real life not even the death of the CEO’s wife from suicide, from the Company’s drug Prozac, has led to a decision to pull the drug or add warnings.

Putting people in a group where the unstated assumption is they will behave like a proper Board produces a situation which has commentators reaching for comparisons with the Milgram experiment where decent ordinary people in experimental settings can be induced to give life-threatening shocks to innocent strangers simply because they are asked to do so by the conductor of the experiment.

What’s true of a pharmaceutical company Board is probably no less true of a Hospital or other Board especially when these boards see themselves as being in the business of defending brand value.


The only thing that appears to modify the likely behavior of a Board is a threat of boycott – that is if maintaining the drug on the market led to the kind of disenchantment that caused the company share price to fall, the Board would respond.

While in real life this is close to what happened when GSK threatened not to supply anti-retrovirals to South Africa, Fear not, Andrew shall never vanquished be until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill shall come against him.

Doctors don’t do Boycotts.  Why should they?  They don’t suffer the consequences of pills going wrong.

We have to accept Andrew Witty’s suggestion that he and other employees of GSK are just like us, even if few of us can imagine being party to behaviors that warrant a $3 Billion fine. But Armstrong’s study suggests we are more like him than Andrew is like what we might like to think of ourselves.

The problem is if everyone is so good, whence the growing Fascism in healthcare?  We can retreat to the wilder shores of conspiracy theory and claim the problems are down to the Germans, the Jews, or a Socialist cabal. Or we (including Andrew) can attribute the problems to a few people somewhere in a pharmaceutical company who break laws.

If we accept that the Board of GSK and other companies are populated with people just like you and me, who are perhaps even less likely to break the law than you or I, the $3 Billion fine for GSK notwithstanding, then the more sensible option is that the problem must stem from the system – which is just the opposite to what Andrew is saying.

or AbbVie

We can change systems from the top-down or the bottom up. RxISK is about bottom-up change.

If GSK loses with a Boycott, so do we.  We lose access to useful treatments.  This led RxISK to propose an alternative to a Boycott – an AbbVie. Rather than not speak to GSK or other companies, to AbbVie means to speak as much as possible to a company telling them and the world more about their drug – feeding back the range of effects the drug has, some good, many bad.  This is a way to make drugs better – a good medicine is a chemical plus good information.

(Ditto for a hospital).

He who would do a Great Evil..

There is little doubt that people in GSK and other pharmaceutical companies have the experience of being ever more adherent to protocols for Good Laboratory Practice, Good Research Practice, Good Marketing Practice etc

They likely feel little connection with the increasing numbers of people who die a premature death because of pharmaceuticals – and why should they given that no-one in GSK ever prescribes a drug?

But still someone is responsible for all these deaths…

to be continued

– See more at:


“The Funniest Joke They Ever Heard” … An Imaginary Interview With Andrew Witty (Cartoon: Parody/Satire)

1 Vote

 “The modern pharmaceutical industry is only sixty-five years old. It has good men and women, it has achieved human and social miracles, but its collective conscience is not yet developed.

― John le Carre (Author of the Constant Gardener)


For those unfamiliar with the Seroxat Scandal,
 Shelley Jofre, and what I am satirizing in the cartoon
 see David Healy's blog here:

You are here: Home / AbbVie / The House of GSK

The House of GSK

November 14, 2013 6 Comments

In a just published article in the BMJ, Peter Doshi notes how in recent months the English pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have assiduously portrayed themselves as advocates of transparency and in support of access to clinical trial data.

Well in support of ‘Responsible Access’. Responsible essentially means that a researcher commits to the primacy of RCTs and statistical significance over an analysis of adverse events. It would not for example be responsible to claim that an SSRI causes suicide, a statin muscle damage or cognitive failure, or hypoglycemics cause hypoglycemia unless a trial has shown this to happen to a Statistically Significant extent – and they never do.
This scenario suggests a variation on the old joke that Cricket is the English idea of fair-play – eleven against one. Efforts to get at the raw data are just not Cricket.

Gunfight at the GSK Corral

A failure to be converted to a Responsible way of looking at the data underpins the stand-off between GSK and the RIAT team attempting to restore Study 329 to what it should have been. Study 329 is GSK’s most famous clinical trial. RIAT stands for Restoring Invisible and Abandoned Trials (see Reading the RIAT Act).

The Doshi article along with the correspondence between GSK and the RIATers makes for eye-opening reading.

To recap, in 1998, SmithKline Beecham reviewed the final data from Study 329, a study begun in 1994, comparing Paxil, imipramine and placebo. They concluded that it demonstrated that paroxetine (Paxil-Seroxat) did not work for children. They decided they couldn’t show the data to FDA but they could go ahead and publish the “good bits” of the study.

This ultimately led to a publication in 2001 in the leading journal in the field of child psychiatry, the Journal of the American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, with an authorship line to die for. The first author was Marty Keller of Brown University. There were over twenty others.

The article states clearly that Paxil is safe and effective in children. Most doctors eyeballing it, and its distinguished authors and the journal in which it was published, would be much more inclined to use Paxil afterwards. That so many doctors in New York State in fact went on to prescribe so much Paxil to children led New York State to take a fraud action against GSK in 2004. This study was later at the center of the US Department of Justice’s case against GSK that resulted in a $3 Billion fine.

None of the apparent authors, it transpired, were authors in the sense people in the street would be likely to understand authorship. The real author – Sally Laden – appeared nowhere on the authorship line. The story behind the publication of 329 is laid out on Healthy Skepticism along with the efforts by Leemon McHenry and Jon Jureidini to get the “authors”, or the cuckolded institutions who lent their prestige to this ghostwritten article, or JAACAP, the journal in which it was published, to retract.

Which all refuse to do. And GSK as of a few weeks ago state that “GSK does not believe the article is false, fraudulent or misleading” (see GSK to RIATers).

Enter Stage Left

This is astonishing but there is another equally astonishing story to tell.
The temptation is for non-academics reading this to glaze over at the sight of theologians arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

But in fact those of you who have nothing to do with healthcare – the Irresponsibles – as it turns out were then and always are better placed to know when there is a problem. It was the doctors, ethicists and theologians, the Responsible Adults, who missed it. And if this is true of 329, it is likely to be true of everything else as well.

Study 329 began to unravel because a journalist, Shelley Jofre, working for BBC’s Panorama, accidentally left to her own devices, begin to dig. She went to the American Psychiatric Association Meeting in Philadelphia in May 2002, clutching the Keller-Laden paper. She was interested to interview some of the “authors”. One of her questions was “What is emotional lability?” There was a surprising number of children in 329 who became emotionally labile – what’s this? she asked. No-one seemed to know.

At APA, she approached one of the 329 authors Neal Ryan, who gave a non-answer and quickly got in touch with GSK to let them know a journalist was asking questions.

A few weeks later in July and again in August, GSK send a dossier to FDA seeking approval for Paxil for children.

A few weeks after that, on October 7th, to coincide with World Mental Health day (October 10th), Newsweek hit the streets featuring a depressed teenager on the front cover and a strapline Teen Depression: 3 million kids suffer from it. What you can do. The message inside was that Prozac was already being marketing for children and Paxil and Zoloft were about to be. What you can do – is get children on Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft.

Celebrating World Mental Health Day

Three days later, on October 10th, World Mental Health Day, and the 40th anniversary of the passage of the 1962 amendments to the Food and Drugs Act, FDA sent GSK a letter saying Paxil was approvable for kids.

Among other things, the letter notes that GSK had already told FDA that Study 329 showed that Paxil doesn’t work for depressed children. FDA were happy to go along with GSK’s suggestion that this should not be mentioned in the labeling of the drug. Given that the Study 329 publication majored on how effective Paxil was, it would have been inconvenient if the label said otherwise.

There are many notable things in this approvable letter. Perhaps the most interesting is FDA asking GSK to clarify just what emotional lability meant.
FDA have later spun this into a story that their reviewers detected there was an increase of emotional lability events in Study 329 that needed looking at. In fact this idea came on their radar after conversations between Jofre and third parties led to a visit to FDA on August 28th and a suggestion to FDA that they explore the issue of emotional lability.

FDA at the time had a few weeks to respond to GSK’s request to market Paxil for children. Neither Jofre nor the third parties knew at the time that GSK were seeking pediatric approval for Paxil.

The Secrets of Seroxat – The Perils of Paxil

On October 13th Jofre’s program, The Secrets of Seroxat aired on BBC. This led to one of the biggest responses the BBC had ever had to a Panorama program – 65,000 calls and over 1000 emails.

Panorama had never repeated a topic before. Jofre and Panorama have revisited paroxetine and GSK a further four times – each time demonstrating that when it comes to the blindingly obvious sometimes what you need is plain Curiosity rather than Responsibility.

In dealing with the RIAT team, GSK still insist there is nothing wrong with the Keller-Laden paper and show no interest to co-operate with setting the record right, even though the “fraudulent” version is still the only one on the public record. As such it is still being built into guidelines on the management of children who are depressed – a trial that showed paroxetine doesn’t work and leads to a statistically significant excess of suicidality (emotional lability).

When facing requests from others such as Peter Goetzsche to be Responsible (see GSK’s Transparency and Access Journey), GSK have typically invited them to meet GSK experts in GSK House. This is more awkward with a RIAT team that is dispersed from Atlanta to Adelaide.

It’s a lot more awkward with a journalist like Jofre, who asks herself along to GSK House with a list of questions in need of an answer.

Despite a haircut between programs, Jofre and Andy Bell produced a second Panorama program, in May 2003, Emails from the Edge that brought the walls of the Temple down. A few days after the second Panorama program, Britain’s MHRA blew a fuse and Seroxat-Paxil was on its way to being banned for children. To be continued…

The moral of the story perhaps is GSK figure letting Responsible adults in to the Club is no problem, but they recognize that a motivated lay-person, particularly a woman spells trouble.
– See more at:

The End Of Paxil Progress?

I’m planning on finishing up blogging by the end of this year (as I mentioned in a previous post). However, I plan to leave my blog online as I feel it is a very important resource for psychiatric drug casualties (particularly for those who took Seroxat/Paxil). It also documents GSK’s criminal history- and contains numerous other issues relating to the Seroxat scandal etc- therefore it will be left open for anyone to read.

Yesterday a website called Paxil Progress went offline suddenly and it seems that it has been taken offline permanently. The site had been running for 14 years, and there are literally tens of thousands of stories of people’s experiences with psych drugs contained in its various forums. It is (or was) an incredible resource for psych-drug users and an incredibly useful information sharing portal. When I was looking for help and guidance throughout my very difficult Seroxat withdrawal, I found the support and advice from members of Paxil Progress invaluable. It seems a terrible shame that this vital resource has now been effectively wiped from the internet. Over the years Paxil Progress gathered literally tens of thousands of members, hundreds of thousands of posts, and a huge community was created. Now it seems, that’s all gone…

I understand that the admin moderator, Scotty (Laurie Yorke), seems to have just had enough of moderating the site (running sites like that can be thankless, tiring and stressful), and it was a site which was certainly no stranger to drama and controversy, but what I don’t understand is: why was the site shut down completely? Why was is shut down so quickly? (within a day it seems) and also what will happen to the information contained in the site?

Surely there were also other people (moderators, long term members etc) who would have been willing to continue administrating the site- to keep it going?

Anyhow, we might never know the full facts, but thankfully there is another website called Surviving Antidepressants, which many of the previous Paxil Progress members seemed to  have flocked to. For those suffering from anti-depressant/psych drug withdrawal and side effect issues, it’s a site which might be worth checking out…

I sincerely hope that Laurie can maybe pass the Paxil Progress site on to others who might be interested in moderating PP, and that the information can be opened up again for people to see online, if not- it seems to me that an entire history of many people’s experiences has been needlessly erased, and that- in my opinion is a shameful travesty…



Psychiatrists learn from the experts: their patients

good insightful article..

recovery network: Toronto

One of the great myths of what often gets called “mental illness” is that people who have been diagnosed “lack insight”.

The truth is that too many doctors lack the insight to ask – or the time to listen to insights that differ or dissent from the masses of data they have crammed into their busy brains and busy schedules.

Another  great myth is that all psychiatrists must be evil – when in fact very few are. Some are even making the time to listen and to help make space in busy training schedules for trainee psychiatrists so that they too can learn to learn not just from text books but from their patients.

These are interesting times in mental health services and it is always a pleasure to be able to spotlight an initiative within the heart of “the evil empire” that is at least partly about bringing the…

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Consumers Deserve To Know Who’s Funding Health Research

Consumers Deserve to Know Who’s Funding Health Research

December 2, 2014

The United States government is finally requiring drug and device manufacturers to disclose the payments they make to doctors and teaching hospitals. For decades these payments were largely hidden, until Senator Charles Grassley took an interest. As Grassley’s lead investigator on this issue, I spent from 2007 to 2010 uncovering industry money that academic researchers were hiding from their universities. And now the Physician Payments Sunshine Act is law, as part of the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Since then, progress has been made, but much more is needed.

Why the Sunshine Act Was Necessary

The need for full disclosure was very clear to us in the Senate. Companies were paying physicians to give speeches on behalf of their products and to publish studies (ghostwritten by the companies) that downplayed those products’ side effects. For this disgraceful behavior, companies later paid billions of dollars in fines for defrauding the federal government and selling harmful or ineffective products (witness the Paxil, Avandia, and Vioxx scandals).

Industry fumed when we proposed the Senate bill. I remember one conversation in 2007 during which a company vice president complained to me that trying to account for all the money going to doctors would be extremely costly. “Is that the story you’ll tell shareholders?” I asked him. “Do you want to admit that you can’t comply with such a law because you don’t track how much money you shovel out the door to doctors?”

I wish I could report that medical professionals embraced our efforts — but they didn’t. After we launched investigations of more than three dozen patient-advocacy groups and professional medical societies, it became clear why: Most of those organizations depended on income from industry, and many physician-leaders of these groups received large consulting fees. They fought back against our efforts to bring transparency to their financial relationships.

  • A collaboration of the editors of Harvard Business Review and the New England Journal of Medicine, exploring best practices for improving patient outcomes while reducing costs.

It was a pretty lonely battle. Our investigations exposing hidden money helped to weaken industry opposition, but passing a stand-alone bill would have been extremely difficult, perhaps impossible. Luckily the Senate was already working on health care reform, and the Sunshine Act was folded into the larger Affordable Care Act, which eventually passed in 2010.

How Transparency Has Changed Attitudes

We have come a long way since 2006, when the Wall Street Journal ran a story detailing conflicts of interest — between Cyberonics and Emory University’s Dr. Charles Nemeroff — that had not been disclosed in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology. In a letter to the WSJ, several dozen physicians, including Dr. Robert Golden, the dean of the University of Wisconsin’s medical school, defended Nemeroff. Two years later, in 2008, both Nemeroff and the University of Wisconsin came under close scrutiny for undisclosed industry money during the Senate investigations I led.

After Nemeroff was exposed for not reporting almost $2 million in received payments, he apologized in 2009, saying he would use the incident to help other doctors understand the importance of disclosure. Golden promised to clean up his own institution after investigations identified a physician there who received millions of dollars in unreported income from a device company. The 180-degree shift was complete when, writing in March 2014 in JAMA, Golden and two coauthors called for leaders at academic institutions to end most financial relationships with outside entities: “Leaders have a responsibility to set an example for others in their institution, especially for those training to be health care professionals.”

It doesn’t matter whether this shift in medical professionals’ attitudes is attributable to a change of heart or consistent outside pressure. Either way, it is now accepted that doctors are — like anyone — susceptible to money, and we are mitigating those influences by requiring transparency.

What’s Next for Transparency in Science

Despite progress, the movement toward greater disclosure has a way to go. Currently, it’s not clear how disclosure actually affects patient outcomes. Research published in the NEJM suggests it doesn’t have much impact on patient behavior. And a study in JAMA Internal Medicine shows that disclosure is unlikely to have much effect on prescribing behavior and health care costs. However, in another NEJM study, doctors judged studies more harshly when they knew they were funded by the pharmaceutical industry.

Bottom line: We honestly don’t know whether the Physician Payments Sunshine Act will make doctors think twice about taking gifts from industry — and whether people will tire of hearing about this activity and simply ignore it. We are in uncharted territory, and new laws often have unforeseen consequences. The next few years will be crucial.

One thing about the future is certain: Nobody should assume that corruption in medicine is unfixable. Medicine has been at the center of both the problems and the solutions involving science and industry. NEJM instituted the very first conflict-of-interest policy in 1984, with JAMA following a year later. The two leading science journals didn’t catch up until 1992 (Science) and 2001 (Nature). In fact, research finds that science journals have always lagged behind medical journals in addressing conflicts of interest.

The problems across science loom large. Industry has funded campaigns to undermine scientific work that has major public health implications, such as secondhand smoking, obesity, regulation of chemicals, and climate change. In each case, hidden money buys off science experts, funds think-tank papers, and litters journals with ghostwritten studies.

Given medicine’s leadership position in disclosing industry funding, it’s time for physicians to lead their other colleagues in science to ensure that all scientific work remains transparent and independent. Here are some leads from the medical community that others in science could follow:

  1. The National Institutes of Health now requires grant recipients to disclose outside income and explain how they will manage conflicts during the term of the grant. Other agencies, such as the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy (which funds scientific research), should follow suit.
  1. Standards on reporting conflicts of interest vary widely across medical journals, institutions, and professional societies, thereby creating confusion for researchers. Given that the medical research community has always led in addressing financial conflicts, it should be the first to create and adopt universal reporting standards, to simplify disclosure requirements, and to lead the way for the rest of science.
  1. For too long, companies have flooded the scientific literature with ghostwritten studies. Journals and universities should no longer tolerate hidden money that supports the publication of research. They need to require disclosure not just of the funding for the research and the financial conflicts of individual authors, but also of any financial support received for writing the study.
  1. Finally, journals should require authors to publish all research data, along with the article, online. Server space is cheap, and journals can afford to publish this information. We know that funding can bias the outcome of a study, but if the data are made public, independent researchers can verify the analyses and the conclusions.

These fixes are already being implemented or at least actively discussed by medical experts, but they are largely not on the radar in other areas of science. As medical leaders move further in adopting ethics-based changes, they are likely to influence their scientific colleagues outside medicine. In effect, the sunshine needs to become stronger in the medical community and to spread its light to the entire universe of science.

When Did The Moral Decay Begin At GSK?…

Some commentators (and ex-Glaxo employees) on Corante speculate:

10. exGlaxoid on December 2, 2014 2:22 PM writes…

Just look at where the problems for GSK have come from. Former SKB manufacturing plants, Paxil and Avandia being promoted incorrectly, buying stupid things (most pushed by former SKB managers), and many other high level decisions, almost all of which were not from former GW people. The only mistake also pushed hard by the former GW people was going into China so hard and fast, both in sales and R & D (how many drugs have come from GSK China?)

Back in 2001 – 2006, we started hearing about how outsourcing some research would so great. We started looking at the growth and predicted that by 2015 there would be 10-20% of all pharma R & D done in China and India. I think it went much faster, and produced little so far, although I do expect that eventually China will start doing much of it, as they have enough resources to make it happen now. Many of the outsourced compounds, libraries, and much of the development work has been of poor quality, slower than before, and much of the work is questionable validity. Oh well.

But here in the US, we won’t have the money to buy the latest medicines from China, since no one will have a job any more, at least in many areas. But at least the former CEOs of the pharm and biotech industry will still have their yachts.

I just hope that the industry recovered at some point and can bring back some jobs once we realize the poor quality of what we get from outsourcing to the lowest bidder. Sorry to dwell on this, but my remaining friends still at GSK are now waiting in suspense, just in time for the holidays. What a great Christmas gift.

Permalink to Comment

11. anon on December 2, 2014 2:27 PM writes…

not only have sales and developments fallen short. GSK is now in seventh place trailing: JNJ, NVS, Roche, PFE, Sanofi and MRK

12. annon 2 on December 2, 2014 3:08 PM writes…

Many in GSK R&D at the time thought these comments were overblown, hyperbola, bravo, that could never come to pass. Drug discovery & development never has, and never will be analogous to electronic chips, packaging into computers or tablets or cell phones, high volume marketing with free will purchasing (eg not regulated or filtered by doctors or insurance or providers).

And then there were all the very costly missteps, some not directly from GSK, that already forced cuts to R&D: Avandia critic Steve Nissen, Sirtis, HGS, darapladib, China GSK, many reorganizations, invisible upper management, lack of accountability for the poor decisions (promotions instead)…..

It’s tragic that such good company(ies) could be so badly managed and so quickly decimated.

In the Pipeline

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December 2, 2014

A (Sad) Look Back to 2006 At GSK

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Posted by Derek

It’s generally painful to go back a few years and look at the large-scale pronouncements of a drug company’s upper management. Thanks to commenter Metamonad, we can, in light of tomorrow’s GlaxoSmithKline re-org, step back to 2006:

At the time of the £107bn merger of Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham in 2000, the architect of the deal, Glaxo’s chief executive Sir Richard Sykes, spoke of creating the “Microsoft of the pharmaceuticals industry”. Now Mr Garnier, previously the head of SmithKline and the man who became the chief executive of the merged company, believes ramping up investment in the research and development of new drugs is crucial to making this vision come true.Mr Garnier said: “In terms of creating the Microsoft, this is a vision of the most R&D intensive company which I completely agree with. We have a chance to step away from the rest of our competition if we execute our plan well and we’re now in a position to do so.”

GSK is the second-largest drug company in the world, with a 7 per cent market share behind America’s Pfizer at 11 per cent. Last week Mr Garnier’s contract was extended by seven months to May 2008 so he could steer the group through a crucial year that will see the launch of several key medicines. They include Cervarix, a vaccine for cervical cancer, Tykerb, an oral treatment for breast cancer, and Eltrombopag, a blood clotting agent in the treatment of breast cancer.

These blockbuster drugs are set to bring in billions of dollars of extra revenue, enabling the company to pour large chunks into drug discovery from 2008, Mr Garnier said. This year the group is spending $4.4bn on developing new medicines, around 16 per cent of overall revenues, but the goal is to get that figure to the 20-25 per cent range over the next 10 years.

So how’d that work out? Tykerb has had a rough time of it in some clinical trials, and its revenues last year were about $340 million and falling. Ceravix brought in $270 million, down 37 per cent (although that drop was mostly due to trouble in the Japanese market). And eltrombopag, known as Promacta, was a brighter spot, with $307 million in revenues, up 46%. But you’ll note that all three of these put together did not bring in a billion dollars of revenue in 2013, which would surely not have made anyone happy if you’d told them that in 2006.

And the R&D spend last year was 15% of overall revenues – less than the starting point in the above article, and nowhere in sight of that 20 to 25%. And with the company set to cut even more tomorrow, I think we can rule that out for the near future, too.

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When The Body Says No: Mind/Body Unity and the Stress- Disease Connection

Amazing Lecture on the Mind/Body Connection by Gabor Maté, really struck a chord. This is the stuff that mainstream psychiatry doesn’t want you to think about…

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds

Illness and what creates illness with Gabor Maté. If you’ve been reading Beyond Meds for any length of time you’ll know that Gabor is one of my favorite human beings. He is an inspired brilliant man who is helping us change the healing climate on this planet.

Stress is ubiquitous these days — it plays a role in the workplace, in the home, and virtually everywhere that people interact. It can take a heavy toll unless it is recognized and managed effectively and insightfully. Western medicine, in theory and practice, tends to treat mind and body as separate entities. is separation, which has always gone against ancient human wisdom, has now been demonstrated by modern science to be not only artificial, but false. e brain and body systems that process emotions are intimately connected with the hormonal apparatus, the nervous system, and in particular the immune system. Emotional stress, especially…

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