Harvey Humphrey: “”This was my brutal entry to the real world.”


Son of Britons jailed in China: “This was my brutal entry to the real world.”

Two years ago Harvey Humphrey’s parents were arrested in China leaving him alone, having just left school, to fight for their release. He tells Susannah Butter about taking on the Chinese authorities


At first, Harvey Humphrey thought his parents were ignoring his calls because they were angry with him. “We had been having a fiery email conversation about which university offer I should take,” says Humphrey, 20. Those emails were to be his last unmonitored communication with his parents for two years.

That was on July 10, 2013. Humphrey had recently graduated from the Beijing branch of Dulwich College and was doing an internship at a logistics firm in Hong Kong. His parents, Peter, 59, from Surrey, and Yu Yingzeng, 61, an American citizen from a Chinese family, were at home in Beijing where they ran a corporate intelligence company from Shanghai.

They were “a cosy, three-person family,” says Humphrey, so “it was unusual” when they didn’t respond to his calls. “But I wasn’t surprised because they were busy with work.”

When there was still no reply the next morning he told family friends that his parents had gone off the radar and filed a missing citizen’s report to the British and American consulates. “I thought there could have been a nasty accident.” Six days later the consulates called to tell Humphrey that his parents were in the Shanghai Detention Centre.

“In a way I was relieved,” says Humphrey. “At least they weren’t injured.” He continued his internship, thinking he would see his parents by Christmas. He had no idea of the battle ahead.

It wasn’t until August, when his parents were formally arrested, that Humphrey discovered they were being investigated for obtaining Chinese citizens’ data and selling it to companies. Everything else was unclear: “I knew my parents were in the detention centre but I didn’t know the conditions there or how long this was going to drag on for. The Chinese justice system is a huge machine and impossible to predict.”

Since 2003, Humphrey’s parents had been running a fraud-prevention consultancy called ChinaWhys. Their clients included multinational law firms and FTSE-250 businesses. At the time of their arrest, the Humphreys were carrying out investigations for GlaxoSmithKline. They had been employed by GSK to investigate bribery claims at the company and a sex tape featuring an executive there. The Humphreys may have fallen foul of a nationwide campaign to stamp out corruption, which had engulfed GSK. They also appear to have been victims of a personal vendetta involving a former senior GSK employee.

‘A cosy, three-person family’: Harvey Humphrey with his parents as a boy at the Great Wall of China, above right

The details of his parents’ work were never discussed at home but Humphrey says “they found it stimulating. In 2013, though, it was becoming too stressful. I think they were intending to retire.”

Humphrey grew up in Beijing, hiking and trout fishing with his parents near the Great Wall on weekends. “You could say I was a pampered expat kid,” he says. His mother worked from home, while his father, a former journalist, worked at the Shanghai office in the week.

On the day of his parents’ arrest “there was a misunderstanding with the police”. “They phoned our house helper and asked where I was. It was likely they only wanted to tell me about the arrest but at that point we knew nothing so it felt threatening. I thought they were after me so I should leave.” He packed up the family heirlooms in haste and came to Redhill, Surrey, where his father has a flat.

In Redhill, Humphrey “went into crisis- management mode”. “I don’t remember how I was feeling, I just worked as hard as I could. There were three branches I had to micromanage – financial, legal and consular. I almost treated it as an office job; that helped me keep calm. I felt protective towards my parents from the beginning. I was the only family member walking free so it was my job to look after their interests.”

He “felt very distant from everything”. “The time difference was a serious issue so I was living China hours or American hours, becoming nocturnal so I could speak to people there. It was a very antisocial life; I didn’t see anyone.”

In September he took up a place at UCL to study Mechanical Engineering but “the pressure was too high to both do a degree and manage my parents’ case”. “I didn’t meet anyone and sat in lecture theatres weighing up the pros and cons of leaving.” He left after a month.

Christmas was spent with a friend in Hull and it wasn’t until then that, he says, “it dawned on me my parents wouldn’t be home and I realised the gravity of the situation.”

The lowest time was between January and April. “They added a second charge which was far worse than the first. It was for criminal business operation and would have been a 12 year sentence. Eventually they dropped it.”

Humphrey went to China in June. “I was gung ho about it. I should have been more frightened than I was. Then all of a sudden the Chinese announced in August there was going to be a trial and it would be secret. Under pressure from the consulates they opened it so I could attend.”

That summer he was at last allowed to see his parents for the first time in a year, two days before the trial. They met in the detention centre’s visit room. “First I saw my mum. At that point she was suffering more than my Dad. She was allowed to hug me; she was crying. Both of my parents had aged a lot. My dad had lost a lot of weight. We talked about what I’d been doing – ordinary conversation just in very strange circumstances because we weren’t allowed to talk about anything extraordinary.”

Humphrey graduating from Beijing’s Dulwich College in 2013

Humphrey was under the extra strain of not telling his mother about her older brother, a computer programmer based in Maryland, USA, who had died in April of cancer. “He was her only blood family member and her soulmate. The shock of having a sister in prison with no solution basically killed him. My dad and I decided not to tell my mum because it would have wrecked her even further.”

His mother found out on the day of the trial. “She could have gone through that trial with more composure if she was told long before or after it but she was told on the day.”

The trial took 13 hours. Humphrey sat in the courtroom being “given glowering looks from members of the Chinese public who had been duped into thinking my parents were foreign spies”.

His parents were given two-and-a-half year sentences for illegally purchasing information about Chinese citizens. Humphrey does not know how much they spent on lawyers but says, “my feeling was there was not much they could do — they kept on being cut off so the prosecution could speak. I think the judges gave my parents that sentence to make an example out of them.

“The main discomfort from that trial was the humiliation to my family,” says Humphrey. “My parents had contributed so much to China — I’ve grown up there, I speak its language, I call it home and it suddenly turned on us like that.” He didn’t sleep the night after the trial. “There’s nothing you can do unless you work to reduce the sentence through good behaviour, which my parents had no intention of doing.”

His father was put in a foreign unit with 140 inmates, while his mother was in a typical Chinese women’s prison, not allowed to leave her cell. “One small piece of relief was that the prisons aren’t as bad as detention centres.”

In September Humphrey began a degree at Bristol, “apprehensive about starting university again”.

Humphrey was not hopeful about seeing them anytime soon. Then suddenly, on June 9 this year, the British consulate in Shanghai called. “They said my father was being released that day. I didn’t believe it at first.” His mother was also set free. After a week of house arrest in a hotel, they were deported to London, where Humphrey met them at the airport.

“That was surreal. What was going through my mind was that I’d been building a life on my own for the past two years. Now it’s changing back to normal again, which is going to take a long time to transition to. What was going through their mind? Probably, freedom. My first question my father asked me was whether I had removed the bicycle from the kitchen.”

Officially, the case is closed, but for Humphrey’s father it is far from over. “He wants to find out more. From what I hear the file is being kept secret and not many judges are allowed to review it.”

For now, Humphrey says, “we are trying to pick up the broken pieces, almost rebuilding a life from scratch — a daunting task.” Doctors think his father has a prostate tumour and are waiting to find out if it is benign.

“Trying to pick up the broken pieces”

On their first morning back in the UK, Humphrey and his father walked to the petrol station to buy breakfast. “It was a normal family experience. But they have mental issues that don’t always show. It is tough for them and for me to understand. They are a lot more fragile now.”

His parents go on two walks a day and Humphrey is about to begin a summer internship at Maclaren. His father has been banned from returning to China for 10 years. His mother would like to go and see a statue of her father, a nuclear physicist, that is being unveiled in August at Peking University, but is concerned about travelling with a criminal record.

“Before this my parents had always been composed,” says Humphrey. “Both of them have been remarkably straight- headed the whole time. They held it together far longer than we’d expect in this situation.”

He has “had to grow up much faster than expected. It’s given me a more balanced — maybe cynical — perspective on the world. I was a spoilt kid, in the expat bubble. This was my brutal way of entering the real world.”

Despite it all, Humphrey would consider moving back to China. “It’s home. I miss the dumplings, the hotpots, the fireworks. It is a dynamic, fascinating place.” The case “highlights what a volatile country it is. The biggest message is that China always surprises.”


GlaxoSmithKline’s Corporate Killings Of Kids With Their Toxic And Dangerous Paxil/Seroxat ‘Anti-Depressant’

“…Watching this video, I felt appalled by this misuse and abuse of my values. I felt outraged, as a physician, at the utter contempt with which GlaxoSmithKline holds the medical profession. I felt frightened for all of us who consume the products of these corporations…”

(Dr Peter Breggin 2012 Huffington Post)



“Four pharmaceutical executives stand with their backs to a darkened Las Vegas auditorium. Smoke machine fog billows at their heels while a platform slowly rotates them to face thousands in the audience. A song from the Space Jam soundtrack plays, stage lights brighten, and suddenly a giant model pill dispenser is revealed on stage. Cue sparklers.

Y’all ready for this?

This is not a parody of corporate conduct. It’s Exhibit 28A, a video (above) uploaded by the Department of Justice last week from court documents pertaining to the “largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history.”

The scene itself is from the real and not-so-distant past, at GlaxoSmithKline’s 2001 sales launch for its asthma medication Advair, which the company promoted as first-line therapy for mild asthma patients. The study that conclusion came from, however, had been flatly rejected by the FDA, and later received a black box warning as the result of deaths in halted clinical trials.

The US complaint alleged that GSK continued to market the product as such anyway—as recently as 2010—while providing kickbacks for high-prescribing physicians to boot.2010—while providing kickbacks for high-prescribing physicians to boot.”

Following on from my recent blog post about GSK Whistle-blower Greg Thorpe’s legal complaint (which eventually led to a ‘slap on the wrist’ 3 Billion dollar fine for GSK in 2012), I’d like to delve a little deeper into why this complaint was so important. There were a number of drugs in the complaint which GSK marketed illegally off-label, but because Paxil (Seroxat) was the drug which I was prescribed, I intend to focus on the Seroxat (Paxil) part. The post about Greg Thorpe I did 2 days ago, has had a couple of hundred views already, and I know Glaxo are reading these posts (I can see who views), so I’d like to also say to the GSK spies- how can you continue to work for such an abhorrent company? a company that kills kids for profit…

“…Some estimate that more than 50,000 under-18s in the UK were prescribed Seroxat between 1990, when it was licensed here, and last year when the ban was imposed by Government medical regulators…”

“..Anguished parents have complained that their children became suicidal while on Seroxat then showed horrendous withdrawal symptoms when they tried to come off it…”



As you can see from the exhibit video above, the corporate culture at GSK is all about sales and profits, and as we now know from Greg’s complaint- at GSK- ethics, morals and patients lives -were completely disregarded- for the pursuit of profits. Despite GSK’s claims to the contrary, it is unlikely that GSK’s corporate culture has changed much. They were found guilty of a massive bribery scam in China just last year, and they are currently weathering accusations of similar bribery scams globally. They refuse to engage with those in the UK who were prescribed Seroxat in Europe, despite having paid out millions to damaged consumers in the US.

They continue to deceive their consumers, and patients continue to be damaged from dodgy GSK drugs. Seroxat is just one example.

Has their culture changed much? I don’t think so.

Is Andrew Witty any different to his predecessor JP Garnier?

Not a lot.

Perhaps Andrew Witty is slightly different, in that he comes across as more sincere, humble, and open to change.

However, personally I don’t believe that Witty is any different ethically to JP, he’s just more convincing and less arrogant, and in comparison to JP he seems much more likable, but I think that’s why they chose him- he’s the ‘acceptable face of Big Pharma’ (or not, as the case may be).

If Andrew Witty was serious about changing GSK’s ethics, why has he consistently ignored pleas to meet with Seroxat campaigners over the years?

Seroxat killed kids, and adults too. It continues to kill, and will continue to, until it is taken off the market. Andrew Witty knows this, yet Andrew witty has not uttered one word about Seroxat in public. I just don’t understand how he sleeps at night.


“…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…”

How can he claim to be an ethical CEO when he continues to ignore the damage that Seroxat is doing (globally) to people’s lives?

Witty talks the talk, but he certainly doesn’t walk the walk.

His statement at the time was: “

“Whilst these originate in a different era for the company, they cannot and will not be ignored,” he said in the statement. “On behalf of GSK, I want to express our regret and reiterate that we have learned from the mistakes that were made.”

Even here, when given the opportunity to apologize for decades of criminal misconduct, Witty chooses to continue to deceive the public and patients alike through his insincere statement. These charges didn’t happen in another era at all. Witty tried to spin it that way to make it seem that so, but this was a lie, and furthermore Witty worked for GSK at a very high level in this ‘era’ therefore he is also implicated in these shenanigans. Calling it another era is clever spin but it doesn’t take the heat away from his own possible involvement, particularly with the drug Wellbutrin/Zyban. Wellbutrin was named in the legal complaint against GSK in the department of justice fine, and Witty, it seems, was involved in Wellbutrin marketing at the time of these allegations, therefore it would suggest that he perhaps knows much more about it than he will ever admit. Of course, he is well protected by lawyers, money, and political connections too, so we won’t see him doing any jail time any time soon, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to document GSK’s appalling behavior, and Witty’s part in it all also.

At the end of the day, with Paxil/Seroxat- kids completed suicides, or attempted suicide, and self harmed, because they were prescribed a drug- that they should not have been. GSK illegally marketed Seroxat to kids despite being aware that it was dangerous. How can Andrew Witty reconcile his conscience about this? (that’s if he has one- some claim that CEO’s in these types of organizations are sociopaths therefore they likely don’t have a conscience). It is arguable whether Seroxat should be prescribed to anyone at any age, personally I believe it should be banned.

Of course, Seroxat is dangerous for adults to take too, it is a highly toxic drug, and has caused immeasurable harm. If Witty knows this, but he ignores it then is he also complicit in the deaths and damage to patients and consumers of Seroxat?

Does he have blood on his hands? if the buck stops with  the CEO then it stops with Sir Andrew Witty, and surely then the Seroxat Scandal also lands at his door? Does then too, the responsibility for those harmed (children, babies, and adults alike) damaged and killed from Seroxat fall squarely on his shoulders? Who is responsible for the devastation from this abhorrent drug? GSK? Andrew Witty? The MHRA? The FDA? All of them?

I wonder would GSK executives and their lawyers push drugs like Seroxat or Wellbutrin on their own kids if they were depressed, down, or suffering from anxiety over exams, or a teenage break up? Would they give them Seroxat or Wellbutrin? maybe they would…maybe not… but would they warn them of the full side effect profile? and the full dangers?

Because only GSK has access to that information.

Dr David Healy, of the University of North Wales, said: “If the data had been out there from the start, we could have avoided some of the problems we have seen with Seroxat.

“If people had been aware of the evidence from the trials and seen the risks, they could have reduced the risks of adverse events happening. Parents could have been told to keep a closer eye on their children.




Below are excerpts from Greg Thorpe’s Paxil Complaint to the department of Justice. It cannot be underestimated the importance of Greg’s actions. He has undoubtedly saved lives. The fact that GSK knew Paxil (Seroxat) would harm kids, but continued to push it for childhood psychiatric disorders anyhow- should be deeply disturbing and concerning to the whole medical community, and for patients too.

It is now well established that Seroxat is a dangerous drug, but that is too late for Sara Carlin, Sharise Gatchell, Jamie Hoole and the many other Seroxat casualties. When is Mr Witty going to apologize for these deaths, and the destruction and damage to many thousands of families, loved ones and Seroxat survivors?

Dr David Healy (and others) intend to re-examine GSK’s controversial Paxil study 329 and their submission to the BMJ is expected to be revealed soon on this website:



paxil1 paxil2 Paxil3 Paxil5 Paxil6 paxil7 paxil8 Paxil9

Whistleblower Greg Thorpe’s 7th Amended Complaint..

GREGt“..When you look at the detail and accuracy of Greg Thorpe‘s written complaints distributed to the highest levels of Glaxo (See ‘Document Links’ Below) it’s almost surreal that the company took no corrective action. Now more than a decade later, GSK is essentially admitting that Thorpe had been right in 2001″.. Kenney said

“…As a Colorado Springs sales representative for GlaxoSmithKline, Greg Thorpe tried to put a stop to the practice. His manager wrote him up for not being a “team player” after he objected to the free spa treatments and pedicures, hunting trips, tickets to sports games and skiing junkets that his supervisors expected him to give out to doctors and others..”

“The sky was the limit,” said Thorpe, whose whistle-blower lawsuit against his former employer ended with a $3 billion settlement with the federal government. “Those who spent more money got rewarded because they were positioning the company for more business. And it did pay off.”

“How many kids died from Paxil (and WellButrin) being pushed illegally off label?”

When GSK were fined 3 Billion dollars by the US department of Justice in 2012 (for various criminal/fraudulent activities spanning over more than a decade- which resulted in some cases- in deaths of patients/consumers) the media concentrated mainly on the headline grabbing “3 Billion dollar fine” and very little of the exhibits (and the content of the actual legal complaint) were highlighted. This is understandable, considering this was the biggest health care fine in US history, but the fine itself is only a very small part of the overall story. These exhibits reveal a sinister and sociopathic corporate culture at GSK; a culture which indicate (and considering GSK’s recent China bribe scandal– arguably- still display) an utterly callous disregard for patient health, and an insatiable appetite for fraud and corruption in the pursuit of profits.

The main whistle-blower behind this record breaking fine was a previous employee of GSK- Greg Thorpe. Greg spent 23 years with the company, but when they expected him to get involved in prescribing medications such as the anti-depressant Wellbutrin to kids, Greg felt the need to speak out. Typically, GSK responded by vilifying Greg, and making his life hell. Greg’s original mails (to the GSK upper management -about his absolute unwillingness to participate in these nefarious activities) make for sobering reading. I applaud Greg for his actions, he deserves much praise and respect for doing the right thing. He is a hero (in the true meaning of the word), and he is truly brave and courageous; however I wish I could say the same for the media coverage of the fine itself. Very little of these exhibits were printed online or in broadsheets. The coverage of the finer details was paltry. I always wondered though, why did the department of Justice not go back further than 2000 with the Wellbutrin (off label allegations)? It couldn’t be anything to do with the fact that Andrew Witty was head of marketing around 1997/98 and involved in promoting Wellbutrin also could it? surely not…

Aside from that, I was also disappointed to see that there was very little in this legal complaint about Paxil (Seroxat). However, I have since learned (from my source) that this part of the complaint should have been much longer. Again, I wonder why it was cut short? Another aspect of all this that is interesting is- the fact that there were other whistle-blowers: what was their contribution? What did they know about Paxil (Seroxat) withdrawal/suicides/birth defects etc, or other GSK crimes, where are their complaints and exhibits? Why do we see mostly stuff from Greg in the complaint? (with some input from Blair Hamrick), what did the other whistle-blowers reveal? (if anything at all?) Why do the other four whistle-blowers not speak out at all?

If either whistle-blowers Michael Lafauci, Lois Graydon, Thomas Geraghty, or Matthew Burke are reading this and they would like to contact me about anything in this post, please e-mail : truthman30@gmail.com.


Furthermore, it seems to me that this 3 Billion dollar fine was merely a gift to GSK from Eric Holder, he did say, after all- that some companies were ‘too big to fall’ (he later countered this with a remark that ‘there is no such thing as too big to jail’ but it seems in Glaxo’s case, this wasn’t to be). GSK provide massive employment, investment, research to US states as well as donations to US institutions, academia etc, therefore perhaps Holder was correct, shoot down the beast, and the greater good is affected- however does this make it ethically sound to slap them on the wrist for corporate manslaughter of children? Or how about the birth defects from Paxil? what amount of fines can atone that crime?

The full 7th amended complaint can be found here

Personally, I believe, these several hundred pages of exhibits were the tip of the iceberg, who knows how much more could have been unearthed?

There were thousands of reps with access to these kinds of documents, and thousands more in the company would have been aware, to some degree..

If any of them have a conscience, and are reading this, contact me (anonymously if you like) on: truthman30@gmail.com

The following are examples of exhibits (from Greg’s Complaint) detailing how GSK marketed their various products off-label illegally to doctors in the US.




Glaxo’s settlement agreement and the government’s charges against Glaxo

The settlement agreement signed by GlaxoSmithKline, the federal government and the whistleblowers describes not only the terms of the settlement of the whistleblower cases but also the whistleblower claims the government supported based on its investigation.

The claims the government stated in the settlement agreement describing Glaxo’s off-label marketing of Wellbutrin, Advair, Lamictal, Zofran, Imitrex and Valtrex and the financial inducements Glaxo gave to doctors to convince them to prescribe those drugs were based largely on the qui tam lawsuit brought by Phillips & Cohen’s whistleblower clients.

For more information about the government’s claims and the settlement amount allocated to each drug, see the Glaxo settlement agreement for the whistleblower cases and the Justice Department fact sheet about Glaxo’s $3 billion settlement.

Below are the claims the government made in the settlement agreement about Glaxo’s off-label marketing of Wellbutrin, Advair, Lamictal, Zofran, Imitrex and Valtrex and financial inducements offered to doctors to prescribe those drugs. The settlement agreement also contains allegations involving Paxil, which were based on a separate whistleblower lawsuit.

  1. Wellbutrin: During the period January 1, 1999 through December 31, 2003, GSK knowingly: (a) promoted the sale and use of Wellbutrin for conditions (including weight loss, the treatment of obesity, sexual dysfunction and in combination with other antidepressants) and at dosages other than those for which its use was approved as safe and effective by the FDA, and some of which were not medically-accepted indications as defined by 42 U.S.C. §1396r-8(k)(6) for which the United States and state Medicaid programs provided coverage for Wellbutrin; (b) made and/or disseminated unsubstantiated and/or false and/or misleading representations or statements about the safety and efficacy of Wellbutrin; and (c) offered and paid illegal remuneration to healthcare professionals to induce them to promote and prescribe Wellbutrin, in violation of the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute, 42 U.S.C. ‘ 1320a-7b(b). As a result of the foregoing conduct, GSK knowingly caused false or fraudulent claims for Wellbutrin to be submitted to, or caused purchases by Medicaid and the other Federal Health Care Programs.
  2. Advair: During the period January 1, 2001 through June 30, 2010, GSK knowingly: (a) promoted the sale and use of Advair for conditions and dosing regimens other than those for which its use was approved as safe and effective by the FDA (including first line use for mild or all asthma, and for asthma previously treated by short-acting inhalers alone), and some of which were not medically-accepted indications as defined by 42 U.S.C. § 1396r-8(k)(6) for which the United States and state Medicaid programs provided coverage for Advair (b) made and/or disseminated unsubstantiated and/or false and/or misleading representations or statements about the safety and efficacy of Advair (including that Advair was superior to the single component, inhaled corticosteroid alone, for patients previously treated by short-acting inhalers alone); and (c) offered and paid illegal remuneration to health care professionals to induce them to promote and prescribe Advair, in violation of the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1320-7b(b). As a result of the foregoing conduct, GSK knowingly caused false or fraudulent claims for Advair to be submitted to, or caused purchases by Medicaid, Medicare and the other Federal Health Care Programs.
  3. Lamictal: During the period January 1, 1999 through December 31, 2003, GSK knowingly (a) promoted the sale and use of Lamictal for a variety of conditions other than those for which its use was approved as safe and effective by the FDA (including bi-polar depression, neuropathic pain, and various other mental diseases), and some of which were not medically-accepted indications as defined by 42 U.S.C. § 1396r-8(k)(6) for which the United States and state Medicaid programs provided coverage for Lamictal; (b) made and/or disseminated unsubstantiated and/or false and/or misleading representations or statements about the safety and efficacy of Lamictal concerning the uses described in section (a) of this sub–paragraph; and (c) offered and paid illegal remuneration to health care professionals to induce them to promote and prescribe Lamictal, in violation of the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute, 42 U.S.C. §1320-7b(b). As a result of the foregoing conduct, GSK knowingly caused false or fraudulent claims for Lamictal to be submitted to, or caused purchases by Medicaid and the other Federal Health Care Programs.
  4. Zofran: During the period January 1, 2002 through December 31, 2004, GSK knowingly (a) promoted the sale and use of Zofran for a variety of conditions other than those for which its use was approved as safe and effective by the FDA (including hyperemesis or pregnancy-related nausea), and some of which were not medically-accepted indications as defined by 42 U.S.C.  § 1396r-8(k)(6) for which the United States and state Medicaid programs provided coverage for Zofran; (b) made and/or disseminated unsubstantiated and/or false representations or statements about the safety and efficacy of Zofran concerning the uses described in section (a) of this sub-paragraph; and (c) offered and paid illegal remuneration to health care professionals to induce them to promote and prescribe Zofran, in violation of the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1320-7b(b). As a result of the foregoing conduct, GSK knowingly caused false or fraudulent claims for Zofran to be submitted to, or caused purchases by Medicaid and the other Federal Health Care Programs.
  5. Imitrex, Lotronex, Flovent and Valtrex: From January 1999 through December 2004, GSK paid illegal remuneration for speaker programs, mentorships, preceptorships, journal clubs, advisory boards (including Local and Regional Advisory Boards and Special Issues Boards), Reprint Mastery Trainings, and provided gifts (including entertainment, cash, travel and meals) to health care professionals to induce them to promote and prescribe the drugs Imitrex, Lotronex, Flovent and Valtrex, in violation of the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b). As a result of the foregoing conduct, GSK caused false claims to be submitted to Medicaid and certain other Federal Healthcare Programs.


Why so little on Paxil (Seroxat)?

Paxil1 Paxil2 Paxil3


GlaxoSmithKline: former chairman denies knowledge of $3bn US deal
Richard Sykes says pharmacy firm’s issues ‘complicated’, as FairPensions urges pursuit of executive malpractice
Sir Richard Sykes, ex-chairman GlaxoSmithKline
Sir Richard Sykes, former chair of GlaxoSmithKline, which has been criticised for ‘putting profits above ethics’. Photograph: Richard Saker

Terry Macalister

Wednesday 4 July 2012 19.54 BST
Last modified on Wednesday 1 October 2014 12.41 BST

Sir Richard Sykes, the former chairman of GlaxoSmithKline, has refused to criticise actions at the large pharmaceutical company, saying he had “not a clue” about the details of a $3bn settlement with US authorities.

But critics said the case, involving issues dating to 1997, underlined the need for tougher action, which could include certain executives being jailed.

FairPensions, the campaign for responsible investment, linked the GSK scandal to the firestorm that has engulfed Barclays bank in the past week, and said the controversies were costing the City much more than tougher regulation ever could.

Sykes, now chairman of the Royal Institution, and the UK’s largest NHS healthcare trust, said the issues concerning the pharmaceutical group, where he had been chairman, were “complicated” and he was still digesting the case, despite a corporate statement from GSK more than 36 hours earlier.

“I have not had a chance to read the newspapers and have not a clue as to what is going on,” he said, from his home in London. “It is a complicated situation with two different companies [SmithKline Beecham and Glaxo Wellcome] and they did not really start coming together till 2001.”

Sykes was chief executive of Glaxo before the £100bn merger in 2000 but then stood down as chairman of the combined GSK in the middle of 2002.

A whistleblower, Greg Thorpe, first alerted the company to the entertainment offered doctors and the culture that allegedly put profits above ethics in 2001.

Sykes suggested that the problems could have related mainly to SmithKline, prior to its merger with Glaxo.

But GSK insisted that the problem was in the US and in the past: “Since Andrew Witty became chief executive in 2008, GSK has made significant changes at all levels within the company to ensure we act with integrity in everything we do, and these matters do not reflect the company that we are today.”

The company admitted in its settlement with various American authorities that it had been offering lavish holidays and hospitality to targeted doctors and encouraged the prescription of unsuitable anti-depressants to children.

GSK also paid for articles to appear in medical journals lauding its products, and hired “independent” doctors to promote the treatments.

Thorpe raised his concerns with David Stout, who was then head of the US business, and Bob Ingram, GSK’s chief operating officer. When he was forced out of the company he took his case to the regulators, who spent almost 10 years investigating the issues.

Stout became a non-executive director of another London-listed pharmaceutical company, Shire plc, and Ingram is chairman of the biotech firm Elan Corporation.

Louise Rouse, director of engagement at FairPensions, said shareholders should be asking searching questions to ensure there is sufficient oversight of people and practices at the new companies the executives had joined.

“Even though the management has moved on, shareholders at GSK need to ensure that the root and branch reform promised on paper has in fact been carried out,” she said.

Sidney Wolfe, director of the Health Research Group at the Washington-based campaign group Public Citizen, noted that the latest fine on GSK was just the latest in a series dating back to 1991.

He said: “Until more meaningful penalties and the prospect of jail time for company heads who are responsible for such activity become commonplace, companies will continue defrauding the government and putting patients lives in danger.”


GSK Fined US$3 BILLION – largest health fraud settlement in U.S. history

So hot on the heals of more fraud by Merck [Merck Vaccine Fraud – 2nd US Court Case Over MMR Vaccine] we now have more fraud by GlaxoSmithKline.  You can read the Associated Press breaking story here:

GlaxoSmithKline to pay $3 billion in fines, the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history – THE ASSOCIATED PRESS – Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Justice Department said that British drugmaker will plead guilty to promoting popular antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin for unapproved uses. The company also will plead guilty to failing to report to the government for seven years some safety problems with diabetes drug Avandia, which was restricted in the U.S. and banned in Europe after it was found in 2007 to sharply increase the risks of heart attacks and congestive heart failure.

Instead of repeating the story we are going to set out the names of GSK’s Board and ask what they have done about this and also ask what is the next fraud to come out of the company? This is not the first time GSK has been mired in fraud.  We list below the Board of Directors of GlaxoSmithKline today – so check out who was on the board, read the following facts and then ask yourself “should they still be on GSK’s Board?” 

And don’t forget – what are we supposed to think of people like the GSK Board who hired James Murdoch of News International onto their Board of Directors to protect their reputation and then had to dump him because of all the corruption associated directly with James Murdoch at News Corporation and News International which is being examined publicly in the Leveson Inquiry.

And should British first ministers like Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne cosy up to a company like GSK?  Should we as the public cross the street to avoid GSK and all who have anything to do with it?

And let us be clear about the dates – PA report:

The case against Glaxo was originally brought in January 2003 by two whistleblowers, former Glaxo sales representatives Greg Thorpe and Blair Hamrick. In January 2011, the federal government joined in the case.

BUT PA also report:

The company also will plead guilty to failing to report to the government for seven years some safety problems with diabetes drug Avandia, which was restricted in the U.S. and banned in Europe after it was found in 2007 to sharply increase the risks of heart attacks and congestive heart failure.

If 2008 is the cut-off date then is it the case that any current GSK Director on the Board prior to 2008 is one of those ultimately responsible for overseeing fraud – yes that’s right – fraud?

We can also justifiably ask, is 2008 the appropriate cut-off date or should it be October 2010 when the European Medicines Agency withdrew the licence for Avandia?  In other words the GSK Board of Directors as it was constituted up to and including October 2010 are all implicated as GSK was still marketing Avandia: European Medicines Agency experts have said Avandia, a leading diabetes drug, should be suspended from the market. BBC Health News 23 September 2010 Last updated at 17:13

As you can see of the 16 current GSK Board members, 10 were on the Board during and/or prior to 2008 and 11 up to October 2010.   So should these people be on the Board of any company?  And if not, what are they still doing there?  These are fair questions to ask.  After all, if they can let their companies get away with fraud then everyone might as well do the same.  And what did they know of these frauds?  And if they claim they knew nothing – then why are they on the Board of the Company in the first place.

PA reports: “Sir Andrew Witty, Glaxo’s CEO, expressed regret Monday and said the company has learned “from the mistakes that were made.”

It needs to learn more – like most of the Board of Directors should go and right now.  Here they are:

Sir Christopher Gent – joined the Board as Deputy Chairman in June 2004.

Sir Andrew Witty – Chief Executive Officer – joined the Board in January 2008.

Professor Sir Roy Anderson – joined the Board in February 2007

Dr Stephanie Burns – Non-Executive Director – joined the Board in February 2007.

Stacey Cartwright – Non-Executive Director joined the Board in April 2011.

Larry Culp – Non-Executive Director joined the Board in July 2003.

Sir Crispin Davis – Non-Executive Director joined the Board in July 2003.

Simon Dingemans – Chief Financial Officer joined the Board in January 2011.

Lynn Elsenhans – Chief Financial Officer joined the Board in July 2012.

Judy Lewent – Non-Executive Director joined the Board in April 2011. BUT She is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Merck & Co., Inc. which is a corporation which has previously been found guilty of fraud.

Sir Deryck Maughan – Non-Executive Director joined the Board in June 2004.

Dr Daniel Podolsky – Non-Executive Director joined the Board in July 2006.

Dr Moncef Slaoui – Chairman, Research & Development joined the Board in May 2006.

Tom de Swaan – Non-Executive Director joined the Board in January 2006.

Jing Ulrich – Non-Executive Director joined the Board in July 2012.

Sir Robert Wilson – Non-Executive Director joined the Board in November 2003

The Perils Of Paxil (Seroxat) Withdrawal…


The Perils of Paxil Withdrawal

Paxil withdrawal

The not-so-wonderful wonder drug

Did you know that between 5 and 20 percent of Paxil users experience intolerable symptoms when trying to withdraw from the drug?

I had no idea…until it happened to me.

Paxil (paroxetine) is the most potent of the SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) antidepressants, which include Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, Luvox, and Zoloft. By 2006 it was the fifth-most-prescribed antidepressant in the US. It’s been a blockbuster money-maker for pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, with over $1 billion in sales at its peak in 2007.1

If you are a consumer of antidepressant pharmaceuticals, it’s important that you be aware that GSK has been forced to pay out substantial fines and settlements for consumer fraud, suppression of unfavourable research results, promoting the use of Paxil for children, and downplaying the effects of withdrawal.2

While I’m sure many people feel they have been helped by SSRI antidepressants, including Paxil, I believe many physicians are failing to educate their patients about the potential horrors of these medications.

I know from firsthand experience and from subsequent research that Paxil can seriously Mess You Up. Yet it’s often prescribed with nary a word of caution about potential side effects and about the proper protocol for discontinuing its use. We need to be informed about the medications we put into our bodies and weigh the risks and benefits very carefully.

A drug I thought would help me through a difficult time in my life turned out to be nothing short of a nightmare.

My experience with Paxil

In 2002 Lyme disease forced me to give up my career as a university professor, pull our family up from its roots in Nova Scotia, and move halfway across the country.  My husband found work as an occupational therapist at a hospital in a small city in Manitoba, and we started our new life here on June 1st of that year. By that time I’d been very ill for two years but wouldn’t be diagnosed for another decade.

Relocating your family is stressful in itself, but when you can barely walk, live with crushing pain and fatigue, and are forced to leave your family and support network, you inevitably plunge into depression. Just before we set out on our journey to our new home, my physician suggested that I do a trial of Paxil temporarily to help me cope with the stress and anxiety of the move.

I barely hesitated. I trusted my doctor, and I knew that SSRIs in general and Paxil in particular had been in wide use for a number of years, presumably well-researched and tested for safety and side-effects.

The pretty little pink pills that promised to wrap me up in a cozy blanket of bliss turned my life upside down for the rest of that Summer and Fall.

I wish someone had given me the warning that I’m giving you now.

Paxil proved to have no effect on my emotional health, and the (fairly common) side effect of sexual dysfunction was Terribly Frustrating, to say the least. So after an 8-week trial of only a 10 mg daily dose I decided I didn’t need it.

Within four days of taking my last dose of Paxil, I was confined to a wheelchair and thought I was dying.

I assumed that my loss of appetite, nausea, chills, severe dizziness, trembling, insomnia, blurred vision, disorientation, and debilitating fatigue were signs that my original illness had taken a horrific turn and that my life as I had known it had come to an end.

Sounds dramatic, I know, but my condition was truly dreadful. I couldn’t walk, I could barely sit up, and I was plagued by the most frightening electric shock (“zaps”, as I now know they are called) sensations all through my body every time I moved my eyes. Noise, touch, motion, and even smells became physically painful experiences for me. My family, as you can imagine, were extremely concerned, and I was completely unable to care for or even interact with my five-year-old son.

It wasn’t until a couple of weeks later when I researched my symptoms online that I discovered how many people were suffering as I was and for the same reason: Paxil withdrawal.

There were and are hundreds of people in online support groups trying desperately to break their dependence on Paxil, feeling helpless under the power of this drug through its horrific effects of withdrawal. Many have taken weeks and even months off of work because of Paxil, and many have tried multiple times to cut off their Paxil use with no success.

I was incredibly elated to know that I wasn’t dying and that my condition was fixable! As soon as I took ONE Paxil tablet, all of my symptoms disappeared.

What relief!

But then, of course, I was caught in the Paxil trap, terrified of facing the agony of withdrawal again. I tried cutting down to 5 mgs a day, but the symptoms returned. Back to my regular dose of 10 mgs. Then I crushed the tiny tablets into crumbs and slowly tried to wean myself off of the drug by reducing my intake very gradually–9 mgs a day for a week, then 8 for a week, then 7, and so on, until all I was ingesting was a tiny speck of Paxil. That tiny speck had great power over me and without it my condition spiraled downwards again and again as I tried to get the Paxil out of my system completely.

This ordeal became the focus of my life for many weeks that year until I finally broke free of it by gritting my teeth and tolerating the lingering symptoms while convincing myself to hold on and to resist the pull of that tiny pink crumb of relief.

Statistics vary on the percentage of Paxil users who experience this level of difficulty with withdrawal. Many users withdraw with little or no effect at all. But anywhere from 5 to 20 percent of Paxil consumers struggle with symptoms of withdrawal so fierce that they create an addiction to the drug, a trap that I know all too well.

Study329.org: The Panorama Files (From Prof David Healy’s Blog)


Study329.org: The Panorama Files

August, 27, 2015 | Reply

Study 329:  The Final Chapter Coming Soon

Arguably the most controversial drug study ever, Study 329, published in July 2001:

  1. Concluded that paroxetine was a safe and effective medication for treating major depression in adolescents;
  2. Is still widely cited in the medical literature, providing physicians with assurance about the usefulness of paroxetine;
  3. Was criticized by a few alert and concerned journalists and academics. Their voices were buried by a tsunami of positive marketing and promotion by vested interests;
  4. Resulted in a successful New York state fraud lawsuit against GSK;
  5. Resulted in 2012 in the biggest fine in corporate history – $3 Billion; and
  6. Remains unretracted.

Paroxetine Names Around the World

In June, 2013  Peter Doshi and colleagues published “Restoring invisible and abandoned trials: a call for people to publish the findings” in the British Journal of Medicine (BMJ).

They referred to this proposed protocol as RIAT, and described its purpose as follows:

Unpublished and misreported studies make it difficult to determine the true value of a treatment. Peter Doshi and colleagues call for sponsors and investigators of abandoned studies to publish (or republish) and propose a system for independent publishing if sponsors fail to respond.

A team of researchers undertook to re-analyze the original data and publish a new analysis under the RIAT protocol.

In August, 2015, after a year and seven drafts, BMJ notified the team that their submission would be published in September, 2015. This will be the first ever trial with two completely different takes on the same data.

This new study, Restoring Study 329: Efficacy and harms of paroxetine and imipramine in the treatment of adolescent major depression: restoration of a randomised controlled trialshould shock all who care about integrity in drug safety. Find out the inside story when this site goes live.

Psychiatrist Jeremy Wallace Speaks Out Against The Corruption Of Psychiatry By Pharma…

I am writing this because I feel furious. Because I’ve had to sit through another dreadful presentation by a pharmaceutical representative telling half-truths and lies. No one but me questioned these. If you show a slide in which a depot injection reduces relapses, compared to an oral preparation, then know this – dopamine super-sensitivity caused by coming off the oral medication is real. It probably causes the sudden relapse, rather than any intrinsic disease. If this is used this to justify some economic analysis that a new – very expensive – injectable antipsychotic will save one’s healthcare organization money by reducing relapses and therefore expensive re-hospitalizations then, by the previous point, you’ve created a false economy.

And where in the analysis is the cost of all the excess morbidity and mortality caused by these drugs? Diabetes, a common side effect of most atypicals, for example, is estimated to cost the National Health Service in Britain £25,000 per minute. To me, a more truthful reading of this economic analysis is that depot injectables ensure the company a steadier income.

If one slide includes pictures of brain scans of people who don’t take their medication, progressively atrophying, until you are left with something looking suspiciously like Alzheimer’s disease, then I’m afraid it is lying. I wrote to the rep. asking for some source documents for these claims. He sent me the slide. The images are drawings not photographs. They depict four pictures of the two third ventricles in a sagittal plane (i.e. from back to front) which on the first are weirdly, abnormally small, like a pea; and by the fourth, have grown, comparatively, to the size of orange segments.  Like all advertising they are fictions that try to make an emotive appeal, rather than muddy the water with facts.

The references at the bottom of the slide, are to two papers by Lieberman J. A. (2001 and 2006). The flaws in Lieberman’s studies have been discussed by Joanna Moncrieff here http://joannamoncrieff.com/2013/12/13/antipsychotics-and-brain-shrinkage-an-update/. Lieberman’s studies have now been superseded by Nancy Andearson’s (2011, 2013) studies which, to my mind, conclusively show it is the drugs which cause the atrophy and not any disease process. There are other recent studies to back this up. Furthermore, by their own admission, in a systematic review for the BJPscyh (2006) Steen et al (Lieberman J.A was a joint author) state “average volumetric changes are close to the limit of detection by MRI methods”, meaning that you wouldn’t see it with a naked eye, let alone capture it on some crude drawing. I wonder if Jeffery Lieberman takes as much time and energy castigating the drug industry for misrepresenting his data, as he does about attacking anyone being critical of the heroic profession of psychiatry.

I started training as a psychiatrist around the time Prozac first came onto the market. I remember the advertising well. At least in Britain, the leaflets, put in front of me by the pharmaceutical rep., depicted a climber, a man, standing on top of tall, priapic rock. The words read: Leadership is not given, it is earned. I used to argue with the rep. saying, of course, in the case of Prozac, it has been given: You are all over the press; there are books written about Prozac, You have entered the public imagination; Prozac is a household name. I had little idea back then of how Lilly had manipulated and influenced all the above. There was no internet back then.

Thanks to the internet, and to people like Peter Gøtzsche, David Healy and Ben Goldacre, we now know what earning leadership actually means; John Virapen, the Lilly executive turned whistleblower, had bribed a doctor, acting as an independent expert for the Swedish drug agency, to get Prozac approved in Sweden, thereby, opening the gates to the rest of the world (Gøtzsche 2013). SSRIS have also, more recently, been shown to be no more effective than placebo (Kirsch et al 2008). The tall, slender rock begins to look suspiciously like a middle finger, stuck up at the world, as if to say, we can do what the hell we want, including, as it turns out,  killing a few people along the way (Healy 2012).

Throughout my training, the pharmaceutical industry were a constant presence. This included visits from pharmaceutical representatives, sponsored academic meetings, lunches of supermarket sandwiches brought to our team base, being taken out to dinner in the evening with other doctors and, even, once, a weekend conference in Barcelona. Sometimes the drug was barely mentioned. I confess to not giving it a second thought. How could this influence me? I thought. Besides, nearly all my fellow trainees went along with this. It was part of the culture of my training.

I became an NHS consultant around the time new rules for engagement between the pharmaceutical industry and clinicians came into play. Despite this, I can now look back and see, just how hard they tried to hit on me: Increasing the visits; invites to academic meetings; invites for training opportunities to become a better public speaker; and e-mails asking if I knew who the key opinion leaders in my area were. I confess to feeling a little insecure about not knowing who they were, as if it was important. Now I know it isn’t. In fact, the phrase ‘key opinion leader’ should probably come with a health warning.

I have previously written about an experience of coming to my senses, regarding the state of psychiatry, after reading a Peter Breggin book. In the wake of that experience, having read widely and thought much, I am increasingly aware of the inherent problems in the current system, in which the pharmaceutical industry and economics are driving forces.

These days I notice the heavy presence of the pharmaceutical industry at nearly every academic-focused doctors’ meeting, peddling their potions with a cheesy smile and a plate of sandwiches. At the biannual Finnish psychiatry meeting, a whole floor is given over to a pharmaceutical trade fair. Each company offering a bowl of free sweets to the circulating psychiatrists, who, to my mind are like infantilized, modern day Hansel and Gretels. It’s not a bad analogy. Most of my colleagues are either, in denial, or blissfully unaware, of the influence this cozy relationship has on the way they practice.

Unless I am to be an island unto myself, I cannot avoid the pharmaceutical industry altogether. To remain connected and keep up with Continuing Professional Development (CPD), I have to attend some meetings. I have learned to buy my own coffee and refuse any promotional literature, or the ubiquitous office stationary on offer. I realize that, if accepted, I promote their wares through a process of subtle product placement. Likewise, when I moved to my new office about a year ago I cleansed it of all drug logos including the patient information leaflets, kindly sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry. Theirs’, I feel, is a very self-promotional, one-dimensional discourse of mental illness and disordered neurotransmitters, surrendering easily to the beneficial effects of medication.

At first, in meetings, I didn’t ask any questions or make comments, more due to self-consciousness about my terrible Finnish. But I took note of the material being presented, the mode of presentation, the slickness of delivery. I remember a video being shown of a long-acting depot antipsychotic molecule dissolving like a slow-motion, exploding death star. It seemed high on gimmickry but curiously devoid of science.

In another presentation a line graph showed the efficacy of low-dose quetiepine (in the guise of an antidepressant adjunct) verses placebo. What seemed remarkable is how the shape of the graph for both drug and placebo were similar, but for quetiepine the response was a couple of points ‘better’ than the placebo on a standard measure like the HAMDS. Fundamental questions — such as; how significant is this clinically? Or; aren’t we witnessing a clear example of exaggerated placebo response? Or even; do you have any data about what happened beyond the incredibly short study time? — Didn’t get asked. To any doctors out there unconvinced by what I am saying, a modicum of critical reading can help make sense of some this stuff.

These days, with a little more fluency in Finnish, I ask the questions. I frequently ask if they have any data on how easy is it to stop taking these drugs, which leads to flat denial or some fuddled nonsense. I sometimes do a quick search with my smart phone, for further information on the drug in question. In a presentation about injectable paliperidone, I found out that at least 30 people had died in Japan 1 month after being given the drug. The pharmaceutical rep’s face looked not unlike Snow-white’s step-mother’s face on finding her nemesis still alive when I asked her to comment on this.

Psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry are deeply entwined. As Joanna Moncrieff (2013) would have it, the history of psychopharmacology, is the history of modern psychiatry. The profession has been lead down what Moncrieff argues is a blind alley of self-deception and denial. On the one hand, the disease model is readily exploited by the drug industry to further their economic interests; on the other, psychiatry has so embraced this model that psychological, social and alternative interventions are seen as secondary or adjunctive to the medications. Whereas, I am sure many here would agree that the best we can expect of medication is providing some temporary symptom relief.

Worryingly, challenging this hubris can sometimes have disastrous consequences. David Healy has talked about the persecution of heretics in his blog-posts on MIA. In Finland last summer a psychologist, Aku Kopakkala, lost his job for appearing on a current affairs television program about SSRIs. In the program, Kopakkala is very measured in the way he discusses the possible negative effects of SSRIs, for example saying that they may lead to chronicity of depression and are notoriously difficult to stop. He questions the wisdom of their widespread use in Finnish society.

His employer, a private health care organization called Mehiläinen, stated the reason for his dismissal was that the position of his employment had been stated in the program and that Mehiläinen’s employees had been instructed not to publicly criticize the national treatment guidelines for depression.

What this incident demonstrated about the state of public debate and freedom of speech in Finland is somewhat concerning. It seems inconceivable that anyone should lose their job for questioning the use of SSRIs and backing up his arguments with well-validated science. But would it surprise you if I told you, that the Vice President of working life services at Mehiläinen had previously been managing director at Pfizer Finland? From the side lines it looks suspiciously like an attempt to silence a critical voice rather than a fair dismissal.

Moreover, Käypähoito, who publish the national care guidelines, state on their web page: That the guidelines are meant to be objective and based on scientific research evidence; that the body of scientific evidence increases daily; that treatment practices should be evaluated continually in light of the latest scientific knowledge; and the goal of Käypähoito is to encourage a critical and constructive debate about treatment guidelines. Ideally, care guidelines exist to protect the public, which is why openness to scrutiny, as well as impartiality (lack of conflicts of interest), are important values to try and uphold.

Following this incident there was a public outcry. A support Aku Koakkala, campaign was started on facebook, which had grown to 10,000 likes within a few weeks. People started talking more about the role of medication in the treatment of depression. People were able to openly discuss, sometimes for the first time in a public forum, their horror stories of SSRIs. Others talked about how they had been helped by medication. There was openness and debate. These are the signs of a healthy state.

Subsequently, there have been meetings with peers and survivors who are keen to set up medication reduction groups. Aku Kopakkala has been central in helping to steer these groups forward. He’s been busy writing a blog, as well as starting to write a book about his experiences. He is also standing as the Green candidate in the Helsinki area, for parliamentary elections this year. One of the central themes of his campaign is addressing the over-medicalization of Finnish life, especially within mental health.

One of the strangest responses to all of this came from within psychiatry. Two prominent psychiatrists wrote articles, one in a newspaper and another in a medical journal, suggesting that only medical professionals should be able to critically appraise the medication; certainly not a psychologist. One even wrote that scientific arguments should not be presented at all in public.

To me this indicates a tenuous grip on what post-modernity is all about, as well as violating a basic rule of civil discourse; arguments should never be ad hominem — i.e; questioning the credentials of the person discussing the science — but rather ad rem, i.e; addressing the data, evidence, and arguments being presented. Moreover, in my experience, psychologists generally have better training in research methodology than doctors do. And, of course, anyone should be able to appraise medication, especially the patients, as they embody – literally – the experience of the drugs’ effects.

Finally, to tie it in with how I started, doctors are badly placed to appraise the science around medications. They are the very group to which, drugs are marketed. They are the ones who read the ghost-written journal articles. It is their continuing medical education that is largely funded by pharmaceutical companies.  It is they who, in the interests of overcoming their cognitive dissonance, overlook the myriad conflicts of interest they are confronted with in daily clinical life.

Most ridiculously, if you can’t bear a psychologist talking about medication, why do you entertain and put up with pharmaceutical representatives on a regular basis? Many of them don’t even have a science degree, let alone clinical experience. Why is our profession so beholden to the drug industry? Do we just follow the money? Or are there more noble values that we should be manifesting? I certainly think so.

* * * * *


Andreasen, N.C, et al. Progressive Brain Change in Schizophrenia: a Prospective Longitudinal Study of First Episode Schizophrenia. Biol. Psychiatry 2001 Oct 1;70 (7): 672-9.

Andreasen, N.C, et al. Relapse Duration, Treatment Intensity and Brain Tissue Loss in Schizophrenia, a Longitudinal MRI Study. Am. J. Psychiatry 2013 Jun 1;170(6): 609-15

Gøtzsche, P. Deadly Medicine and Organised Crime: How Big Pharma has Corrupted Health Care. 2013 Radcliffe Publishing, London & New York.

Healy, D. Pharmageddon, University of California Press, 2013.

Kirsch, I. et al. Initial Severity and Antidepressant Benefits: a Meta-analysis of Data Submitted to the Food and Drug Administration. 2008, PLoS Med 5: e45–e45.

Lieberman J. A, et al. Longitudinal Study of Brain Morphology in First Episode Schizophrenia. Biological Psychiatry, 2001, 49, 487-499.

Moncrieff J. The Myth of Chemical Cure. Palgrave McMillan, 2013.

Steen R. G, et al. Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Studies. British Journal of Psychiatry (2006), 1 8 8 , 510 -518

Jeremy Wallace, MDThe Recovering Psychiatrist: I am a British trained psychiatrist, working in the public sector in Finland. My primary workplace is within a psychosis rehabilitation clinic. I have become increasingly critical about the way psychiatry is practiced and taught globally. My special interests are in psychosis care, cultural psychiatry and medical education.

GSK, Eric Holder, The Department Of Justice, And The Revolving Door Syndrome…


For insiders, the Holder decision to return to Covington was never a mystery. Timothy Hester, the chairman of Covington, told the National Law Journal that Holder’s return to the firm had been “a project” of his ever since Holder left to the join the administration in 2009. When the firm moved to a new building last year, it kept an 11th-story corner office reserved for Holder.

James Garland, Holder’s former deputy chief of staff, who rejoined Covington in 2010, told the Law Journal that when Covington’s partners gathered to welcome Holder back four weeks ago, “He was so busy giving people hugs and shaking hands.”

As Covington prepared for Holder’s return, the firm continued to represent clients before the Department of Justice. For instance, Covington negotiated with the department on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline for a plea agreement in 2010.

But in the end, it was pretty convenient, wasn’t it, that “the right thing” also happened to be the strategy that preserved Democratic Party relationships with big-dollar donors, kept the client base at Holder’s old firm nice and fat, made the influential rich immeasurably richer and allowed Eric Holder himself to crash-land into a giant pile of money upon resignation.

What a coincidence! In any civilized country, it’d be a scandal. In America, though, he’s just another guy selling whatever he can to get by. It was just too bad that what Holder had to sell was the criminal justice system


N.B.: Whistleblower Greg Thorpe originally revealed this information, about the revolving door at GSK/Dept Of Justice, to me a while ago, in his comments on my blog posts. I was intending to take a break then write about it, however, it’s interesting to see the information being discussed now on various blogs.

I was going to do a post on all this sometime in the future but looks like it’s more or less already been done!

No point in repeating myself either so kudos to Bob Fiddaman for finding the original post, and his take on the debacle can be read here:


So, what input, if any at all, did Holder have regarding the negotiations of the $3 billion settlement figure, and, more importantly, could the original figure, said to be a lot more than $3 billion, have been whittled down by Holder? Furthermore, who was exactly behind the Wellbutrin promotion, was it, as some sources suggest, the current CEO of Glaxo, Andrew Witty, who, at the time of the illegal promotion, was Vice President General Manager of Marketing for Glaxo?

I’m just throwing the question out there because this revolving door between Covington and the DOJ seems, to me at least, to be bordering on being incestuous.

News of Holder’s double u-turn came via Melayna Lokosky who has wrote a quite brilliant blog post where she raises many questions regarding Holder’s latest “unethical move.”

Her blog can be read, in full, here.

Here’s the other blog post:


Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder NOW Works for Firm that Defended Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson in Their Billion Dollar Cases

By Melayna Lokosky
1 Comment

August 21, 2015

Matt Taibbi’s Rolling Stone article cited throughout and added August 23, 2015

Former US Attorney General Eric Holder returning to Covington is a Conlict of Interest for taxpayers.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder’s six-year career with the U.S. Department of Justice should have us questioning if Holder was setting up his defense to return to law firm Covington from the start.

Eric Holder now works for the firm he prosecuted in the Pfizer GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson Cases for the DOJ

The office thing might have been improper, but at this point, who cares? More at issue is the extraordinary run Holder just completed as one of history’s great double agents. For six years, while brilliantly disguised as the attorney general of the United States, he was actually working deep undercover, DiCaprio in The Departed-style, as the best defense lawyer Wall Street ever had.  Rolling Stone

Regardless of what you thought or think of Eric Holder his latest unethical move should have every tax paying citizen concerned. Holder went from prosecuting multi-billion dollar cases for the DOJ against Pfizer ($2.3 Billion), GlaxoSmithKline ($3 Billion) and Johnson & Johnson ($2.2 Billion) and less than nine months later Holder’s working for Covington the law firm that represented Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnsonagainst the DOJ.  If that’s not inconsistent & contradictory language to action I don’t know what is but one things for sure Covington & Holder are seeing green which should have ALLtaxpayers seeing red.

And for those that don’t think this is a big deal False Claims cases (whistleblower cases) are filed under seal meaning the public does not know about them yet (average cases are under seal between 5-10 years) but Holder would certainly have knowledge of those cases, which is without doubt a conflict of interest.

The DOJ collected $7.5 billion from  Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson’sunethical and illegal behavior at the expense of patients, consumers, employees and taxpayers and we’re likely to lose that and a whole lot more with this new Holder and Covington arrangement.   Our only solace may come from Holder’s pathological history of alleged questionable unethical & illegal activity and perhaps the DOJ will get justice and get to prosecute their old boss.  Stranger things have happened!

Is Covingtong employing tactics from The Sociopathic Business Model™

Covington Boasts of hiring former DOJ SEC EU Parliament #TheSociopathicBusinessModel

Covington is part of the problem for the people, also known as those injured by abusive corporations and taxpayers. When a law firm glibly boasts former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (whom it’s rumored they never got rid of his office during his six years with the DOJ) on the first shot of their website it’s insulting and demeaning to former victims of Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKlineJohnson & Johnson  and to taxpayers who footed the bill for these investigations.

The Sociopathic Business Model™ Covington Partner Bruce A. Baird

The Sociopathic Business Model™ Covington Partner Bruce A. Baird 2

The Sociopathic Business Model™ Covington Partner Bruce A. Baird 3

Taking insulting & demeaning to a new level, under Regulary Insight, Covington  states they employ five former U.S. Department Antitrust & Criminal Division heads, several former EU Parliament & EU Council officials & former ambassadors and several former U.S. Federal Trade Commission officials which only serves as welcome mat for those companies that employ tactics from The Sociopathic Business Model™; and, a huge oversight from DOJ who are clearly more worried about setting up their second career than they are protecting the American people.

The Sociopathic Business Model™ Covington Partner Nancy Kestenbaum

The Sociopathic Business Model™ Covington Partner Nancy Kestenbaum 2

The Sociopathic Business Model™ Covington Partner Nancy Kestenbaum 3

It’s recognized that all companies deserve legal defense and that government attorneys will eventually move to the private sector and possibly back into government; however, the ethical rules (pause for laughter*) are written to allow movement to and from the government that would otherwise create conflict.

*I borrowed a line that can’t be cited.
The Sociopathic Business Model™ Covington Partner Ethan M Posner

The Sociopathic Business Model™ Covington Partner Ethan M Posner 2

The Sociopathic Business Model™ Covington Partner Ethan M Posner 3

This process must be closely regulated and not left to the unregulated discretion of one of the high ranking appointed government officials who prosecuted corporation, who’s currently embroiled in his own lawsuit (Fast & Furious), and the attorneys of alleged corporate criminals to decide what ethics are on behalf of the American people.

The Sociopathic Business Model™ Covington Partner Alan Vinegrad

The Sociopathic Business Model™ Covington Partner Alan Vinegrad 2

But that’s just what’s happening.  Mr. Holder should be barred from working for any law firm that represented the top 10 DOJ settlements and top 10 SEC settlements for the last 10 years for a minimum of 10 years since many of these cases are filed under seal.

Covington can keep their other bought high ranking government officials and let them figure out how to sleep at night but we must demand the immediate & permanent removal of Eric Holder from Covington.

If you've been injured by any of the companies Covington represents then call & email these attorneys and demand the immediate & permanent removal of Eric Holder from their law firm

Taken directly from Matt Taibbi’s Rolling Stone Article:

  • Holder failed to win a single conviction in court for any crimes related to the financial crisis.
  • Holder famously invented a concept called “collateral consequences,” under which the state could pursue non-criminal alternatives for companies if they believed prosecuting them might result in too much “collateral” damage.
  • Holder also pioneered the extrajudicial settlement, striking huge deals with companies in which judges did not sign off on the agreements.

This site refers to that as “two known corrupt entities negotiating behind closed doors on behalf of the American people,” which happens every day in whistleblower lawsuits.  The person who brings the case forward, aware of the fraud has no say in punishment or prevention and that needs to change.

  • There is a huge misconception, pushed equally by odd bedfellows in the financial community and Obama supporters, that Eric Holder didn’t send anyone from Wall Street to jail because “no one broke any laws.”

Sure tell that to the peoople that lost their houses.

  • Holder contributed countless subtle inventions to soften punishments. The most revolting in my view was allowing banks like Chase the courtesy of calling their settlements “remedial payments” instead of fines for wrongdoing.

This is a point that Covington proudly boasts that they “find creative ways to resolve cases early,” or “obtained a deferred prosecution agreeement in a civil settlement with payments spread over time for Intermune, Inc.” right on their website.

Covington deferring payments

Covington boasting about holders deferred payment showing favortism to the defense not the american people

We can’t boycott the Covington the law firm because most of us (thankfully) won’t need their services unless we own large companies who get sued for white collar crimes; but, we can BOYCOTT all* companies Covington mentions they defended (or represented) on their website to force accountability until they permanently remove Eric Holder from their law firm for conflict of interest:

Also keep in mind what we’re fighting to remove or expose via The Sociopathic Business Model™ or corrput corporate behavior Covington is defending big alleged corrupt business: banks, pharma, tech, petroleum, etc.

*this is not a full list but demonstrates Covington’s varied clients and Mr. Holder’s involvement with their firm is more than a conflict of interest for more than just the pharma and med device industry.  

  • Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson
  • Represenation of JP Morgan Chase in SEC investigation
  • Representation of SPI Group against false advertising claims concerning STOLICHNAYA vodka
  • Representation of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Microsoft, Dayton Technologies and others in connection with false advertising claims brought before the NAD
  • Representation of Adams Laboratories in a false advertising action
  • Representation of American Petroleum Institute against false advertising
  • Representation of Bacardi in its defense of a false advertising lawsuit
  • Representation of Wells Fargo Bank in numerous consumer class actions brought in state and federal courts
  • Representing Samsung in its dismissal of Motorola’s $3.5 billion antitrust
  • Representing Citibank in class action antitrust lawsuits alleging manipulation of financial benchmarks
  • Counsel to Genentech in its landmark hearing to challenge FDA’s decision to withdraw approval of Avastin for metastatic breast cancer.
  • Representing Genzyme on the consent decree for its Allston Landing manufacturing facility
  • Represented Freddie Mac in the largest-ever FEC enforcement action against a corporation
  • Successfully defended civil claims brought by the SEC and FDIC against the former CEO of IndyMac BankCorp, Michael Perry, in connection with the bank’s failure in 2008.
  • Represented the National Football League in a successful effort to pass the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act
  • Represented a pharmaceutical executive in an SEC investigation into possible insider trading in offshore trusts.
  • Lead counsel to Boehringer Ingelheim in the Canadian import antitrust litigation.
  • Represented Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, Inc
  • Lead counsel to Purdue Pharma in OxyContin®
  • National Counsel to Eli Lilly and Co
  • Counsel for AstraZeneca in the Seroquel litigation
  • Amazon.com
  • Bank of America
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Brown Brothers Harriman
  • Bunge Ltd
  • Coty, Inc.
  • Deutsche Bank AG
  • Eastman Kodak
  • Fenway Sports Group
  • General Electric
  • Hitachi
  • Investment Company Institute
  • Lehman Brothers
  • Microsoft
  • Muntajat
  • National Basketball Association
  • National Football League
  • National Hockey League
  • Natixis
  • Neuberger Berman
  • Norfolk Southern
  • PepsiCo
  • Poongsan Corporation
  • Qualcomm Incorporated
  • SandRidge Energy
  • Saudi Aramco
  • Sotheby’s
  • Sun Financial
  • Terex
  • The Noble Group
  • The Timken Company
  • United Biomedical, Inc.
  • United Technologies Corporation
  • Verizon Communications
  • Viacom
  • Vivendi
  • Weyerhaeuser


Here’s a man who just spent six years handing out soft-touch settlements to practically every Too Big to Fail bank in the world. Now he returns to a firm that represents many of those same companies: Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup, to name a few.

Collectively, the decisions he made while in office saved those firms a sum that is impossible to calculate with exactitude. But even going by the massive rises in share price observed after he handed out these deals, his service was certainly worth many billions of dollars to Wall Street.

Now he will presumably collect assloads of money from those very same bankers. It’s one of the biggest quid pro quo deals in the history of government service. Congressman Billy Tauzin once took a $2 million-a-year job lobbying for the pharmaceutical industry just a few weeks after helping to pass the revolting Prescription Drug Benefit Bill, but what Holder just did makes Tauzin look like a guy who once took a couple of Redskins tickets

Holder doesn’t look it, but he was a revolutionary. He institutionalized a radical dualistic approach to criminal justice, essentially creating a system of indulgences wherein the world’s richest companies paid cash for their sins and escaped the sterner punishments the law dictated.


Helen O’Driscoll thinks parents should be told of children’s medication


Ms O’Driscoll told the Irish Independent she was “totally shocked” by the number of medications Jonathan was on.

“I found a lot of tablets after Jonathan had passed away, God speed him. He seemed to be on a lot of tablets. But his inquest heard that it was reckoned he hadn’t taken any medication at all for about a week before it happened.”


The mother of twin boys who were stabbed to death by their older brother, who then took his own life, says she thinks parents should be better informed of their children’s medication.

It emerged that 21-year-old Jonathan O’Driscoll had been off his tablets for a number of days before he stabbed nine-year-old twins, Thomas and Patrick, more than 40 times each at their home in Charleville, Co Cork, last September.

Doctors do not have to inform parents of their children’s medication once they are no longer minors.

Their mother Helen O’Driscoll says she would have monitored Jonathan if she had known.

Helen said: “I think the age barrier of confidentiality for an adult, they call them adults now from 18 upwards, I think that should stop.

Helen went on to state that she didn’t know how sick Jonathan was, saying that she didn’t know how much medication he was on: “No I did not know.

“I think their parents have the right to know if they’re suffering with some sort of a problem or if they have whatever kind of sickness that they have… They’ll look more clearly.

“Whereas, if you don’t know what he is taking or what medication he’s on, you don’t know what’s from day to day.

“They reckon he didn’t take any medication for about a week when he died.”

GSK recalls 3.9M tubes of toothpaste that may have wood fragments in them

In total, the recall includes almost four million tubes of the various brands of toothpaste. The toothpaste was manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) of Indianapolis, Indiana from 2013 through September 2014 and distributed for sale throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Taiwan from June 2013 to April 2015.

GSK has not explained how the wood fragments got into the toothpaste and reports that an investigation is still underway. After the company’s Consumer Relations division received several reports of the fragments in consumers toothpaste bottles, GSK decided to recall any and all potentially impacted lots.

– See more at: http://www.aboutlawsuits.com/toothpaste-recall-86409/#sthash.8xQE0mFb.dpuf

and remember folks…

GSK really wants you to believe that they value patient health and well being over everything else…



GSK recalls 3.9M tubes of toothpaste that may have wood fragments in them

With its deal last year to combine consumer health operations with Novartis ($NVS) in a joint venture that GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) will run, GSK CEO Andrew Witty bet a big piece of the drugmaker’s future on products like OTC pain meds and toothpaste. While Witty has lauded the future of that operation, it has stumbled in that market with the recall of nearly 4 million tubes of toothpaste products that may give users splinters.

GSK is recalling dozens of lots–3,977,252 tubes–made up of different varieties of Biotene and Sensodyne toothpaste, from the U.S., Puerto Rico and Taiwan. According to the FDA‘s most recent Enforcement Report, “fragments of wood were found when the product was extruded onto a toothbrush.” The toothpaste was actually manufactured for GSK by Oratech, a Utah-based contractor.

According to a letter to retailers posted by Smith Drugs, GSK started the recall several weeks ago but the product has been on the market for nearly two years. It was shipped from June 2013 through April of this year.

GSK said it was alerted to the problem by a “small number of complaints.” In a statement today, GSK said only that it hasn’t learned of any injuries from the tainted toothpaste but is recalling the product as a precautionary measure since they may contain wood fragments.



Sensodyne & Biotene Toothpastes Are Recalled By Wegmans Because Of This Unbelievably Terrifying Reason

Chad Buchanan/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Alex Gladu
July 21 News

On Saturday, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare recalled specific Sensodyne and Biotene toothpaste tubes, according to a post on supermarket chain Wegmans’ website. The affected toothpaste “may contain small fragments of wood” and can be returned to the store for a full refund. The voluntary recall affects only certain lots of the toothpaste brands.

The affected products cater toward people with specialized dental needs. Sensodyne is supposed to protect sensitive teeth that can be irritated easily by hot and cold substances. Biotene is supposed to help with dry mouth. To find out if your tube is affected, check the lot code on the left end of the toothpaste box or on the back seam of the tube itself. Affected toothpaste will fall into one of these categories:

Biotene Toothpaste, Fluoride, Dry Mouth, Fresh Mint Original, 4.3 oz. UPC: 0-48582-10050, only product with the following codes: X3J271, X3K171, X3K291, X3N171, X4B061, X4B081, X4C251, X4D291, X4D301, X4E081, X4G131, X4H111

Biotene Toothpaste, Fluoride, Dry Mouth, Fresh Mint Original, 4.5 oz. UPC: 0-48582-00220, only product with the following codes: X2K151, X3B211, X3C012, X3C141, X3C251, X3G021

Sensodyne Repair & Protect Toothpaste, Daily Repair, with Fluoride, Extra Fresh, 3.4 oz. UPC: 3-10158-84030, only product with the following codes: Q3H081N, Q3H101N1, Q3H131C, Q3J121C, Q3J121D, Q3J261, Q3J291, Q3M021, Q3M071, Q3N021, Q3N211, Q4A111, Q4B201, Q4C151, Q4C191, Q4D111, Q4D151R, Q4F161, Q4F201, Q4G301

Sensodyne Complete Protection Toothpaste, Sensitivity, with Cavity & Gingivitis Protection, Extra Fresh, 3.4 oz. UPC: 3-10158-08560, ONLY product with the following codes: C4D061, C4E161, C4E211, C4F051, C4H111

Wegmans shoppers can bring their tainted toothpaste back to the store for a full refund. There doesn’t appear to be any word yet about other stores offering a refund. In fact, Wegmans seems to be the only store carrying the affected lots, as it is the only store to have reported the recall.

Earlier this year, GSK recalled a specific type of flu vaccine in the United States for reduced effectiveness. That recall was also voluntary and did not pose a safety risk to the public, according to the company’s release. What’s interesting is that no such release can be found for this weekend’s toothpaste recall.

In 2014, GSK competitor Proctor & Gamble faced troubles of its own when a dental hygienist found that at least some types of Crest toothpaste embedded non-soluble plastic particles into users’ gums. The company announced it would reevaluate the ingredients of its products through March 2016.

Seroxat Secrets Blog Makes A (Brief) Comeback…

Great blog..

Has been sadly missed 😦


What I believe – 2


I’m reposting this for a couple of reasons – the first is that I haven’t written anything for a while (that’s an understatement!) and secondly, if that’s going to be the case again, I think this is the perfect post to greet anyone who may arrive here for the first time.

It still amazes me that people are still being prescribed Seroxat in 2015 – and also that so many Doctors still seem to be ignorant about the possible problems that many patients can have when the try and withdraw from this drug. That’s not to mention the problems associated with long-term use of Seroxat.

Glaxo thinks it’s all gone away…

Originally posted on seroxat secrets…:

I believe Seroxat is defective and dangerous.

I believe that Glaxo has hidden clinical trial data that shows exactly how dangerous a drug it is.

I believe that Seroxat is addictive.

I believe that Seroxat can cause anger, aggression and violence.

I believe that something must be done to help people who suffer terrible problems with withdrawal, as they desperately try to stop taking Seroxat.

I believe that doctors have taken large sums of money from Glaxo to lie about the efficacy and safety of the drug.

I believe that GlaxoSmithKline puts profits before patients – their wealth before our health.

I took Seroxat for 9 years and it took me 22 months to withdraw from the drug little by little.

Believe me – I know what I’m talking about.

View original