Category: BBC Panorama

Does Prince Harry Know About GSK’s long History Of Unethical And Immoral Behavior?


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WellChild13_L-407

GSK get a lot of publicity, and corporate brownie points, for sponsoring award ceremonies such as the BMJ lifetime achievement award, and the recent 2014 ‘Wellchild’ awards. There is nothing inherently wrong and unethical about corporate sponsorship of these types of events, but I must say, considering GSK’s appallingly unethical and sinister history (in particular in relation to harming children and babies) is there not something quite hypocritical about their sponsorship of awards relating to the well being of children?

It is understandable that Wellchild probably need to take GSK money in order to keep their organization afloat, but surely the stories of the children that GSK have harmed should also be highlighted?

England’s Prince Harry attended the recent Wellchild awards, most likely in very good faith, but perhaps if he was aware of GSK’s corporate history, he might not be so eager to support it? Many people who took GSK drugs such as Avandia, and Seroxat, ended up far from well-children or well-adults. Through deception, greed, and dodgy drugs GSK has made many children and adults quite ill, and in some cases GSK drugs have led to deaths.

GSK’s Seroxat was prescribed off label to tens of thousands of children worldwide, until a series of BBC Panorama documentaries exposed its links to increases in suicide, hostility, self harm and aggression, particularly in young adults and children. We will never know how many kids killed themselves on Seroxat (Paxil) but at least now it comes with a black box warning and is banned for under-18’s. However, GSK still have yet to apologize to all those harmed from this horrific drug and as far I am aware no UK victims, or their families, have been compensated for Seroxat damage. Maybe Prince Harry would care to check out some of the BBC’s Seroxat documentary series here and he can make up his own mind about GSK’s nefarious and dubious activities :

I could list endless examples of horrendously unethical behavior by GSK over the last few decades; behaviour which damaged and killed people of all ages; and this blog alone provides ample reading on that subject.  However, I think the  US department of Justice complaint (which led to GSK’s record breaking 3 billion fine in 2012) gives more than enough scope and numeous examples of the unscrupulously evil acts that this pharmaceutical company has committed in the pursuit of profits.

Maybe Prince Harry and Wellchild could look for a more ethical sponsor, or maybe they just don’t give a damn, who knows?

See the complaint here :

http://www.justice.gov/opa/documents-and-resources-july-2-2012-glaxosmithkline-gsk-press-conference


WellChild
WellChild is the national charity for sick children and is committed to ensuring that every child in the UK, no matter what their situation, location or diagnosis, has the very best possible quality of care.
Wehave supported this organisation since 2007
During 2013:
GSK donated £380,000
for the ongoing support of the WellChild Nurse programme and
in support of the annual WellChild Awards.
During 2012:
GSK donated £165,000 in support of WellChild’s
Nurse Programme, enabling the
employment of three nurses for three years.
GSK donated £54,242, to match money raised by Senior Managers of GSK in support of
WellChild’s work.
GSK donated £30,000 to assist with the 2013 Helping Hands fundraising event.
GSK donated £100,000 to support the 2013 WellChild Awards event.
Our support represented 16.1% of their overall income.
During 2011:
GSK provided support of £165,000 for the WellChild Children’s Nurse programme.
GSK provided funding of £10,000 in
support of the Medicines for Children website.
GSK donated £10,000 to support the 2011 WellChild Awards.
GSK provided £5,000 in support of the GSK Run For Good event.
During 2010:
GSK
donated £330,000 in support of the WellChild Children’s Nurse programme
GSK
donated £10,000 in support of the Medicine’s Information for Parents Project.
GSK
donated £8,000 to support two categories at the 2010 WellChild Awards.
Our support represented 21% of their overall income.
During 2007:
GSK gave a charitable donation
of £150,000 to fund a 3 year research programme
entitled ‘Identification of Autosomal Recessive Disease Genes by Autozygosity Mapping’
with Dr Neil Morgan at the University of Birmingham
Our support represented 5% of their overall income.

UK firm tried HIV drug on orphans

GlaxoSmithKline embroiled in scandal in which babies and children were allegedly used as ‘laboratory animals’

Orphans and babies as young as three months old have been used as guinea pigs in potentially dangerous medical experiments sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, an Observer investigation has revealed.

British drug giant GlaxoSmithKline is embroiled in the scandal. The firm sponsored experiments on the children from Incarnation Children’s Centre, a New York care home that specialises in treating HIV sufferers and is run by Catholic charities.

The children had either been infected with HIV or born to HIV-positive mothers. Their parents were dead, untraceable or deemed unfit to look after them.

According to documents obtained by The Observer, Glaxo has sponsored at least four medical trials since 1995 using Hispanic and black children at Incarnation. The documents give details of all clinical trials in the US and reveal the experiments sponsored by Glaxo were designed to test the ‘safety and tolerance’ of Aids medications, some of which have potentially dangerous side effects. Glaxo manufactures a number of drugs designed to treat HIV, including AZT.

Normally trials on children would require parental consent but, as the infants are in care, New York’s authorities hold that role.

The city health department has launched an investigation into claims that more than 100 children at Incarnation were used in 36 experiments – at least four co-sponsored by Glaxo. Some of these trials were designed to test the ‘toxicity’ of Aids medications. One involved giving children as young as four a high-dosage cocktail of seven drugs at one time. Another looked at the reaction in six-month-old babies to a double dose of measles vaccine.


http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/victim-reveals-horror-of-vaccine-trials-secret-legacy-26674008.html

Hundreds of children are feared to have been subjected to the experimental trials while in the care of the Catholic Church.

Now the victims’ cases could be reopened, as calls for the Government to deal with the scandal intensifies.

Legal action is being planned against GlaxoSmithKline and the Sacred Heart Order, which allowed the tests at the Bessborough Mother and Baby Home in Cork.

Campaigner and abuse survivor John Barrett, who was born at the home outside Cork city, was used as a ‘human guinea pig’ while in Lota industrial school, also in Cork.

“We didn’t have a clue what was being done to us at the time,” he said. “We only found out years later.”

John, now 58, wants to know the truth behind the children’s ordeal, who conducted the tests and why such experiments were allowed.

Hundreds of youngsters in children’s homes are believed to have been used in trials in the Sixties and Seventies to improve vaccines for tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough.

John was used in four different experiments when he was aged 12 and 13 at the Lota home.

He said: “All of the boys of my age were taken off and given tests, X-rays and general examinations.

“Lists were made of those deemed to be ‘healthy’ and we would sometimes be lined up in one of the dormitories and given massive injections.

“We didn’t know what we were being given. Later blood tests would be taken and those whose scars from the first injection had disappeared were given a second dose.

“Over a couple of years, this happened about four times. I don’t think they were the normal injections you would expect.

“There is a major inquiry into child abuse so there should be a similar inquiry set up alongside it into medical experiments on children.”

More than 25,000 youngsters spent time in Irish orphanages between 1960 and 1975, the period when the controversial one-in-four trials are believed to have taken place.

Kevin Cooney of the Adopted And Fostered Persons’ Association said: “These orphans were society’s most innocent and vulnerable people.

“The State participated in abusing the rights of children in their care. That is indefensible. There must be a full disclosure.”

Meanwhile Health Minister Mary Harney has been called on to instruct her officials to make available all relevant information regarding the ongoing vaccine trials.

The call comes following Mari Steed, 50, breaking her silence on Friday, in the Irish Independent, into how she was subjected to a controversial vaccine trial as a baby without her mother’s consent.

She said she the trial were carried out on her between December 1960 and October 1961, when she was between nine and 18 months old.

Ms Steed, who now lives in the US, and three others, are preparing to take legal action in US courts against the drugs company, GlaxoSmithKline.

Leas Ceann Comhairle Brendan Howlin, who was health minister in 1993, assured victims that an inquiry had found they suffered no ill effects from the experimental medical tests.

He admitted he did not remember the probe or its findings. The Department of Health said it was searching department archives in a bid to locate the documents.

Mr Reilly said yesterday that all the facts must be put on the table.

“It is totally unacceptable for children in the care of the State to be involved in a vaccine trial without proper information being made available, or the full consent of their parents or guardians.”

Sunday Independent

– See more at: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/victim-reveals-horror-of-vaccine-trials-secret-legacy-26674008.html#sthash.XEdUjOqq.dpuf


 http://www.theargus.co.uk/archive/2003/09/24/5103769.Happy_pill_girl_s_suicide_tragedy/

Happy pill girl’s suicide tragedy

A brilliant young artist killed herself after taking the controversial anti-depressant Seroxat.

Sharise Gatchell, 18, had been prescribed the drug without her parents’ knowledge.

They found her body when they returned home after a weekend away.

Sharise had hanged herself. A packet of Seroxat, with 30 empty blisters, was lying on her bed.

Today her father Alfred said he blamed the so-called wonder drug for her death.

He and wife Stephanie, of Lawes Avenue, Newhaven, have joined calls for it to be banned.

A coroner at Eastbourne yesterday stopped short of making a definite link.

But he said he would pass the findings of the inquest to the Committee on the Safety of Medicines, the Government’s advisory body on pharmaceuticals.

Sharise’s death is the latest in a series of cases brought to the attention of the pill’s Crawley-based manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). It insists the drug, which has become the most heavily-prescribed anti-depressant since it was first licensed in 1990, is safe.

The inquest heard Sharise, an “extremely talented” art foundation student at City College, Brighton, was initially prescribed Seroxat to help her battle shyness and depression.

But her condition deepened and she experienced dramatic mood swings, withdrawing into herself.

She agreed with her parents to come off the drug.

However, shortly before her death she was given a new prescription without the knowledge of her parents.

Mr and Mrs Gatchell went away on Friday, May 23, believing Sharise’s best friend was staying for the weekend.

Her parents returned early on Monday, May 26, to find their daughter’s body.

The empty pack of pills, dated May 7, a blood-stained craft knife and a note were on her bed.

Mrs Gatchell told the inquest: “I had no idea she was on Seroxat but she was definitely behaving very strangely. Had we known she was taking it we would never have gone away.

“She was aggressive, hostile and very depressed.

“We feel cheated that as a family we didn’t know she had been prescribed Seroxat just because she was over 16.

“We as parents should have been able to have had some input even if we could not have stopped her. With all the controversy surrounding it, why take the risk?”

Sharise’s GP, Dr Zoe Nunn, of the Quayside Medical Practice in Chapel Street, Newhaven, said she had no fears about prescribing Sharise Seroxat.

She said: “I felt she was quite chirpy and didn’t have any serious concerns.

“If I had had concerns she was at risk of self-harm or suicide I would have made sure she was followed up more closely.”

East Sussex coroner Alan Craze recorded a verdict of suicide.

Seroxat Trebles The Risk Of Suicide For Under 18’s


 

What’s the difference for over 18’s? Over 21’s? Under 25’s? Adults?How suicidal does it make those age-groups?

What is GSK still hiding from the public all these years later?

Maybe in 2014 we’ll find out?

 

Remembering Seroxat Causing Aggression and Violent Urges: Mark Douglas-Hamilton (2003)


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/breakfast/3176550.stm

10 YEARS AGO AND STILL NO JUSTICE!

Last Updated: Thursday, 9 October, 2003, 05:06 GMT 06:06 UK

Anti-depressant doubts
Mark Hamilton

Mark says coming off Seroxat made him violent

The drug has been linked to a number of suicides and is currently under review.

But its makers – the drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline say that millions of patients around the world have taken it without suffering any ill-effects.

  • The Seroxat debate
    Dr Alastair Benbow

    Benbow: Seroxat doesn’t cause aggression, but depression can

    We put the questions raised by Mark’s case to Dr Alastair Benbow, The Head of European Clinical Psychiatry at the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.

    We also talked to Andrew Isaacs of the Seroxat Users Group (you’ll find a link for this group on the right hand side of this page).

    Dr Benbow, whose firm makes Seroxat, told us that he accepts the drug has some side effects, but the benefits clearly outweigh the risks.

    “Depression is a very serious condition, leading to 3,000 avoidable deaths every year.”

    He added: “We saw here a case of potential violence and aggression “All the data suggests that actually Seroxat does not cause violence, whereas depression does.

    “Depression often manifests itself in men in particular with irritability and depression, whereas in women it’s helplessness and hopelessness.”

    The makers of Seroxat say that one in four patients will experience problems when coming off the drug – but it isn’t addictive. If you do want to come off the drug, you should take it slowly

    “All people can get off by tapering gradually – working with the doctor to get off. And that’s the same with all anti depressants and agents which work on the mind.”


    The trouble with Seroxat: Breakfast’s Luisa Baldini investigates

    It was hailed as a miracle cure for anxiety and shyness.

    But Seroxat has left thousands of people with a bitter after-taste.

    There can be severe side-effects.

    Its prescription’s already been banned to under 18s when it was found they were more likely to harm themselves.

    And some say trying to withdraw from it is even worse.

    Thirty year-old Mark Hamilton was working and living in Oxford last year when he claims Seroxat turned him into a criminal.

    He says: “My personality changed so drastically I started to shop lift. I had violent thoughts towards other people – homicidal thoughts, suicidal thoughts.

    “On top of all this I was physically falling apart. All of this culminated in me robbing a local garage.”

    Mark was facing up to eight years in prison when his case was suddenly dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.

    It followed this medical report suggesting his behaviour could have been altered by trying to come off Seroxat.

    Pressed on whether he was just using this as an excuse, Mark says: “Violent is one thing I have never been – I’ve avoided violence all my life.”

    There are other cases similar to Mark’s.

    A woman in Scotland convicted of assault was spared a jail sentence after the judge told her:

    “you would not have done this if you had not been taking Seroxat…the behaviour of normally sensible people can become aggressive after taking the drug.”

    In Wales a police officer had assault charges against him dropped.

    The claims are given some credence by the case of Donald Schell in the United States. He killed his wife, daughter and granddaughter after just 2 days on the drug. The government is reviewing Seroxat, looking specifically at potential withdrawal reactions, and reported suicidal behaviour. The findings are due before the end of the year. 

    Have you had similar experiences with Seroxat or other forms of anti-depressants. Or has taking Seroxat saved your life? If you have a story to tell, let us know using this e-mail form

    Name
    Your E-mail address
    town or city
    Comments

    Disclaimer: The BBC may edit your comments and cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published.

But doubts are beginning to surface about its effects on some patients – particularly when they try to come off the drug.

Taking Seroxat is increasingly being used as a defence for criminal behaviour. In one case, a man had charges dropped against him after claiming the drug turned him into a robber.

 My personality changed so drastically I started to shop lift. I had violent thoughts towards other people – homicidal thoughts, suicidal thoughts.. All of this culminated in me robbing a 

BBC Panorama Investigates Seroxat Withdrawal 13 years ago


Listen to the podcast here :

http://fiddaman.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/podcast-from-shelley-jofre-bbc-panorama.html

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Podcast from Shelley Jofre BBC Panorama

 Podcast from Shelley Jofre BBC Panorama speaking at Coventry University UK.

Shelley has taken on the likes of GSK, The MHRA – Confronted the patronizing Martin Keller.

She has grilled MHRA Chairman, Alasdair Breckenridge, put GSK’s Head of European Clinical Psychiatry, Alastiar Benbow, on the spot [“We haven’t got a licence in children yet”]

In this Podcast, Shelley discusses the four Panorama programmes where Seroxat was highlighted.

We all owe a great deal of thanks to Shelley – The decline in Seroxat prescriptions since the airing of her investigative programmes is not a coincidence.

This blog gives Shelley a 21 gun-salute.

You rock!

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Remembering Jamie Hoole (18) : One of the many “Seroxat-Suicides”


From 2008:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-527837/Seroxat-makers-escape-prosecution-despite-failing-reveal-link-teenage-suicides-FOUR-years.html

Seroxat makers escape prosecution despite failing to reveal link to teenage suicides for FOUR years

By FIONA MACRAE

Last updated at 00:02 07 March 2008

jamie hooleSuicide: Jamie Hoole, who died aged 18 after taking Seroxat

Drug company bosses concealed information about the dangers of the anti-depressant Seroxat for five years while it was still being prescribed to children – yet they will escape prosecution over the cover-up.

Documents released yesterday as part of a four-year criminal investigation into GlaxoSmithKline show that the pharmaceutical giant had evidence that the drug didn’t work in children as early as 1998.

There were also suggestions the firm was aware of possible links to attempted suicides and suicidal thoughts.

But Glaxo did not alert Britain’s drugs’ watchdog to the problem until 2003, when the suicide link had become clear. The move led to an almost immediate ban on their use in under-18s.

Since it was first prescribed in Britain in 1990, the tablet, which makes GSK £1billion a year, has been associated with at least 50 suicides – both adult and child – in the UK alone.

Yesterday, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency hit out at Glaxo for withholding the information, and ministers promised to tighten the law.

But the watchdog came under fire itself over the failure to bring criminal proceedings against the firm for the cover up.

Ministers and officials insisted a prosecution was not realistically possible under the law as it stood at the time.

MHRA chief executive Professor Kent Woods said: “I remain concerned that GSK could and should have reported this information earlier than they did.

“All companies have a responsibility to patients and should report any adverse data signals to us as soon as they receive them.”

He said that although the law on disclosure of clinical data had been tightened in recent years, it would now be strengthened again.

In a letter to Glaxo, Professor Woods said: “Such a course of action should be unnecessary in an industry which relies so heavily on public trust and aspires to high ethical standards.

“I would have thought it self-evident that such information should be made available promptly to the regulator in order that action can be taken to public health.”

He added that Glaxo would not be prosecuted, as there was no realistic chance of a conviction under the legislation in place at the time.

However, the criticism may boost the case of British patients privately suing Glaxo after reacting badly when they tried to come off Seroxat.

Charles Medawar, of pharmaceutical watchdog Social Audit, said not just Glaxo but also the MHRA had “a great deal to apologise for”.

He said: “They say the decision not to prosecute was decided by the inadequacy of the law.

“My reaction is that before launching a million-pound investigation it might have been a good suggestion to check what the law actually says.”

Accusing the MHRA of a ‘naive and absurd’ level of trust in drug companies, he said: “The deviousness companies employ when promoting their drugs and minimising their side-effects is really quite extraordinary.”

Health Minister Dawn Primarolo said the Government would take “immediate steps” to strengthen the law, making it clear that drugs firms must disclose any information they had which could have a bearing on public health.

Glaxo denied it had withheld data, saying it “firmly believed” it had acted “properly and responsibly” and safety of its medicines was “paramount”.

It said there were no child suicides in any of the safety drug trials it carried out and it was only when the data from all nine trials was analysed together that any link with suicide emerged.

A spokesman added that Seroxat has never been licensed for use in under-18s in the UK and labelling stated that it was not recommended for children.

However, Seroxat, which is also known as paroxetine, was taken by an estimated 50,000 British children and teenagers before being banned for use in youngsters in 2003. Doctors are allowed to prescribe unlicensed drugs.

Prescribed to children as young as six, it was hailed by doctors as a “wonder drug”, capable of helping people overcome shyness.

However, it gradually became clear that the drug, which alters levels of mood-regulating chemicals in the brain, was not all it seemed.

As children taking it began to commit suicide, parents described how their sons and daughters suffered mood swings, nightmares and personality changes.

‘It was like giving him a loaded gun’

Jamie Hoole was just 18 when he was prescribed Seroxat for depression. Two months later, he killed himself.

His mother Jean Bambrough is convinced he would still be alive had it not been for Seroxat.

Miss Bambrough, 47, said: ‘It was like prescribing him a loaded gun.

“Jamie was depressed but I strongly believe he wouldn’t have done what he did if it wasn’t for Seroxat.”

The talented pianist and artist was given Seroxat after he lost his self-confidence and started to withdraw from everyday life. Initially, his depression seemed to lift.

Miss Bambrough, a personal assistant who split from Jamie’s father 20 years ago, said: “For the first few days, he was smiling and looked happy.

“But that didn’t last long. He became very agitated and couldn’t sleep. He was having really awful dreams.

“He couldn’t keep still and rocked backwards and forwards. He thought he was going mad.”

Jamie, a builder, then turned to self-harming, cutting his arms, legs and stomach with a knife.

Not long afterwards, his brother Daniel, then 13, came home from school to find him hanging from a belt in a bedroom of the family home in Northwood, North-West London.

An inquest into his death concluded it may have been “wholly or in part” linked to his use of the drug.

After the inquest in 2003 Miss Bambrough said: “All data on drugs should be made public before they are used on anyone – adults or children.”

Another Seroxat patient, Laura Davey, now in her 20s, was put on Seroxat because she was suffering from depression.

But instead of making her better the drug led to her self-harming.

She said: “As soon as I was put on Seroxat I started cutting myself every day. I was sitting in my bedroom with a compasses or a knife and I would slit my wrist so there would be blood.”

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-527837/Seroxat-makers-escape-prosecution-despite-failing-reveal-link-teenage-suicides-FOUR-years.html#ixzz2eVAC4AIl 
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