Watch The Full Panorama Documentary ‘A Prescription For Murder’ Here…


Is it possible that a pill prescribed by your doctor can turn you into a killer? Over 40 million prescriptions for SSRI anti-depressants were handed out by doctors last year in the UK. Panorama reveals the devastating side effects on a tiny minority that can lead to psychosis, violence, possibly even murder. With exclusive access to psychiatric reports, court footage and drug company data, reporter Shelley Jofre investigates the mass killings at the 2012 midnight premiere of a Batman movie in Aurora, Colorado. Twenty-four-year-old PhD student James Holmes, who had no record of violence or gun ownership, murdered 12 and injured 70. Did the SSRI anti-depressant he had been prescribed play a part in the killings? Panorama has uncovered other cases of murder and extreme violence which could be linked to psychosis developed after the taking of SSRIs – including a father who strangled his 11-year-old son. Panorama asks if enough is known about this rare side effect, and if doctors are unwittingly prescribing what could be a prescription for murder.

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Silly Man Of The Day (or possibly of the year): Stephen Whitehead of the ABPI (Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry)


stephen-whitehead-200

SWJust watching Panorama’s recent documentary (for the second time) on how the pharmaceutical industry influences doctors and the medicines they prescribe, and I think that Mr Stephen Whitehead (of the ABPI)- speaking on behalf of the UK pharmaceutical industry- definitely deserves the accolade of Silly Man Of The Day..

There are many other adjectives which others might use to describe Stephen Whitehead, but personally I think he is just a very silly man. His comments in defense of the corruption of doctors by pharmaceutical companies are absolutely ridiculous and you would have to wonder who was coaching Whitehead? Did he not get advice? Did he not watch previous BBC  Panorama documentaries? Did he not know he was dealing with Shelley Jofre? (One of the best investigative journalists of the pharmaceutical industry in the UK).

How about this for a dialogue?

(from appox the last 10 mins of “Who’s paying your doctor?”)

Stephen Whitehead :”We should never fool ourselves that doctors will be overly swayed by some of this commercial activity given that they have seen a lot of other information”..

Shelley Jofre: “Why on earth would these drug companies spend all this money on doctors if it didn’t sway their prescribing?”

Stephen Whitehead:  “Well..  that’s an interesting question isn’t it..

Shelley Jofre: “But why would they?”

Stephen Whitehead : “Well…My view is.. it should sway their prescribing”.. “and I will absolutely categorically say that”…It’s absolutely appropriate for doctors to prescribe medicines for patients that need them.. .it is up to the doctor to decide what is right… “

What exactly is Stephen Whitehead on about? He seems to be contradicting himself..

Basically it seems that Mr Whitehead begins by saying that doctors would not be ‘overly’ swayed by drug company symposiums (or sponsored conferences, exhibits, lectures etc)

but then in the next breath he says that they should be swayed and that drug companies should be able to influence their prescribing!… So which is it Whitehead?… Are doctors not influenced by drug companies? Or are they? (I think we all know the answer to that one)

At least get your script right before you are interviewed.. Whitehead you Silly Man!…

It seems that Whitehad is so far indoctrinated into the greedy industry he so eagerly defends, that he has lost the ability to make sense..  he absolutely failed to defend the industry on Panorama and his gibberish proves that he doesn’t know his arse from his elbow!…

We all know the pharmaceutical industry is corrupt, we all know that doctors have been corrupted by the industry that the ABPI supports, so stop with the silly PR crap Stephen, nobody believes it- it’s getting boring- and your lame attempt at defending the industry was thoroughly pathetic, not to mention -incoherent.

http://www.quitam-lawyer.com/sites/quitam-lawyer.com/files/02.03.12%20-%20GSK%20–%20Exhibits%20to%207AC%201-752.pdf

People often say that, 1% of the human population are sociopaths and that it is these callous, devious individuals, with no empathy, or regard for others- who rise to the top of multinationals, banks, politics etc…  I am inclined to believe somewhat in the sociopath theory( how else could you explain the ethos of GSK for example?), but I also reckon that there is a sizable percentage of the population who are just silly, idiotic, moronic, easily led, and utterly gormless, and it’s these individuals who also end up in jobs which require them to be just that… they follow orders.

… mindless corporate minions to the cleverer sociopaths further up the greasy ladder…

Stephen Whitehead You Are A Very Silly Man!…

And once again, you have missed the point completely!…

From Seroxat Secrets 2012 :

 

http://seroxatsecrets.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/stephen-whitehead-abpi-missing-the-point-completely/

Stephen Whitehead, ABPI – missing the point completely

I read this article in the New Statesman today and made me really quite annoyed…

It featured a letter written to the New Statesman by the CEO of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), Stephen Whitehead, as a response to issues Ben Goldacre’s new book, Bad Pharma.

It’s amazing just how stupid a response it is – in fact I have to ask if Stephen has actually bothered to read the book at all or if the’s just gone into classic big Pharma knee jerk mode (after all, Stephen did spend 10 years of his career working at Glaxo and Eli Lily).

But no matter, as the New Statesman has printed Ben’s reply to the response.

However the comment I really found strange from Stephen Whitehead was this “…references to companies (GSK, Lilly, Pfizer) being fined are all examples from the US and simply not relevant to the UK market…”

GSK’s fine was, to remind you, the largest healthcare fraud settlement in history at $3bn.

How it isn’t relevant to the UK is beyond me – because what we’re talking about here is not just illegal marketing of drugs – not just bribing doctors to prescribe GSK products – what we’re talking about here are dead people.

Patients died because they were taking drugs that weren’t safe, drugs that weren’t even approved for their treatment.

In the case of Avandia, the drug is so dangerous that it can no longer be prescribed in Europe – it had to be withdrawn from the market because of high levels of heart attack, heart failure and stroke in patients. It had to be withdrawn from the market because it killed too many people.

How’s that “simply not relevant” to patients in the UK, Stephen?

mySuperLamePic_61c1d71a19e745397aec3a499b16167a

GlaxoSmithKline Corruption Of Doctors: “No Smoke Without Fire”


http://www.scotsman.com/news/comment-gsk-probe-cupid-stake-sale-1-3376155

 

Comment: GSK probe | Cupid stake sale

 

Martin Flanagan

  • by MARTIN FLANAGAN

BIG Pharma and improper sales and marketing behaviour related to pushing its drugs is not exactly rare. Along with the defence sector and the banks, the drugs sector is one of the industries that seems to attract allegations of dodgy behaviour too often to make it comfortable, whether eventually proven or not.

Mud sticks in the public mind. The latest major pharmaceuticals group in the firing line is GlaxoSmithKline, which is facing a criminal investigation in Poland for allegedly bribing doctors to push its asthma drug, Seretide.

GSK’s embarrassment is compounded by previous allegations of corrupt behaviour in China and Iraq. The Polish allegations were the subject of a BBC Panorama documentary Who’s Paying Your Doctor?, which aired last night.

If the new allegations are proven, GSK risks having contravened both the UK’s Bribery Act and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

For its part, the company has said its own internal investigation into the matter found that one employee had behaved inappropriately in promoting Seretide, had been reprimanded and disciplined, and that it was co-operating fully with Poland’s anti-corruption bureau.

Panorama said that 11 doctors and a GSK regional manager have been charged with alleged corruption between 2010 and 2012.

Without pre-judging any possible outcomes, it is hardly strange when such allegations surface given that Big Pharma and its international reps deal daily with thousands of doctors.

Rather damningly, a Reuters examination in 2012 of regulatory filings by the world’s biggest ten drugs companies found that eight had warned of potential costs related to charges of bribery in overseas markets.

Like the food chain in the supermarket sector, there is only so much that head office can do to ensure that all the vast tentacles of a global business operation is operating completely legally and ethically. Even so, it is little wonder that in GSK’s case its share price wobbled somewhat yesterday.

Against the big canvas of its operations, the Polish events are pretty insignificant. But the last thing that a major pharma player wants is a reputation for “previous” in this vexed area. Chinese authorities have accused GSK and its reps of giving a massive 3 billion yuan (£289 million) to doctors and officials to encourage them to use its medicines.

Last week, the company also admitted it was investigating allegations of bribery in Iraq. Above all, GSK, along with its peers, does not want an insidious creep of “no smoke without fire” developing in investor and public sentiment towards it.

In terms of overseas selling practices by GSK, one investigation is embarrassing, three invites serious concerns.

GSK Now Faces Bribery Allegations In Poland (BBC Panorama)



First China, Then Iraq...
Now Poland..

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-26970873

UK drug company GSK ‘paid bribes to Polish doctors’

Glaxo logo

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UK drug company GlaxoSmithKline is facing a criminal investigation in Poland for allegedly bribing doctors, BBC Panorama has discovered.

Eleven doctors and a GSK regional manager have been charged over alleged corruption between 2010 and 2012.

An former sales rep said doctors were paid to promote GSK’s asthma drug Seretide.

The company said one employee had been disciplined and it was co-operating with investigations.

If the allegations are proved, GSK may have violated both the UK Bribery Act and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It is illegal for companies based in either country to bribe government employees abroad.

‘Financial gains’

A former sales rep for GSK in the Polish region of Lodz, Jarek Wisniewski, said: “There is a simple equation,” he said. “We pay doctors, they give us prescriptions. We don’t pay doctors, we don’t see prescriptions for our drugs.

“We cannot go to doctors and say to them, ‘I need 20 more prescriptions’. So we prepare an agreement for them to give a talk to patients, we pay £100, but we expect more than 100 prescriptions for this drug.

“It’s a bribe,” Mr Wisniewski said, confirming that although on paper the payments were for educational services, the doctors understood very clearly that they must produce a certain number of prescriptions in return.

Panorama: Find out more

BBC Panorama logo
  • Panorama – Who’s Paying Your Doctor?
  • BBC One, Monday, 14 April, at 20:30 BST

The Lodz public prosecutor found evidence in documents given to doctors by GSK to support claims of corrupt payments in more than a dozen different health centres where there was no evidence “patient education” had taken place.

Spokesman Krzysztof Kopania said: “We have evidence that in more than a dozen cases it was a camouflaged form of a bribe.

“In return for the financial gains the doctors would favour the product proposed by the pharmaceutical company and they prescribed that medicine.”

One doctor has already admitted guilt, been fined and given a suspended sentence. He said he accepted £100 for a single lecture he never gave, but only under pressure from a GSK drugs rep.

He told Panorama: “They kept tempting, and I am just a man.”

Reprimanded and disciplined

The company said a GSK training programme to help improve diagnostic standards and medical training in respiratory disease was run by doctors in Poland from 2010 to 2012.

A statement said: “These sessions were delivered by specialist healthcare professionals who, based on contracts signed with GSK, received payments appropriate to the scope of work as well as their level of knowledge and experience. The provision of sessions under this programme was agreed with the Polish healthcare centres.

“Following receipt of allegations regarding the conduct of the programme in the Lodz region, GSK has investigated the matter, using resources from both inside and outside the company. The investigation found evidence of inappropriate communication in contravention of GSK policy by a single employee. The employee concerned was reprimanded and disciplined as a result.

“We continue to investigate these matters and are co-operating fully with the CBA [Poland’s Central Anticorruption Office].”

In 2012, GSK paid $3bn (£1.9bn) in the largest healthcare fraud settlement in US history after pleading guilty to promoting two drugs for unapproved uses and failing to report safety data about a diabetes drug to the Food and Drug Administration.

Last December, the company announced it was making major changes to its incentive schemes after a damaging corruption scandal in China.

The Chinese Ministry of Public Security has claimed that between 2007 and 2010 GSK funnelled three billion Chinese yuan (£300m) through travel agencies.

It said it would end direct payments to doctors for promotional talks and stop setting individual targets for its sales reps as part of a wider effort to improve transparency.

Panorama: Who’s Paying Your Doctor?, BBC One, Monday, 14 April at 20:30 BST and then available in the UK on the BBC iPlayer.

GlaxoSmithKline Plc is facing a criminal investigation in Poland for allegedly bribing doctors to promote its asthma drug Seretide, BBC Panorama reported on Sunday.

The BBC reported that 11 doctors and a GSK regional manager have been charged over alleged corruption between 2010 and 2012.

“The investigation found evidence of inappropriate communication in contravention of GSK policy by a single employee. The employee concerned was reprimanded and disciplined as a result,” the drugmaker was quoted as saying.

GSK could not be reached immediately outside regular working hours.

According to the BBC, one doctor has admitted guilt and has been fined and given a suspended sentence.

GSK, Britain’s biggest drugmaker, was accused by Chinese authorities in July of funnelling up to 3 billion yuan to doctors and officials to encourage them to use its medicines in a case that rocked the pharmaceuticals industry.

Copyright: Thomson Reuters 2014

http://profit.ndtv.com/news/corporates/article-gsk-faces-bribery-investigation-in-poland-report-385466

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/drugs-giant-glaxosmithkline-bribed-doctors-to-boost-sales-says-whistleblower-9257850.html

Britain’s biggest drug company, GlaxoSmithKline, allegedly bribed doctors in Poland using money that was meant to be spent on educating patients, according to new evidence revealed today by the BBC Panorama programme.

A GSK whistleblower claims that money put aside to teach patients in Poland about an asthma drug, Seretide, actually went towards paying doctors to prescribe more of the medicine.

Jarek Wisniewiski, who was with the company for eight years until 2012, worked on a marketing programme across the country in 2010 to push the asthma drug.

He told Panorama that although officially the money was to be spent on medical training, in reality it was used to bribe doctors to boost the company’s sales.

“I pay for education and in the same meeting I said that I need more prescriptions for Seretide. So… they knew exactly what I pay for,” he said. “We pay agreement for a speech; we pay £100 but we expect more than 100 prescriptions for this drug.”

Mr Wisniewiski says he told GSK that he was unhappy with the arrangement – an admission that he says resulted in him being sidelined at work and eventually sacked.

Another former employee, who did not want to be identified, confirmed that the company paid doctors for lectures that never happened but which would result in a greater number of prescriptions.

A criminal investigation has been launched, and 11 doctors and one GSK regional manager have been charged. The public prosecutor’s office in Lodz has examined the contracts that doctors were given by GSK, and says that it has found evidence to support claims of corrupt payments.

A spokesman said: “We have evidence to claim that in more than a dozen cases it was a camouflaged form of a bribe.In return for the financial gain, the doctors would favour the product proposed by the pharmaceutical company, and they prescribed that medicine.”

GSK sells some of the world’s best-known medicines and has an annual turnover of more than £26bn. However, allegations of bribery have hounded the company in recent months. The most recent claims come just a week after reports that GSK hired Iraqi government doctors and pharmacists to act as sales representatives for the Brentford-based company, to boost revenues for its medicines.

The company is also waiting to find out whether it will face prosecution in China following claims it paid £300m to doctors and government officials there.

The company’s Chinese sales plummeted by 61 per cent in the third quarter of last year, and 18 per cent in the final quarter, after its offices were raided by Chinese police and its staff arrested.

The allegations have not been established but if found to be true, GSK may have violated both the UK’s Bribery Act and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In both countries it is illegal for companies operating there to bribe government employees abroad.

In response to Panorama’s questions about the case, GSK confirmed that it had run a programme in Poland from 2010 to 2012 to help improve diagnostic standards and medical training for the benefit of patients with respiratory disease.

GSK says it is investigating the allegations. A chief executive has stated that the company has “zero tolerance” with respect to the issues raised in the allegations and is co-operating fully with investigators.

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 

Remembering Seroxat Causing Self-harm (2004)


http://www.network54.com/Forum/281849/thread/1097319908/1097337553/%26quot%3Bless+than+a+small+class+size+would+have+these+suicidal+thoughts+or+attempts%26quot%3B

just 16 but within a week of starting seroxat had began self harming.

October 9 2004, 4:59 PM 

Sarah Thompson says she
self harmed on Seroxat

Sarah Thompson was prescribed Seroxat for depression three years ago. She was just 16 at the time.

She had never had suicidal thoughts before taking the drug, but within a week had began self harming.

She told the programme: “I’d never thought about suicide before I took Seroxat and when I was taking it. I was obsessed about death it was part of my every day life.

“I would cut myself mainly and then I started to burn myself and found other methods, but it was mainly cutting myself to start with.

Three years on, she has strong views about the regulation of the drug: “Looking back at what happened to me because of Seroxat, and the great affect it has had on my life and to my relationships with my family and my future.

“I don’t think that the regulators are doing their job properly, because they allowed me to take a drug that has in effect taken away part of my childhood.”

GlaxoSmithKline Ruins Lives : Seroxat Still Relevant 10 Years Later


GSK have a lot to answer for. They one of the most corrupt and despicable corporations  on the planet… 10 years later… hundreds of suicides, birth defects, and multiples of damages to consumers from the drug… and they still sell this Seroxat Crap to consumers… 

http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2003/aug/10/drugsandalcohol.jorevill

Robber cleared by drug defence

Charges dropped after report links Seroxat to threatening behaviour
, health editor
The Observer, Sunday 10 August 2003

A man arrested for armed robbery and theft has had charges against him dropped after medical experts concluded that his behaviour could have been altered by the severe withdrawal symptoms he was experiencing from the antidepressant Seroxat.Mark Douglas-Hamilton, who was facing a prison sentence for holding up a garage, was due to go on trial this week, but the case has been unexpectedly dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.The CPS has not given any reason for its decision to discontinue, but it is believed that Douglas-Hamilton was helped by a medical report carried out for the defence which concluded that the drug could have contributed to his threatening behaviour.Campaigners against Seroxat, whose generic name is paroxetine, say they are aware of at least 10 other families who claim that their relatives committed acts of violence as they withdrew from the medication.

Their cases will be put later this month to the Government’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA), which is reviewing Seroxat.

The move comes as the Department of Health said last night it would examine the unlicensed sale of pre scription drugs on the internet following an Observer investigation today exposing the cybernet trade in such drugs, including Seroxat.

The drug’s manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, denies violence is a feature of withdrawing from Seroxat arguing that aggression is a feature of anxiety disorders.

However, Douglas-Hamilton’s account of how he suffered serious personality changes while trying to come off the pills has implications for other patients who also reported feeling extremely aggressive and reckless once they stopped taking the drug.

In November last year, two days after coming off the pills, Douglas-Hamilton, 30, used a pair of wire cutters to hold up a garage in Oxford where he walked away with a packet of cigarettes. A CCTV recording of the event shows his bizarre behaviour, where he joked with customers. Two weeks later, the theatre stage manager stole some CDs from a record shop. Douglas-Hamilton says he committed the acts, but claims his personality and behaviour were completely altered by the withdrawal effects of the drug.

‘I’m a fairly timid guy,’ he told The Observer last week. ‘I had only been prescribed [Seroxat] because I suffered from anxiety and some depression. It seemed to destroy my conscience and my fear. I found myself walking out of the house with knives; I had every intention of killing people.’

Douglas-Hamilton, who lives near Hereford, was due to face trial this week in Oxford on two charges of theft. But the case was unexpectedly dropped last Thursday by the CPS, which did not give a reason for the discontinuance .

Had the trial gone ahead, it could have proved a test case. Douglas-Hamilton would have pleaded not guilty, using a defence known as non-insane automatism. This argues that there is some external factor, in this case Seroxat, which was out of the defendant’s control, and caused him to behave irrationally. Dr David Taylor of the Maudsley Hospital had prepared a report for the defence, passed to the CPS, which concluded that the effects of Seroxat could have contributed to his behaviour.

The drug, which is prescribed to thousands of people every year for anxiety and depression, is already the subject of some controversy. Last year, SmithKline Beecham, which became GlaxoSmithKline, was successfully sued by Toby Tobin, after his father-in-law Donald Schell killed himself, his wife, his daughter and daughter-in-law in Wyoming, US. The company was ordered to pay £4.7million to the family. Schell had taken just two tablets before the murders, and had been depressed, but not suicidal, for the past 10 years.

There have also been claims from families in Britain that it has pushed relatives into suicide, and caused serious withdrawal symptoms. Sarah Venn, spokeswoman for the Seroxat Users’ Group, said: ‘I’m aware of at least 10 families whose children have committed criminal acts on withdrawal, and whose behaviour appears out of character. The MHRA needs to consider this as part of its review.’

A spokeswoman for GlaxoSmithKline said: ‘Violence and aggression are a feature of anxiety and depression disorders. Seroxat will reduce levels of these, and neither violence or aggression are withdrawal symptoms.’

In November last year, two days after coming off the pills, Douglas-Hamilton, 30, used a pair of wire cutters to hold up a garage in Oxford where he walked away with a packet of cigarettes. A CCTV recording of the event shows his bizarre behaviour, where he joked with customers. Two weeks later, the theatre stage manager stole some CDs from a record shop. Douglas-Hamilton says he committed the acts, but claims his personality and behaviour were completely altered by the withdrawal effects of the drug.

‘I’m a fairly timid guy,’ he told The Observer last week. ‘I had only been prescribed [Seroxat] because I suffered from anxiety and some depression. It seemed to destroy my conscience and my fear. I found myself walking out of the house with knives; I had every intention of killing people.’

Douglas-Hamilton, who lives near Hereford, was due to face trial this week in Oxford on two charges of theft. But the case was unexpectedly dropped last Thursday by the CPS, which did not give a reason for the discontinuance .

Had the trial gone ahead, it could have proved a test case. Douglas-Hamilton would have pleaded not guilty, using a defence known as non-insane automatism. This argues that there is some external factor, in this case Seroxat, which was out of the defendant’s control, and caused him to behave irra tionally. Dr David Taylor of the Maudsley Hospital had prepared a report for the defence, passed to the CPS, which concluded that the effects of Seroxat could have contributed to his behaviour.

The drug, which is prescribed to thousands of people every year for anxiety and depression, is already the subject of some controversy. Last year, Smith Kline Beecham, which became GlaxoSmithKline, was successfully sued by Toby Tobin, after his father-in-law Don ald Schell killed himself, his wife, his daughter and daughter-in-law in Wyoming, US. The company was ordered to pay £4.7million to the family. Schell had taken just two tablets before the murders, and had been depressed, but not suicidal, for the past 10 years.

There have also been claims from families in Britain that it has pushed relatives into suicide, and caused serious withdrawal symptoms. Sarah Venn, spokeswoman for the Seroxat Users’ Group, said: ‘I’m aware of at least 10 families whose children have committed criminal acts on withdrawal, and whose behaviour appears out of character. The MHRA needs to consider this as part of its review.’

A spokeswoman for GlaxoSmithKline said: ‘Violence and aggression are a feature of anxiety and depression disorders. Seroxat will reduce levels of these, and neither violence or aggression are withdrawal symptoms.’

Remembering Adrian Keegan: A Seroxat Suicide


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/3337240/Banned-depression-tablets-are-still-being-prescribed-to-thousands-of-children.html

The ban on SSRIs followed concerns that the antidepressants could cause children to attempt suicide. One of the cases that sparked fears was that of Adrian Keegan, 19, who had been taking the drug for 26 days when he committed suicide. In 2001, following the breakdown of his relationship with his girlfriend, he was diagnosed with depression and prescribed Seroxat by his GP. His father Christopher found his body hanging in his flat.

Mr Keegan, from Market Drayton, Shropshire, said: “There needs to be more information and better control as it is given out far too easily, like sweets.”

Adrian Keegan

 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/panorama/3707900.stm

Chris and Dawn Keegan

Chris and Dawn Keegan’s son Adrian was prescribed Seroxat for his temper

Adrian was 19 years old when he took Seroxat. It had been prescribed to him by his GP to help control his temper

His mother Dawn had hoped to get him on an anger management programme, Adrian was prescribed the antidepressant instead.

But after taking Seroxat for just 26 days, Adrian committed suicide. He was discovered by his parents Dawn and Chris who had dropped by his flat with some shopping one Friday night.

When they knocked on the door they got no reply, but they realised someone was wrong as he had left the light on – something Adrian never did when he went out as he was short of money.

Adrian’s dad Chris took his wife home and went back to the flat alone. He eventually broke in and discovered that he had hung himself.

He told the programme that he noticed a difference after Adrian started taking Seroxat: ” He sort of changed. He was like very quiet within himself. Even his friends commented it wasn’t Adrian. It was like with them he wasn’t saying much at all, or joking, he wasn’t jokey like he used to be.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/shropshire/2980416.stm 

 

Father calls for tighter drug control
Seroxat

Seroxat is used in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders

A Shropshire man whose teenage son hanged himself while taking a controversial prescription drug has called for the government to introduce tighter controls.

Adrian Keegan, 19, from Market Drayton, was being prescribed Seroxat at the time of his death.

The government’s advisors on the safety of medicines have recommended that the anti-depressant should not be given to children.

But Mr Keegan’s dad, Chris Keegan, said the move is not going far enough.

Four million prescriptions

He told BBC Radio Shropshire: “It does need greater control and even monitoring correctly instead of being passed over the counter and doctors telling patients to come back in two weeks time to see how they are.

“Then when the two weeks is up, being told to keep taking the tablets if they say they are working fine.”

Seroxat has been available in the UK for the past 13 years. Approximately four million prescriptions for the drug were issued in the past year.

However a recent review of the drug, launched by the Department of Health, found children taking the drug may be more likely to self-harm or partake in suicidal behaviour.

But the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has warned that adults who are on the drug should not suddenly stop taking it.