Study 329 – where the hell is the outrage?

To quote from the BMJ ‘No correction, no retraction, no apology, no comment…’

Study 329 was started in 1994 by Smith Kline Beecham, which shortly become part of the larger conglomerate Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK). Study 329 looked at the use of paroxetine, an anti-depressant, in adolescents with depression.

Following this study paroxetine was promoted and marketed heavily by GSK as demonstrating, in the words of GKS marketing materials: ‘REMARKABLE Efficacy and safety’. Over two million prescriptions were then written for children and adolescents in the US.

However, in 2002 the FDA considered study 329 to be a ‘failed trial.’ In 2003 the UK recommended that paroxetine should not be used in children and adolescents with depression because it increased the risk of self-harm and potentially suicidal behaviour.

In 2004 the FDA placed a black box warning on all antidepressants in adolescents and children stating that they increased the risk of suicidal thinking and suicidal behaviour in these groups. In 2012 GSK finally agreed to pay £2Bn for fraudulently promoting paroxetine.

But the story does not end here. A group of researchers, who had been heavily critical of this trial, finally managed to get hold of the raw data and carried out a re-analysis under the restoring invisible and abandoned trials (RIAT) initiative. Yes, this saga has been a long one.

The reanalysis was recently published in the BMJ with sadly predictable results. The primary conclusion was that ‘Neither paroxetine nor high dose imipramine showed efficacy for major depression in adolescents, and there was increase in harms in both groups.’

This is in stark contrast to the original trial results. When it was first published it appeared to demonstrate very clearly that paroxetine was both safe and effective in adolescents with depression. According to GSK it demonstrated ‘.remarkable efficacy and safety’ However, using exactly the same trial data, reanalysed by independent researchers, we now find that paroxetine was both useless and damaging.

So, what has been the consequences for those involved in the initial trial and the writing up thereof? For those who read the BMJ, you will know that I am now quoting verbatim here:

  • Despite subsequent FDA and MHRA warning about increased risks of suicidal thinking and behaviour and GSK receiving a record fine, partly for illegal off-label promotion of the drug, the original report has not been retracted or even had a correction
  • Academic and professional institutions have failed to publically address the many allegations of wrongdoing
  • None of the named authors had intervened to correct the record. An internal enquiry by the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP) concluded that no further action was necessary
  • Brown University remains silent over its involvement in the study. It refuses even to confirm or deny whether any investigation took place1

I will add to this that a co-author of study 329, Karen Wagner, named eight times in the 2011 US Department of Justice complaint against GSK, is currently the president elect of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry – whose journal, the JAACAP, is where the original study was published.

Taking stock. What do we have? A study was done, and published, demonstrating that paroxetine was safe and effective. The trial data were heavily promoted, resulting in millions of children and adolescents being prescribed paroxetine.

The reality is that this drug was completely ineffective and increased the risk of suicide (amongst other things). This has all been known for many years. The latest re-analysis simply confirms everyone’s worst fears.

So surely someone, somewhere, got punished? No they did not. Not only that, but the original published study has not even been retracted. It still sits in the medical database. A young and innocent researcher could come across it, and reference it, and use data from it to support a grant application for a study to use antidepressants in children.

If this were not all completely and absolutely one hundred per-cent fact, you might think we have a possible plot line for a dystopian novel here. A story of terrible corruption where large corporations can distort data through one hundred and eighty degrees, and get away with a fine. A world where bent researchers promote research that results in more children committing suicide, and then move on positions of greater power and authority – with no censure from anyone. To become presidents of major medical societies, for example.

Frankly I don’t think I would dare to write a novel with a plot so completely outrageous. Surely someone, somewhere, would be punished for this behaviour. Surely the paper would be retracted. Surely a co-author of such a study would not be in line for a prestigious position. Surely the public would rise up in outrage.

In truth, it seems, nothing is going to happen at all. I must dig out 1984 and read it again, just to depress myself even further.

1: BMJ 2015;351:h4629

164 thoughts on “Study 329 – where the hell is the outrage?

    1. dearieme

      ‘No correction, no retraction, no apology, no comment…’. Pah! A better world is available almost immediately – just jail some of the buggers. Or at the very least put ’em on trial.

      Reply
      1. Flyinthesky

        I agree totally but in a consensus situation just who do you prosecute. Culpability has a very broad spectrum. In the modern world there is too little knowing and too much acceptance.

    1. Amy Berger (@TuitNutrition)

      Probably why the American Diabetes Association might back away from its ridiculous high-carb, several meals & snacks per day recommendations for highly insulin resistant & obese diabetics, but they will never, ever come right out and issue the gigantic “mea culpa” patients so justly deserve, nor will they admit, in no uncertain terms, just how harmful (no, rather, *deadly*) their guidelines have been.

      Reply
      1. Stephen

        Amy, does the fear of being sued play any role, do you think? Or is it just a reluctance to admit how horribly wrong the Government and ADA got it?

    1. maryl@2015

      Obhi so glad to hear this good news. I have worked with a variety of handicapped individuals since the late 80’s. Every single doctor gave anti-depressants to people with chronic pain due to back and neck injuries, because they convinced them they were depressed because they were in pain or told them their pain was there BECAUSE they were depressed. I have to say none of them got better and most were more depressed. I have seen it time and time again. My doctor tried to force me on anti-depressants WHEN I WAS PREGNANT. These medications should never be given to children. There are so many alternate methods. But, of course, the parents are not getting enough information and are confused and overwhelmed and too quick to take this panacea. I have seen great strides made in changing diet, behavior modification, and just helping kids with distraction methods to include re-directing energies to things they can focus on to achieve some level of accomplishment. It does not matter how old they are. The schools cannot fix the whole problem. It takes every person in a community to be involved. Above all, these kids need love. And I fear we have allowed our children to be “babysat” by the media such that human touch and interaction is limited. I really believe things are going to change for the better. But, it won’t happen without parents getting outraged enough to ban together and to take their parts in the healing process. This was fascinating Dr. Kendrick. Thanks again!

      Reply
  1. celia

    This lack of accountability is truly shocking. It seems those connected with the drugs industry are untouchable. I recently read “Death By Prescription”, a tragic true story of a father’s fight for justice following the death of his 15 year old daughter, caused by a drug which was already known to be ineffective and unsuitable for her condition. We need to change the laws that give protection to the purveyors of drugs which kill and injure. Something has to change…

    Reply
    1. Marie - Sweden

      I have also read Terence H. Young`s book – Death by Prescription..
      Google his name and you will find several video clips. Here`s one of them.

      Reply
      1. joanne mccormack

        I too recommend Terence Young’s YouTube clip

        All patients, healthcare professionals, and trainee health care professionals should look at this.
        We also should have a law like Vanessa’s law in the UK and all countries.
        It says that Janssen still sell this drug in 70 countries- I hope that is untrue, or it is a disgrace and they should be punished. Maybe the international courts should deal with them like they do war criminals.
        As a GP it will ensure I prescribe less and use non drug treatments more. It will also make me more mindful of pointing out side effects to patients and will make both of us think carefully and weigh up the risks and benefits more.

        We have been courted by the drug companies for far too long to everyone’s detriment. It is time the tables were turned and I hope this law in Canada is the start of that.

  2. Nate

    Sorry for your depression, Doctor. It is a sad state of affairs. I assume you have been following the Huffington Post’s series of articles about Johnson & Johnson. J&J’s story is a similarly depressing.

    I’ve had a thought that might cheer you up a little. You know how the low fat promoters use the phrase, artery-clogging-saturated-fat. Well the Credit Suisse report about Healthy Fat has provided as with a similar phrase, solvent-derived-vegetables-oils.

    Reply
  3. Dr Liz Stansbridge

    I am a retired psychiatrist with a long history of depression. I bought into the dogma. I took antidepressants for 10 years being told I should be on them for life.
    4 years ago, I started thinking for myself. Discovered antidepressants are no more effective than placebo. I stopped them, started strategies for making myself happy…friendship, gardening and singing! It works, not a sign of relapse.
    Cicero said.. ‘a library and a garden is all that is needed for life’. I would add..’song’!
    Years ago my 16 year old adolescent son was unhappy. They put him on Fluoxetine. 2 weeks later he appeared home with burns on his leg. He had set himself alight in a graveyard in despair. He refused to take Fluoxetine anymore. How right he was. Now he is a stable, thoughtful, intelligent guy, Doing well.
    Paroxetine is not the only baddie, that whole class of drugs are dangerous.
    Adolescent angst should not be treated with these ineffective drugs with awful side effects. They do more harm than good.
    I have no idea how I would function in today’s NHS. Doctor’s are just pushers for the drug industry. Medicine is a knee jerk reaction. Don’t bother listening, giving wise counsel, just push a pill.
    How disappointed I am with my medical education and profession.
    Retirement is bliss.
    How do you function, Dr K., in the NHS?

    Reply
    1. Dr Paul Travis

      I agree with your comments Liz, particularly ‘Doctors are just pushers for the drug industry’…well probably not all of them. Throughout my career, I questioned many therapies, yet had to follow guidelines and avoid being labelled as a maverick, despite feeling uncomfortable about prescribing a variety of drugs of dubious benefit to my patients. It wasn’t until I retired (early) and began reading in more depth that I realised just how ‘brainwashed’ many doctors are (or is it just me?), mistaking clever pharmaceutical advertising for medical fact, and as Malcolm & Ben Goldacre have pointed out, we couldn’t even rely on published articles for answers as too many were flawed. I couldn’t work in the NHS these days, knowing what I know now. What is sad is that it still goes on. Like you, I am desperately disappointed with the profession for not waking up to this scandal and poor medical education. I often wish I could personally apologise to many of my patients for some of my inappropriate prescribing, even though I followed the imposed guidelines (antidepressants, statins, COX2 inhibitors, and the rest..). Enjoy your singing. Learning to play piano does it for me.

      Reply
      1. Judy B

        Thanks for your honesty. Tainted guidelines are a big part of the problem in medicine but doctors need to re-establish their authority and think for themselves…

      2. anglosvizzera

        I can’t work in the NHS either – I’m not a doctor but worked as a paediatric medical secretary and was totally disheartened at the way children are sometimes treated with drugs rather than, for example, a proper nutritious diet and proper examination of when their symptoms first started. I am convinced, as I’m following the Gardasil saga, that many cases of chronic fatigue syndrome in teenage girls were likely triggered by their HPV vaccination, but none of the doctors even consider this.

      3. Stephen

        Where there’s a problem, there’s a drug has become the culture. Perhaps some doctors feel better giving a drug than saying, “There’s nothing I can do for you” or “You need to sort this out for yourself.”

      4. mikecawdery

        Dr Travis,

        Thank you for that comment. I believe that if the truth was known many doctors would be in agreement, but they have families and mortgages and cannot risk falling foul of the GMC.

        Specifically, I know of many cases where adverse reactions have been ignored and/or denied despite the warnings stated on the data insert. Prof Peter Gotzsche’s book “Deadly Medicines and Corporate Crime sums it up with a wealth of information.

        yet had to follow guidelines and avoid being labelled as a maverick, despite feeling uncomfortable about prescribing a variety of drugs of dubious benefit

        That is the trouble – the “Medical Establishment” believes that it has the sole and only truth (rather like many religious intelligentsia) and this is upheld by medical and government institutions; allopathic medicine is the be all and end all of good health!

        Study 329 is I believe merely the very tip of a massive iceberg. As a result I am not prepared to consider and medical research sponsored or in any was related to Big Pharma and its supporters unless it has been through the same review process of all the data as Study 329!

        I also believe that this gross current corruption is relatively recent; I have worked with vet drug companies (subsidiaries of the Big Pharma companies of today) in the past and have been left to get on with it (no attempt at influence). This is no longer the case.

    2. anglosvizzera

      I totally agree, as my teenage daughter has spent the best part of a year in a CAMHS unit being drugged on medications that have made her attempt suicide several times. The psychiatrists there deny that it was to do with the drugs as she had taken an overdose several years before and therefore ‘had a history of suicidal ideation’. However, she had never since tried to take her own life in the ways she attempted whilst in the unit. I can only be glad she was there to be supervised otherwise she may have succeeded. She has now been put on a different antidepressant together with an antipsychotic, which don’t appear to have those side effects – but the ‘experts’ still insist it wasn’t to do with the 4 different drugs they tried first (all but one being off-license for under-25s…..) ! Absolute tunnel-vision in the NHS – it’s a disgrace!

      Reply
      1. Barry

        Aanglosvizzera – re your comment about Gardasil. My apologies if you are already aware of this.
        The EU is launching an investigation in Gardasil http://www.naturalnews.com/051316_HPV_vaccine_injury_Gardasil.html and
        http://healthimpactnews.com/2015/hpv-vaccine-injuries-and-deaths-now-being-reported-from-central-and-south-america/
        I’ve read numerous articles about this vaccine and similar products from other companies. I’ve already advised my daughter (who has a daughter that will probably be advised to have an HPV jab in the near future) to avoid this like the plague. At least we, in the UK, still have a choice – at the moment.
        Vaccines increasingly appear to be the direction in which the pharmaceutical industry is heading to maximise profits at the expense of our health. I’m not saying that all vaccines are bad but there are far too many being created for just about any infection that Big Pharma can think of. People really need to look at what is in vaccines and the real benefits rather than the supposed benefits.

    3. Joanne McCormack

      Dear Liz
      I am a GP. I can’t speak for Dr K but this is how I function.
      I try to treat people as individuals and I critically appraise what I am asked to do by the department of health and drug companies in terms of whether it would be of benefit for the person in front of me. I stopped being a partner after 23 years in April. As a salaried doctor and locum I have more freedom to focus on the needs of the individual. I am told that a third of GPs are non principals too perhaps partly for this reason. In terms of mental health I use the principles of Human Givens and Mindfulness to inform how I help someone. I also set up a website for my patients http://www.healthylivingsite.me

      The situation with medical research is a disgrace, many drugs are a sham and I have been aware of it for some time. That is why I have actively seek out other methods of helping people.

      Reply
    4. Flyinthesky

      I’m going out on a limb here, carefully putting tin hat on, You have been in the position of having to accept the wisdoms of your peers in your education. If you question these wisdoms you would be rejected.
      As a starting point it’s like a lot of “professions” you cannot be taught to be a psychiatrist, you either are one or you are not. Same as teaching, you either have the ability or you don’t. It can be (mis) guided but not taught.

      My experience with the mental health professionals is dire, to say the least.
      A few professionally presented words of, dubious, wisdom a little cognitive therapy and then bring on the drugs.

      A case study for your consideration: An elderly relative of mine had been on diazepam for some forty years 5mg per day I believe, he rarely took all of it, often half sometimes none but retained the option. Come the new guidelines by the people who purport they know what they are doing, the health authorities, it was decided that diazepam was no longer to be prescribed on a long term basis and on his GPs retirement he said he could no longer have it.
      As I presume you will know, from your training, that tapering someone off diazepam could and should take years. His was less than three months.
      He was given ineffective alternatives by the psychiatrist. a discipline he had no previous need to consult, to no benefit. After spending 30 years plus in business he was rendered a shadow of himself, frightened of his own shadow. He spent 6 weeks in a mental health facility, became agoraphobic and in his last five years of misery attempted suicide on at least ten occasions, some of which involved police and helicopter searches. As his only trusted relative, he wouldn’t trust anyone else, these situations always involved me and his long suffering wife. The mental health care professionals were abjectly useless. The bottom line is the health service, by saving less than a tenner a month by not prescribing diazepam it cost the country tens of thousands of pounds and made the last five years of a man’s life indescribable misery. The caring profession! Not in my experience.
      Psychiatry as doctoring and nursing is as much of an art as a science, you can teach the science but not the art.
      It would appear from your comment you had the art but no-one would let you practice it.

      Reply
  4. Ron Logan

    Dr Kendrick, glad to see you venture outside the heart now and then. I don’t know if you realize how special you are. Between the Religion of Modern Medicine and the Religion of Natural Cures we have only a few brave people who are critical thinkers and who read and translate the misleading studies that fill the media. In trying to protect myself from all this I’ve a assembled a stable critical thinkers in various areas, CHD->M. Kendrick, Cancer-> Gilbert Welch, Investing->John Bogle, General Health issues->Nortin Hadler, Thomas J Moore, David Newman, etc. Unfortunately they don’t publish newsletters covering breaking news.  I hope you to keep covering heart disease as long as I’m alive, but I’m happy to hear your thoughts on cancer and other issues too. If you know of a “Malcolm Kendrick” who focuses on cancer, please point me to him/her. Thanks for you thought, your work and your effort.  A fifteen year fan, Ron Logan   From: Dr. Malcolm Kendrick To: amove@yahoo.com Sent: Thursday, October 1, 2015 2:40 PM Subject: [New post] Study 329 – where the hell is the outrage? #yiv5282906802 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv5282906802 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv5282906802 a.yiv5282906802primaryactionlink:link, #yiv5282906802 a.yiv5282906802primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv5282906802 a.yiv5282906802primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv5282906802 a.yiv5282906802primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv5282906802 WordPress.com | Dr. Malcolm Kendrick posted: “To quote from the BMJ ‘No correction, no retraction, no apology, no comment…’Study 329 was started in 1994 by Smith Kline Beecham, which shortly become part of the larger conglomerate Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK). Study 329 looked at the use of paroxetine,” | |

    Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer Hardcover – 27 Jul 2012
        by Thomas Seyfried (amazon price £84)

        Christofferson, Travis (2014-10-26). Tripping Over the Truth: The Metabolic Theory of Cancer

        Christofferson is more of a lay book and about £7 Both are available on Kindle

    1. celia

      I agree Trish that together we can have more influence, but we’re still up against another sort of power of numbers – of dollars! More power to the consumer is what is needed. A blog like this one contributes to the power of knowledge. A good start.

      Reply
  5. Rosie

    It’s happening in every sphere. I have noted this before.. it would be great if one day you would look at the treachery surrounding the disease I have suffered with for 45 years at this point in time. The infamous PACE Trial for people with ME is laughable… as you observe, no one would choose a plot so thin or so unlikely, but reality is more contorted and perverted than most fiction. This is a long read, but an eye opener nevertheless: http://www.meactionuk.org.uk/magical-medicine.pdf

    Reply
  6. mr Chris

    Dear Dr Kendrick,
    Please don’t publish this sort of thing, it depresses me and makes me wonder what the role of truth and honesty is in the world?

    Reply
    1. Barry

      Mr Chris,
      The truth is always there and will, eventually, surface. You have to ask yourself whether you wish to live in ignorance of what is happening around you (many do) or face up to the world as it really is. It is painful for many to wake up to reality but by doing so you become stronger and better equipped to deal with it. Corruption can only triumph when honesty and truth are suppressed – the more of us that oppose it by bringing it into the open can only make things better. Evil will only triumph when good people do nothing – here endith the sermon!

      Reply
    2. mikecawdery

      Mr Chris

      Indeed it is terribly depressing that the leaders of a profession that claims to follow Hippocrates’ philosophy of FIRST DO NO HARM but surely to rectify this situation Dr Kendrick’s contribution should be shouted from the treetops and posted to every member of the GMC, BMA, et al. To just hide it is simply support for these “……………..”. I leave readers to fill in the blank.

      Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Throw in “status” as well – professorships, presidents of “learned” societies, honours, knighthoods even peerages. These are great for the ego.

      Reply
  7. Gary

    Malcolm, this is simply par for the course. In the U. S., any way, Pharma owns the politicians, because they are utterly dependent upon them for campaign contributions, and the media, who are utterly dependent upon them for advertising revenue (70% of their ad revenue). Vaccine makers (of which GSK is a major one) are fully indemnified here, so that revenue is all profit-they needn’t advertise, because their products (many now made in China) are mandated by states in an ever-expanding schedule. Academic institutions have been corrupted, too, because most of the grant money for research is doled out by the corrupt National Instututes for Health. Pharma is in charge of this wholly-corrupted system. Investigative journalism has gone the way of the dodo. And Americans have a tendency to behave like sheep. Frightening it truly is.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Unfortunately the US is democratic in name only. All elected politicians are bought and paid for by corporate America and the politicians owe allegiance only to their owning corporations – certainly not those who voted them in.

      Reply
  8. Scribe

    I just had this experience last week. My daughter filled in a survey for an academic counselor saying that she was sometimes depressed and had thoughts of harming herself. She is 14. So that triggered a cascade of emergency responses. First I had to take her to the pediatrician who was very happy to hand her an RX for Paxil after a 5 minute interview. She gave two reasons:
    1. She asked if either parent had issues with depression and both of us, at times in the distant past, had been treated for short term depression. Therefore she concluded that my daughter has a hereditary problem with serotonin. and drug treatment is appropriate.
    2. She explained away the issue with increase rates of suicide in teens on the medication by stating that very depressed kids are unable to plan and carry out self-harm. When they start to feel a little better, but the drug hasn’t had time to reach its full therapeutic dosage, they sometimes do feel well enough to plan and carry out the harm.

    Hmmm.

    Some counseling through the child psychology department (this is a self-contained HMO) was offered almost as an aside–we could TRY that if we wanted to, but the pedi though the medication should be sufficient.

    I left the decision up to my daughter, who wisely decided that she wanted to try other approaches before medication. I got her in to see a licensed social worker for counseling a few days later, who does not think she has “clinical depression”. She will be followed weekly by the LSCW, and there is also a school psychologist who will be checking in with her regularly.

    I think she will be fine, without the drug. We’ve had some good conversations and she knows we’re here for her and what to do when she’s feeling so down. She had no plans to act on her feelings.

    I just find it frightening how easily she might have ended up on medication that is probably not helpful and may be harmful!

    Reply
    1. anglosvizzera

      I can empathise with you. It’s amazing how doctors decide that if there’s been any history in the family of depression, they say it’s hereditary. My daughter was diagnosed with depression about a year ago and here in the UK the only treatments are drugs or therapy. There’s such a shortage of therapists available, it seems, that my daughter (who was 16 at the time, and therefore ‘old enough’ to make her own decisions) was persuaded that she had a ‘chemical imbalance’ and therefore needed drugs. So began several months of side effects (including suicide attempts) with no improvement in her mood. Different drugs were tried, sometimes in combination, as our NICE guidelines suggest for young people – even though it’s really a case of using them as guinea pigs because nobody knows the outcome! No improvement was apparent and more serious suicide attempts were made so that she was rushed to the general hospital….and this was for an inpatient. Imagine how things could have turned out if she had been at home while feeling this way. She ended up being sectioned under the Mental Health Act so that she was unable to refuse medication, moved to a high-dependency unit where she was under constant surveillance (even going to the lavatory) and, it seems to me, it was all down to drug side effects. Once she was taken off the drug I suspected was causing the problems, she started to improve. It’s a real nightmare once your kid gets into the ‘system’ because the doctors tell us their hands are tied and they have to follow the guidelines. Her dad and I insisted she was given nutritional supplements (as she is very picky about eating, with a history of anorexia nervosa) to which they reluctantly agreed, saying it was only usual for those patients admitted with an eating disorder. Arrrrrgh!

      Reply
      1. Barry

        Anglosvizzera, what a nightmare. Had a “chemical imbalance” – so we’ll fix it by screwing it up even more with questionable drugs. That they recognised the link to an eating disorder but failed to take any action in that direction perhaps reflects upon the lack of meaningful education in nutrition that doctors receive in their education. Something that in the US can be traced back to the early 1900’s when medical education fell under the influence of John D. Rockerfeller and the changes that resulted from the Flexner Report. There are many sources of information covering this period and He Who Pays the Piper – Creation of the Modern Medical (Drug) Establishment by G. Edward Griffin covers it well.
        I suspect that her problems stemmed from a combination of poor nutrition (picky eating) and the angst that affects many teenagers both of which should been recognised as the prime drivers of her problems. But, as you say, once you’re in the system it is hard to escape.
        You clearly did the right thing in using nutritional supplements and I wish you further success. If you can get her to accept that her eating habits are part of the problem and nutrition is part of the cure she’ll be on the road to a full recovery.

    2. mikecawdery

      Suicidal tendencies because the drug is working! We will be told next in serious vein that the 100,000 deaths a year from POM drugs in the US (Starfield, B. Journal American Medical Association, (Vol. 284), July 26, 2000) is due to the drugs working. Some imagination but from a MD?????????

      Reply
      1. Barry

        Well, in a sense they are working – just not as hoped. The 100,000 plus deaths are just those they can’t get away from disclosing. I suspect that there are many more and let’s not forget the vast number suffering serious “side” effects.
        From Drugwatch (http://www.drugwatch.com/side-effects/)
        Each year, about 4.5 million Americans visit their doctor’s office or the emergency room because of adverse prescription drug side effects. A startling 2 million other patients who are already hospitalized suffer the ill effects of prescription medications annually, and this when they should be under the watchful eye of medical professionals.

  9. karlwhitfield

    Dear Dr Kendrick,
    I am suitably outraged!
    What a disgrace!
    I am currently reading ‘Doctoring Data’ and with every chapter, my mistrust of all-things-academic-and-scientific grows deeper.
    Yours,
    Karl

    Reply
  10. Mark Janson

    This is at best fraud, cheating etc. But of course it’s far, far worse than that. Ultimately you’re playing with people’s lives. All of the people prescribed this drug have taken it unnecessarily. Some of those people have paid the ultimate price. I’d call that murder. I take full responsibility for that statement and I invite any lawyers who may work for GSK and who may happen to read this to sue me. I’m sure I can easily be tracked down by my IP address. Please, sue me. Please.

    When you consider how for example, Dr Maryanne Demasi was, not so long ago hounded for the Catalyst TV production on statins and equally, how Dr Kendrick et al are accused of “killing people” with their anti-establishment advice, it makes you wonder, just where is the justice? Where is the fairness? Where, as Dr K wrote, is the outrage? It’s worse than 1984, far worse.

    Reply
  11. Jennie B

    I’m so angry about this.
    Our son who is now 31 was prescribed Seroxat (Paroxetine) When he was in the 6 th form at school.
    He was suffering from school related anxiety, he also had some private councelling, as waiting for an NHS referral was going to take too long for our liking. My husband and I were very concerned for his mental health.
    He appeared to improve over a period of time , but when he asked about coming off his medication. Our GP said ‘oh just take one every other day ) and it won’t take long before you are off it altogether’
    How wrong could he have been. Our son started suffering acute anxiety again and was back on the usual dose before we knew it.
    Fortunately our eldest son was just completing his training to be a Pharmacist and told us that the drug needs to be withdrawn very very slowly.
    From what I remember I think he said Seroxat has a ‘short half life’ (or something like that,) feel free to correct me! and so leaves the system quickly making withdrawal symptoms acute, very quickly.
    We worked out a way of reducing the medication by cutting the tablets up into halves/ quarters and started by just reducing the daily dose by a tiny fraction of a tablet over a period of months. I made a chart and we just reduced the dose every 2-3 weeks until he was on such a tiny dose that our Pharmacist son suggested asking for the medication to be prescribed in liquid form, to make sure the dose was more accurate.
    What saddens us is that the GP didn’t seem to know the best way to reduce this very dangerous drug, and to be honest if our son hadn’t had such a supportive family and a bit more common sense, who knows what may have happened.
    He could have ‘slipped through the net’
    like some of the very tragic cases we read about in the newspapers.
    I’m happy and proud to report that he went on to Uni as a mature student and got a 1st in Music. Then went on to do a Masters in Music Ed, and is now teaching Music, which is his passion.
    Shame on these Drug Companies for recommending these drugs to young people .

    Reply
    1. anglosvizzera

      There are several websites where people help each other withdraw from these drugs – but when you read people’s experiences, it seems doctors are generally ignorant of these problems or in denial that withdrawal causes difficulty. Professor David Healy has a site for people to add their own experiences of psychiatric (and other) drugs – http://www.rxisk.org – which is very enlightening!

      Reply
      1. Jennie B

        Yes I’m sure you’re absolutely right. I don’t actually blame the GP for giving that advise at the time, because he probably didn’t know himself!
        This was in 2000, and the information available is so much better now, than it was then, to the likes of us all.
        I just find it terrifying that antidepressants can be dished out like sweeties (to young people especially,) who are going through so many physical and emotional changes at that time . They can be very confused, want a quick fix to make them feel better, without realising the consequences of taking such dangerous medication , and they are usually told it’s a ‘chemical imbalance’.
        Of course if your ‘child’ is old enough to visit the Drs unaccompanied, you may not even be aware of what sort of treatment they may have been given.
        Terrifying.
        Thank you Dr Kendrick for highlighting this.

  12. Ann Stanton

    Beyond it’s touted cardiovascular benefits, a significant part of margarine’s dominance over butter during those years was its relative cheapness.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Thank you for the link. I was amazed at the CEO’s apology – has there been no compensation. Seems to me that after the apology about GSK.s “nasty” Seroxat the now available class action could be used along with the reviewed Study 329. Good luck if you have a go. There are now several law firms that do No win Free deals.

      Reply
    2. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      truthman,

      I really appreciated your blog.

      Specifically I found the following link to a lecture to my ‘favourite’ , Robert Whitaker, who so nicely summarise the disastrous contra productive actions of these psychiatric drugs.

      Robert Whitaker: Our Psychiatric Drug Epidemic

      This was well spent 45 minutes of my life to refresh my memory of his great book “The Anatomy of an Epidemic”

      Reply
  13. gillpurple

    Appalling story. To make matters worse, if that’s at all possible, I looked up Karen Wagner and it appears that she also failed to disclose receipt of $160,000 from GSK for her co-authorship of the original study, choosing to disclose only $600 – and the study was ghostwritten. Ethics and integrity in medical research seem to have been completely extinguished in some quarters. Can anyone hold these people to account? It would appear not.

    Reply
  14. Kay

    When I worked in a couple of psych hospitals as an activities person in the 60s and 70s, I sometimes heard it said that extremely depressed people didn’t have the energy to commit suicide. After some time on drug treatment, they needed to be watched carefully, because they were starting to feel well enough to follow through with suicide.

    Whether this was true or not, or whether the drugs made them suicidal when a certain level was reached, I don’t know. But at least there seems to have been openness about the possibility of suicide when patients were on the drugs.

    Reply
    1. anglosvizzera

      Yes, I have been told this too. But if you listen to Prof Peter Gøtzsche or read his book, it seems the drug companies knew that people with no history of suicide became suicidal but they manipulated the data so it didn’t show up! If the drugs themselves are capable of inducing suicidal ideation in people without prior symptoms, it seems logical that anyone who felt like that before would feel more severe suicidal symptoms and not just because they ‘have more energy’ to carry it out. I expect that is something the drug companies used to brainwash physicians!

      Reply
      1. Ari

        And not just suicidal ideation… It is a fact, that majority of school shootings and the Germanwings plane crash have been made under the influence or during withdrawing phase of SSRI medication. Big Pharma wants to silence this in media and unfortunately seems to success. SSRIs should be banned. There were no school shootings before those drugs were started to be liberally prescribed and especially the youngsters are vulnerable to their side effects.

      2. Kay

        Ari, yes. How convenient that there’s a scapegoat: the weapons. Let’s divert attention from the real problem by blaming the weapons, and calling for them to be banned.

  15. lorrainecleaver7

    Not two weeks ago, the Scottish Sunday Mail ran a story about doctors working on the SIGN guidelines and Scottish Medicines Consortium having pharmaceutical conflict of interests. One of the first doctors named was an Endocrinologist who treated me. I almost died. “DOCTORS giving guidance on treatments and drugs available in Scottish hospitals and surgeries have been paid by major drugs companies.

    A Sunday Mail investigation has revealed that doctors on two key NHS advisory boards had deals with drugs giants such as Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer.

    Consultants and doctors sitting on the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) and the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) declared payments but not the amounts paid.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/hard-pill-swallow-report-shows-6434777

    Reply
  16. Gilles Mongeau

    Dr Kendrick,

    In case you are not aware of the details of this story, in some ways, it answers your title question. Unfortunately it is more depressing than 1984 and unless you speed read it will l
    take as long to read!
    http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/miracleindustry/americas-most-admired-lawbreaker/chapter-1.html

    G. Mongeau

    PS For some reason I can’t access the replies section this time. My apologies in advance if someone else has already posted this link.

    Reply
  17. McCormack Joanne (NHS WARRINGTON CCG)

    I think we are stunned into silence by this one, sadly one in a long line of cases.
    Yes, they should be prosecuted just as are those people who engage in financial fraud. We see them being pursued around the world for financial fraud. Why don’t we see this with people who have harmed children at an institutional level? The company pays what for them is a paltry fine and that is not enough to deter future bad behaviour. They see being sued as an occupational hazard for the company but they would not regard the threat of incarceration so lightly.

    Sent from my iPhone

    Reply
    1. Barry

      Joanne, the only people I see prosecuted for financial fraud are, in a vast majority of cases, small fish. Just occasionally a bigger fish (especially if they step out of line) gets thrown into the equation to give the illusion that we are all governed by the same laws. The really huge fraud perpetrated by the central banks and their buddies in the financial markets by their manipulation of anything financial is on a scale that most people can’t comprehend.
      Please read Zero Hedge for a few weeks (ignoring the space fillers) and you’ll soon get an idea of what is going on. It’s not pretty.

      Reply
      1. gillpurple

        Barry,

        Couldn’t agree more. The only people who got put in jail were folks like mortgage advisors and solicitors who ran off with the money. The few bigger fish that have been prosecuted allow the banks to polish their public image and con the public into thinking that fraudulent behaviour won’t be tolerated by them. I had high hopes when John McFall was chairing the treasury select committee after the banking fiasco but the end result has been a bit of tinkering around the edges. No-one appears to have the guts to take them on, they wield far too much power and have far too much political influence.

        The same could be said about pharma and the universities who have got into bed with them, aided and abetted by medically qualified psychopathic characters who appear to possess not one ounce of compassion for their fellow human beings, or have any real interest at all in considering the damaging impact of their behaviour.

  18. Barry

    Unfortunately this is just one example of how the world operates. There has and always will be corruption, but I think over the past few decades it has become significantly worse. Either that or I’ve become more aware of it.
    It has been reported numerous times that the higher up an organisation you go the more sociopaths/psychopaths you find. Power (plus money which is typically linked to power) and control drives these types and, by nature, they are prepared to trample anyone or anything underfoot to achieve their goals. Such minor details (to them) as publishing outright lies to sell something mean nothing. They see the public as easy prey. If caught out then as long as they make a profit it becomes the cost of doing business.
    Anyone who bothers to read/watch the MSM must have noticed that few stories run more than two weeks, if that, before a much more important subject such as Kim Kardashian’s “bump” takes priority. The people in control are well aware of the goldfish attention span of most people so they just weather out the storm and carry on.
    Marcia Ancell believes that the watershed change in the pharmaceutical industry occurred in 1980 with the passing of the Bayh-Doyle Act and, as anyone who has read her book will know, the industry is not a shining light of virtue.
    If you think Study 329 is bad then there are far worse examples of deceit within the GE world – and that affects all of us. Also, at the risk of starting a wave of disagreement, we should all take a closer look at vaccines, especially given the ludicrous vaccine policy the US has adopted where people have very little say in what is injected into their children. I do not want to see that here.
    Read Dissolving Illusions by Suzanne Humphries MD for enlightenment.

    Reply
  19. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    I have today (as Malcolm ??) lost my hope in most medical field when I for personal reasons as an ‘outsider’ have ventured into them for one reason or another .

    When i comes to psychiatry it was a friend who turned psychotic and then heavily and ‘properly’ treated he is now beyond hope. Then it took two books, “Mad in America” and “Anatomy of an Epidemic”, by the science journalist Robert Whitaker, to make this part of the medical card house completely crumble in front of my eyes. Especially the “Anatomy of an Epidemic” relates to the present corruption discussed in this blog.

    But of course there is a lot more to be concerned about in psychiatry. Where is e.g. the medical logic in subjecting the frontal lobes of an individual to repeated electric chocks of about 500 voltage and believe that you will restore something healthy. The logic to me as an engineer is that they are turning the sufferer of mental illness into zombies by this treatment.

    I do understand the Roman emperor who in a sudden rage ordered the beheading of all in the medical corps at his time but to no avail in the long run.

    Reply
    1. John MacDonald

      But of course there is a lot more to be concerned about in psychiatry. Where is e.g. the medical logic in subjecting the frontal lobes of an individual to repeated electric chocks of about 500 voltage and believe that you will restore something healthy. The logic to me as an engineer is that they are turning the sufferer of mental illness into zombies by this treatment.

      I too used to think this “treatment” was medieval and barbaric, until that is, I saw its effects on a friend who, for many months suffered from depression and had been sectioned. After one such treatment, it was like turning on a switch and he began to “return”. After a few more and he was back to normal. The doctors said it was their “last resort” but in my friend’s case at least, it worked.

      Reply
  20. Jimmy

    Because we live in a world where paying a 2 billion dollar fine is still more profitable than not producing a drug that harms people. From greedy pharma to greedy politicians to greedy (and lazy) doctors to lazy (and uninformed) parents who give their children (and themselves) these drugs.

    Reply
  21. Soul

    We had another tragic crazed mass shooting in America yesterday. It happened in the state of Oregon, not all that far from where I spent a good deal of my childhood visiting relatives. My parents grew up in that part of the state. Some of the best parts of America can be found in that area I feel, with good people and good weather, at least for 3 months out of the year. That is my happy childhood recollections of visiting Oregon.

    It will be interesting to see if the young shooter at the college was on an antidepressant. Often times we later learner these crazed shooter were suffering from depression and were on medication to treat their condition. It seems too from what I’ve read many of the antidepressants prescribed create an increased risk for suicide and anger. I’ve often thought that if that is the case then these young men that feel an urge to kill themselves, possibly due to the medication, often decide to go out in a blaze of glory. Suicide by cop I think is the term often said, or committing a crime so that the police will eventually shot the perpetrator. I was happy to read this morning that the police are not releasing the shooters name, plus are asking the press to not sensationalize the killers actions, but instead to concentrate on victimes and their family. Hard to say if the press will go along with the request, but after last months shooting of a reporter and her camera man while live on air, one of their own, possibly the media will change tactics. It’s controversial here to say violent media reports and violent entertainment lead to violence. I personally believe their to be a connection, along with other issues as mentioned.

    Anyway, I’ve often thought that depression is one of the biggest health problems facing America. The medications we give work poorly for young and old, if at all, and worse can lead to bizarre cases of rage in rare instances it seems. I’ve often felt the problem is in part is likely caused by the new diet we have come to eat. Just a theory, but only a few generations ago our food selections were sparser and less processed. If our society heads toward less carbs in the diet, and more fat as the Credit Sussex report mentions, it will be interesting to see if fewer people suffer from alienation and depression. At the least i hope so for my nations sake.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      As far as I have understood this is that people going bizarre in their behaviour, as evident in the school shootings, more than often than not have been on SSRI drugs and on their own decided to all of a sudden quit with these drugs and as a consequence entered into a psychotic state.

      When a ‘new’ SSRI substance is to be tested psychotic patients on ‘older’ SSRI drugs are needed and when signing the paperwork then required to stay in a closed ward. There they are taken off the ‘old’ drug and for sure they then enter into a psychotic stage and that is why they must be protected from themselves and the surroundings. By then subjecting the ‘victims’ to the new SSRI-drug the psychotic state is lifted and the case proved of the efficacy of the new drug.

      Great medical science indeed!

      Reply
      1. Soul

        Thanks Stephan and Dr. Sjoberg for the comments. I wasn’t familiar with that either which was interesting to read Dr. Sjoberg. I’m rather on the tired side this evening having watched some American football this Saturday afternoon. My team Illini has done poorly, and I’m worn out doing my best to cheer them on, to no prevail. So I’ll add an article that you might have seen before but I thought does a nice job addressing potential answers for this all to common tragedy seen in America.

        In America it is frequently brought up in chat rooms and news letters about the problem with the drugs causing anger issues that can lead to strange behaviors and violence. It’s generally not front stage though in the main stream media, which is a shame, as likely better alternative treatments, as improved diets and supplements, possibly different medications could help greatly with the situation I believe. it would be common sense to look further into making changes, since the current path we’re on is failing, but I’m afraid common sense is all to often difficult to come by, particularly I’d guess due to the moneys involved when it comes to these widely prescribe and advertised drugs. The SSRI’s medications too have been found to not work or not work well, being similar to sugar pills, as mentioned here on Dr. Kendrick’s sight, and I recall a few articles on Dr. Briffa’s sight on this.

        “Violent Behavior: A Solution in Plain Sight”

        http://www.westonaprice.org/uncategorized/violent-behavior-a-solution-in-plain-sight/

        snippets ~

        …As early as 1971 the U.S. population was already consuming more that 50 percent of its diet in the form of junk foods. More than four thousand additives were readily available in the food system. In the 1970s several researchers tried to reduce crime through changing diet. They identified several areas where intervention could be made: brain allergies, hypoglycemia, nutrient deficiencies, brain dysfunction, environmental contaminants and neurotransmitter imbalance.94

        Research by Hippchen, Schoenthaler, Schauss and others concluded that hypoglycemia, caused by a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, could account for most of antisocial behavior. They found that hypoglycemia causes the brain to secrete glutamate, a neurotoxin, which leads to agitation, depression, anger, anxiety, panic attacks and violent behavior.95-97

        Stephen J. Schoenthaler, PhD, a professor of criminal justice at California State University, has focused his research efforts on the effect of nutrition on cognition and behavior in school children, prisoners and institutionalized juveniles. He reported a significantly lower level of antisocial behavior after dietary modifications which involved decreasing sugar consumption during a three-month and nine-month period respectively. In fact, as of 1983, at least nine separate institutions in three states had found that the behavior of their juveniles improved significantly after the elimination of high-sugar junk foods.96…

        …THE SCHOOL SLAYINGS AND PSYCHOTIC DRUGS

        Jon Rappoport worked for thirty years as an investigative reporter and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. In his book School Shootings, Why did they do it? An inquiry into the school shootings in America and in his blog post, “The secret at the bottom of psychiatry’s rabbit hole,” he describes several acknowledged explanations for the school shootings, including access to guns, violence on TV, breakup of families, absence of a good education, growing poverty, and lunatic ideologies such as Nazism and Satanism. However, he asks, why have the media not named psychiatric drugs as one of the causes?110

        In a comparison of the time periods 1993- 1998 and 2005-2009, prescriptions of antipsychotic drugs per one hundred children (0-13 years old) rose from 0.24 to 1.83. That’s more than a sevenfold increase, and the rate is substantially higher among preteens and thirteen-year-olds. For adolescents (14-20 years old) the increase was nearly fivefold.111

        In fact, between 2004-2011 there were almost thirteen thousand reports to the FDA’s Med Watch system of psychiatric drugs causing violent side effects, suggesting that the side effects from these drugs are nine or ten times higher than admitted in official data.112

        In an analysis of mass shootings during the past fifteen years, every shooter had been taking or withdrawing from a psychiatric drug. In these thirty-one school shootings or school-related acts of violence, one hundred sixty-two were wounded and seventy-two were killed.112

        Peter Breggin. MD, psychiatrist, notes that, “One of the things in the past that we’ve known about depression is that it very, very rarely leads to violence. It’s only been since the advent of these new SSRI drugs that we’ve had murderers, even mass murders, taking these antidepressant drugs.” According to Breggin, “psychiatric drugs can cause or worsen violence” in those who take them and cites a 2010 study of reports to the FDA on drug-induced violence which has demonstrated that antidepressants have resulted in an 840 percent increase in the rate of violence among those taking the drugs.113-114…

    2. Barry

      Soul, agree with you completely about diet affecting behaviour. The body is constantly processing food and the associated micronutrients. Unless we supply it with everything it needs then, inevitably, it will not operate in an optimum manner. No easy matter in these days of industrialized farming where foods do not necessarily contain what we think they do.
      I became convinced a long time ago that most illnesses – be they physical or mental – strongly relate to diet unless there is some overwhelming external influence – chemical poisoning or excess radioactivity for example. America perhaps demonstrates this best as the SAD is appalling and so is the health of the average American. Add to this the over prescribing of drugs with their many unwanted effects and you have a recipe for disaster.
      It’s the old story of addressing the symptom rather than the cause. Even the good doctors, of which there are many, face an impossible struggle in that far too many people will not/cannot see that how they live is making them ill plus they expect a doctor to provide a pill for an ill. If a doctor just gives advice then he/she is placing themselves at risk of disciplinary action for not following official guidelines (doctors – please correct me if I’m wrong). It’s a no win situation for everyone except the vulture drug companies which are only too happy to provide a pill for an ill and dream up an ill for a pill.

      Reply
      1. Soul

        Barry – It is often over looked at how helpful diet improvement can be for improving mental conditions. Improved diet can be a subjective thing, as some have different meaning for that. My thinking is more along the lines of avoiding wheat, dairy and possibly beef to see if that helps, as it has helped me health wise physically and mentally, but others would have different ideas. Regardless, all the junk food eaten likely doesn’t help the situation.

        Something that has rolled around in my mind too about the rage shootings, outside of the possible influence of SSRI’s and violence shown in the media, in America is the unmentionable name of Andrew Wakefield and if his vaccine ideas are correct about autism and spectral disorders such as aspie rage, a condition that largely effects males, who all to often have difficulty interacting in society. I have no idea if his ideas are right, or how large the spectral disorder problems are as definition for them changes from what I’ve read, but I’ve seen interviews of Andrew Wakefield saying he conducted around a dozen similar studies and they were not retracted. Additionally others have done similar studies with similar findings he says and they were not deleted. What a can of worms that would be.

      2. Soul

        It looks like the Oregon shooter did have Aspergers, and with that imagine could be prone to fits of anger. Hope the condition isn’t caused by the measles vaccine as theorized by Andrew Wakefield. There is the other theory, well many other theories, but the theory that Dr Campbell-McBride’s of the GAPS diet put forward for the cause of Autism and Aspergers spectral disorder. I’ve seen a few Aspergers suffers mentioning that they felt much better, with a calmer mind, on a paleo diet which is a diet nearly the same as the GAPS diet.

        “Oregon Killer’s Mother Wrote of Troubled Son…”

        http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/06/us/mother-of-oregon-gunman-wrote-of-keeping-firearms.html?_r=0

  22. Spittinchips

    The similarities between the finance industry and the pharmaceutical industry are striking. Massive fraud and immoral behaviour, many people hurt by their actions…and no jail time for the perpetrators. It’s like everyone is either asleep or just doesn’t care. Surreal.

    Reply
  23. gillpurple

    If I’m not mistaken David Healy was one of the doctors doing this review. He describes somewhere how GSK made it as difficult as possible to access and read the documentation. Probably on one of the blogs here, Dr K. David Healy has also written an interesting account of how good work gets impeded and obstructed at every turn, how influence and power gets exerted, and the denigrating comments made – all, it appears, to try and discredit/downplay his work. Dreadful stuff. Link here:http://davidhealy.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/2008-Healy-Academic-Stalking.pdf

    Note what he says in point 10 about study 329. How do they get away with this. News to me, the pharma’s hire PR companies to manage perceptions of drugs, which includes, as I read it, anticipating possible criticisms and trying to kill them off beforehand. So it would seem that some doctors are willing to be bought to confer legitimacy on a drug, probably not having bothered themselves to read all the data and get it properly evaluated (not that they would have been allowed to) and then, in effect, sign the death/harm warrant of members of the public by agreeing to be named as author or co-author on what is, in fact, a piece of fiction. That drug should never have got off the production line, as point 10, makes clear. How on earth do these drugs get by the regulators and watch dogs. System completely broke.

    Reply
  24. Dana Green

    Erudite and astute as usual Dr Kendrick. Thank you. Outrage is too mild to express what most of us feel about this. Thirty years ago I worked as an editor for a group of scientific journals and quickly realised how fraudulent they were: contradictory, incomplete, paltry evidence, etc. I have been fighting our corner since.

    Reply
  25. Ernest Berry

    Dr. Kendrick,
    When the request from the BMJ to review this reappraisal of 329 dropped into my inbox I was a little daunted to say the least. But I accepted because it seemed important that an actual patient reviewer should have some input to what was a landmark moment.

    I found much of the details challenging for a non-statistician and devoted a lot of time to teasing out the important elements within my brief as a patient advocate, carer and now a patient reviewer. Eventually, I did find a view of the work that I was prepared to share with the BMJ panel and submitted it not without some trepidation. Likely my review was only a minor consideration for the panel and I was told that further work was going to be needed before publication. But when I finally was advised it was actually going to be published I felt both elated and extremely sad. Sad it had taken years for truth to come out; elated that it had, but horrified at the bodies that line the route to its conclusions. I was also in absolute awe of the researchers who had devoted so much time in accessing the data that GSK had held so close for so long and made available only by gist of a convoluted, tedious and virtually unsearchable trail. How they managed it is now a matter of record, but the determination and dedication is truly remarkable.

    I have also to acknowledge that the BMJ is at last making considerable efforts to involve patients and laypersons in its scrutiny of science, and its ‘too much medicine’ is an attempt at reducing the polypharmacy of drugs that many patients endure. I had thought it ‘lip service’ at first and that may be we would all be patronised and I still have some reservations, but it’s bringing down some of the barriers between academics and doctors and giving them a view of what informed patients actually think and believe.

    There is a tide coming in, albeit slowly. My hopes have been dashed for years but I genuinely feel that with people like yourself, David Healy; Peter Gotzsche; Uffe Ravnskov and many more; sceptics all, who are shining a light in the dark corners of Healthcares fortress of Hubris, that we may see less medicine and more real care.
    v

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Like your good self I was requested by the BMJ to review a paper but having supported it as throwing light on the uselessness of statinizing the 85+ year-olds it was rejected on technical/study design. But l support your view of the value of involving patients in the process.

      Reply
  26. John L

    I too am outraged, but mine is mostly directed at the media.
    I also heard about the mass shooting in Oregon this morning and the huge scandal surrounding the VW emissions trick, these killed 10 and 0 people respectively, and made the headlines across America. There are calls for sweeping gun control laws (as always) and VW’s CEO resigns.
    But with this purposely faked study, the media is quite mild. No headlines, no count of deaths, no calls for CEOs to resign and no jail time.
    You have to really search for the mention of it.
    Sigh!
    John.

    Reply
    1. Kay

      John, I agree with you about the media. I’ve sometimes wondered how many lives could be saved if news of these public shootings were restricted to an inner page of a newspaper, with no TV sensationalism. Not reality, I know. But I’m guessing it would make a difference.

      Reply
  27. robert lipp

    VW is poor mechanical performance: this is medication (and death) = no comparison. Also rumour VW is a potential fine $18bn vs this fine for death of $3bn = no comparison.

    Reply
    1. Stephen

      Robert, the VW story isn’t about poor performance, it’s about fraudulently fixing the result for commercial reasons. That’s the same thing GSK did.

      Reply
  28. anglosvizzera

    Two weeks ago I attended a conference organised by the CEP (Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry) called ‘More Harm than Good: Confronting the Psychiatric Medication Epidemic’ which featured many high-level speakers who covered various topics related to this subject. The whole thing was recorded and I highly recommend anyone watching the whole thing if possible, although you can select talks by whichever speaker or topic interests you:

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8eIK8kuf7tht1gV1HApH0g

    The CEP’s website is here – http://cepuk.org/

    “CEP exists to communicate evidence of the potentially harmful effects of psychiatric drugs to the people and institutions in the UK that can make a difference. The scientific record clearly shows that psychiatric medications, portrayed as safe and effective by areas of the medical profession, often lead to worse outcomes for many patients, particularly when taken long term. Our members include psychiatrists, academics, withdrawal support charities and others who are concerned about the prevalence of the ‘medical model’ and the increasing numbers of prescriptions for psychiatric drugs being given to both adults and children.

    We believe that current practices would change if policymakers and medical practitioners became aware of both the latest research and of the extent of this harm. Starting with various Unrecognised Facts, we seek to provide three layers of evidence: the opinion of doctors, practitioners, and academics; the stories of those who have suffered harm as a consequence of their treatment; and lastly summaries of the latest research, where it exists.”

    Reply
    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      anglovizzera,

      I wish I could have attended the conference myself. My favourite Robert Whitaker gave a talk but which I now could watch on YouTube. He summarise the drug situation excellently for a layperson like me.

      Reply
  29. Stephen

    The BMJ review of study 329 is a great peace of work that’s taken years to overcome all the obstacles. We should all be grateful to the people who did this work.

    However, I wonder how many drugs are being prescribed today on similarly thin or non-existent evidence? Statins? Blood-pressure medication? Insulin and metformin instead of a low-carb diet?

    Reply
  30. Dr Robin Willcourt

    Malcolm, us usual, right on the nail. In Australia the situtation is the same. Our TGA, the regulator of drugs, does not have warnings and DID NOT warn doctors about the serious adverse effects of Risperidone in the elderly or the young. This stuff is medical ‘candy’ in Australia yet like paroxetine it is lethal. In the US there have been Black Box warnings for years but Jand J got away without issuing those warnings in Australia and the TGA seemed to have let it slip by: and have encouraged the wide-spread use of Risperidone for way too many off label conditions, despite the off-label Black Box warnings issued in the US. I was just one of many signatories to a letter to the TGA pointing this out and in days a warning was issued to doctors BUT not ONE notification on the TGA website for the public– so—

    The TGA is thought to be one of the toughest standards organizations inthe world but in reality it just says no to anyone who can’t cough up the exhorbitant fees it charges to license a drug and keep it currently registered. This is not the strict organization people think it is. It is lazy and greedy!
    Our Eminences are everywhere, in the press, on TV all yapping the pack noise of Big Food and Big Pharma. It is an emabarrassment to be in the modern medical profession in Australia.

    Reply
  31. mikecawdery

    Dr Kendrick,

    Once again you have raised an issue of great importance that requires maximum publicity. The ensuing comments generally show massive support for you and many raise associated serious issues. It is disgraceful that society and government turn the blind eye to these issues, presumably on the grounds that there is little or no evidence to support any action; presumably too the claim of no evidence is promoted by the guilty, the conflicted medical establishment and Big Pharma.

    I am also glad to see more and more MDs contributing to your blog. My faith in the majority of GPs and working docs and their desire to do a good job in healing continues to grow.

    Reply
    1. PeggySue

      This has all got me thinking back to the latter part of the 80’s, early 90’s, when as an innocent 20-something, I worked in the drug industry, more specifically in the monitoring of clinical trials.

      All I can say was it seemed a VERY lucrative business for doctors to be involved in as the amounts of money paid per patient could be eye watering. Obviously the amount of work varied enormously depending on the indication; many doctors, particularly those working in hospitals, would use the money to fund research etc but for some it was personally very financially rewarding.

      The Europen Medicine Agency didn’t materialise until 1995 and many regulatory/ethics procedures were either in their infancy or non existent. Many of the drugs of today were “born” around this time which now I think about it (with my middle-aged head) is startlingly worrying (paroxetine for example).

      I can recall at least 3 of the GPs I worked with falsified data – one may even have been struck off.

      The “Big Pharma” that everyone hates these days is made up of lots of people like me. I know how I personally felt at the time and I thought I was doing good. Very sobering.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        PeggySue,

        Most of the people working, as you were, are and were doing their job honestly and with integrity, The problem lies far up the chain where data was modified, ignored or deleted to suit the required outcome. Before the 1980s this was largely unknown in my experience. It was the joining of companies to form the conglomerates of today and the appointment of the non-scientific money-making geniuses as the “bosses” whose sole objectives are the “bottom line” and happy shareholders (the big institutional investors) that this perversion of data occurred.

  32. mikecawdery

    Dr Kendrick,

    Today I learnt that the NHS is £2 billion in debt. May be on a new bloog you would like to comment on the contribution of QoF (Quality of Outcome Framework), its cost, value on contribution to the problem of polypharmacy and over prescription of drugs.

    Or may this is matter of another book – a sequel to “Doctoring Data”

    Reply
    1. gillpurple

      Mike,

      NHS and debt. Caroline Price’s article in Pulse on 15th August – “Diabetes drugs ‘now account for tenth of primary care prescribing bill’.”, to the tune of £870 in 2014/15. Linked to QOF.

      Reply
    1. PeggySue

      Very interesting article, thank you Pam.

      In my days as a medical representative (sorry) in the mid-80’s the amount the pharmaceutical company could spend on promotional activities was based on a percentage of profits. I worked for quite a small company so X percent of !!!!!! all was not very much but the reps that worked for the big boys were very popular.

      My popularity didn’t come until I became a clinical trials monitor – the very same surgeries suddenly became very pleased to see me!

      Reply
  33. mikecawdery

    Came across this letter in the PSJ
    > From Mr K. D. Piddington, MRPharmS
    >
    > On reading the Article on the Bribery Bill (PJ, 30 January 2010, p111), I
    > found it somewhat amusing that the US should be so keen to have the law
    > implemented. The irony is that, having lived in the US for 25 years, I
    > have observed that the largest (possibly in the world) assembly of bribery
    > and corruption agents is situated right in the nation’s capital.
    >
    > I draw your attention to Capitol Hill, home of the US government where
    > bribery and corruption is openly carried out among senators and
    > congressmen, but is quasi-legalised by using the term “lobbying”
    >
    > Lobbyists openly use their influence over members of congress using cash,
    > gifts, Super Bowl tickets, etc, to ensure that their aims are pushed
    > through the legislature — a total irony.
    >
    > Keith Piddington Rome, Italy

    Sums up the entire problem. Big Pharma has more “lobbyists” than senators and congressmen in Washington DC

    Reply
  34. John Williams

    It’s a shame that Michael Crichton is no longer with us. I could see him making a great thriller out of some of these stories.

    Reply
    1. Jennifer

      John,
      I am refraining from blogging on this site now as I have told my tale several times over during the last couple of years, and have little further to add. However, I am still very interested in reading the experiences of the near 3,000 followers, and share your view that they read like a terrifying thriller….almost beyond our wildest nightmares.
      In 1965, 50 years ago today, my Mother detested the idea that I was setting out on my career in NHS as a diagnostic radiographer. In 1983 she was even more disappointed that I decided to train as a Registered Nurse. She always wanted me to work in a bank (!), and my other relatives thought I was cut out to work in the Insurance business (!).
      I wish I had followed my own instinct, and concentrated on being a good wife and mother ( oh, how politically incorrect), as it seems that my baby-boomer generation have very little to be proud of regarding integrity in the workplace, and believe me, that is the real nightmare for me.

      Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Thanks Paola
      Nice one
      Gee Whiz – the subjects of this study must be master minds to remember details of their daily diet over a 4 year period. This sort of self reporting is well known to be flawed

      Where was smoking in this analysis? What PUFAs were consumed? What was the Omega6 to Omega3 ratio? What were the real numbers for CHD per year per age group? After 30 years patients starting at 50 would be 80. How does the CHD incidence in this group compare with the general population? and many more queries including conflicts of interests.
      Also this study is HIDDEN – not OPEN ACCESS! How can one believe anything?

      Reply
  35. Spokey

    I’ve been wondering about the outrage for a while.

    My brother got serotonin syndrome and diabetes from prescription psychotropics. He committed suicide later anyway at the age of 24. Fat lot of good those drugs did him.
    My father was on antidepressants and statins, he got dementia a rare early onset type. He died young too. Really not a fan of either of these types of drugs.

    I talked my mother out of statins when she started loosing her memory, she seems normal now. And I talked a b&b landlady out of them too. She was complaining about forgetfulness and muscle pains. I asked her if she was taking statins, she said she was so I suggested they might be the cause of some of her problems. After she came off those, most of her problems went away.

    I like helping people, but I feel an angry sickness that I didn’t know more about these things before the deaths in my family.

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      I ask anyone who mentions muscle or joint pains if they are taking statins! I think I have helped a number of people to get off this poison. In the conversation I also mention the memory problems – but you can’t really ask someone if they are becoming forgetful!

      Reply
  36. Henry Barth

    I note that you give no number, nor even a percentage of those treated, so that we can gauge the magnitude of the problem.
    Was there a statistically significant increase in the number of child and adolescent suicides once paroxetine came into use?

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      You are fully entitled to go an read the paper in the BMJ. The point of the blog was the make the point that pharmaceutical company funded researchers found a product to be safe and effective. Using the same data independent researchers found the drug to be ineffective and dangerous.

      Given that this has never happened before, one is given to wonder what would happen if other studies were exposed to the same scrutiny?

      Reply
  37. Stephen

    Jennifer Elliot is the Australian dietitian sacked for recommending a low carb diet to diabetics, although the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) now deny that. I sent a letter on Elliot’s behalf and got the sort of standard reply one might expect. There was no meaningful comment on the paper on carbohydrate restriction for diabetics that I forwarded (Feinman and Pogozelski et al.) or the Credit Suisse report.

    The following is part of their response:

    “According to Diabetes Australia, very low carbohydrate diets are not recommended for people with diabetes. The organization states: ‘If you eat regular meals and spread your carbohydrate foods evenly throughout the day, you will help maintain your energy levels without causing large rises in your blood glucose levels’ (Diabetes Australia website, 2015). Diabetes Australia recommends people with diabetes eat moderate amounts of carbohydrate and include high-fibre foods that also have a low glycaemic index (GI). . . .
    People with diabetes may also be misled by the idea of replacing some carbohydrates with foods high in saturated fat – however, research shows this can actually increase insulin resistance2.

    Foods high in saturated fat include:
    • Many biscuits, cakes, pastries, pies, processed meats, commercial burgers, pizza, fried foods, potato chips, crisps and other savoury snacks
    • Butter, cream, cooking margarine, coconut and palm oil.

    The Australian Dietary Guidelines have been designed for healthy populations and suggest people have from 45%, and up to 65%, of their total energy intake from carbohydrate foods.
    Consistent evidence indicates that in general, dietary patterns higher in plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and lower in animal-based foods are more beneficial for overall health. This type of diet also has a lower impact on the environment and is therefore more environmentally sustainable as a recommendation for the population.”

    Isn’t it strange that when they talk about saturated fat it is in the context of biscuits, cakes, pastries, pizza and potato chips? Eggs, meat, milk and cheese don’t get a mention, except that meat is clearly bad. And butter somehow belongs in the same category as ‘cooking margarine’.

    The disproportionate influence of vegetarians is again evinced. Australians should clearly get rid of all those sheep farms in the arid outback and have a go at growing ‘healthy whole grains’. I wonder how sustainable that would be?

    As for diabetics, no discouragement at all from eating carbohydrates, but a warning that saturated fat can increase insulin resistance.

    The sad thing is that Australia has slavishly copied every mistake we’ve made and are inching, ever-so-slowly, away from. At some point in the future, I suspect they’ll be the last bastion of the low-fat diet.

    I replied briefly saying that Australians, like people in UK and US, would continue to get fatter and sicker and that the DAA was part of the problem.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      I have had the same type of response from the UK NICE organization. They simply ignore the “black swan” research reports that are contrary to their “faith and beliefs”. Study 329 is simply the tiniest tip of a huge iceberg of independent, non-conflicted research. It reflects the totally closed minds of the leaders of the medical establishment (their status and “honours” are dependent on it).

      May I recommend the following youtube presentations. Well worth watching, particularly Dr David Diamond and Dr Thomas Seyfried.

      Where is the outrage and anger at this type of dangerous disinformation? It seems to be non-existence!

      Reply
  38. anonymous

    I was on paroxetine when I was 20. Didn’t help at all.
    I’ve been told recently that this was the best “we could do then”. It’s as if they were trying to convince me that this drug only became bad now, because now everybody knows. I knew it was bad while I was taking it. Doctors knew it was bad, because they saw how their patients complained, but they chose to look the other way. Shame on them. There are not enough prisons in this world to punish these people, and anyone else who is complicated in this. The pain they have caused, and the physical damage they have caused is incalculable.

    Reply
      1. anonymous

        It is so huge that it will never be acknowledged.
        How many people have started using this drug this week?

      2. Jennifer

        The number of folks being prescribed the drug this week will be around the same as those who answer ‘yes’ to the question, ‘are you depressed?’ when attending the countless monitoring clinics now operating under the guise of ‘preventative medicine’. How the hell do we know if we are depressed….surely it is a clinical condition, requiring objective diagnostic tests.
        . Now if the question were to be” are you sad?” , then we would be better able to answer appropriately, because our answer can only be subjective. The two words have become too interlinked, and so a sense of intentional confusion prevails.
        Of course the treatment for ‘sadness’ is non-medical, (being due to a) lack of money, b) lack of friends, c) no occupation, d) poor housing, or e) any other social ills we care to think of), and thus of no interest to Big Pharma. Whereas by responding ‘yes’ to depression allows the prescriber to get the unsupecting victim hooked onto the never-ending cycle of lucrative toxins. Now who decides which way to word the question, I wonder?
        As I keep saying…”ching ching”…. the be-all and end-all of much medical practice these days.
        Why has a proportion of the medical world allowed itself to become embroiled in such deception?
        And yet…….there are so many honest and decent workers in our National Health Service here in UK….I certainly do not want to tar everyone with the same brush.

      3. joanne mccormack

        Hi Jennifer
        Luckily, I think the situation is not quite as bad as you describe. I am writing this to reassure you and any readers who may be faced with a choice if they are identified as being depressed. Remember you have a choice as to whether you take an antidepressant or not, and that there are other ways of treating your depression- Mindfulness, CBT, and other ways of dealing with life’s problems- CAB, Relate, hypnotherapy.
        I would say that I prescribe medication as little as possible to the people who I diagnose with depression/anxiety, and only if they actively choose to do that. Many of them will go away and change their minds having read the side effect profile and do other things to help their depression/anxiety. In my time as a partner in general practice we had a hypnotherapist, a CAB adviser, and a well being mentor who were all helpful in their own ways. I have recently visited a practice where they had a full time mental health nurse available for CBT. As you say there are many factors for low mood, and no antidepressant is going to cure a lack of friends, or unemployment.
        Joanne

  39. Pingback: Estudio 329: los muertos en la cuneta de la industria farmacéutica - nogracias.eunogracias.eu

    1. mikecawdery

      There is no limit to corporate crime. The banks, BigPharma, the USDA, the FDA, the NHBLI, the AHA, and now the motor industry, general corporate lobbying, TTIP. and all supported by politicians supposedly “democratically” elected but bough and paid for by Big Business.

      Reply
    2. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      I just noted that a quarter of a million people took to the streets in Berlin on Saturday to protest the TTIP.

      This public outcry has as far as I am aware of not even been mentioned in the main stream news, at least in Sweden. I didn’t even know that that any demonstration against the TTIP was to take place.

      Is this public silence a part of the corporate corruption of our democracy?

      Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Kay

      Many thanks.for the link.
      The figure at the end shows the REAL value of most “drugs” 92.35% pretty useless

      Table of New Drugs 2002-2011
      No %age
      2 0.20 Breakthru’
      13 1.30 real advance
      61 6.14 Some advantage
      918 92.35 Little or no benefit
      ____________________________
      994 total new drugs

      Reply
      1. Kay

        Thank you, Gören, for posting Dr. Whitaker’s video on psych drugs.

        Early in the video, Whitaker quoted from Edward Shorter, A History of Psychiatry: “The introduction of chlorpromazine into asylum medicine in 1955 “initiated a revolution in psychiatry, comparable to the introduction of penicillin in general medicine.”

        Whitaker continues, “We’re told [by Shorter] that this is what made it possible for us to empty the mental hospitals, and for seriously mentally ill people to live in the community, and live fairly normal lives. ”

        Sounds like drug hype to me.

        In reality,–

        — a fair number of the hundreds of thousands of patients in mental hospitals across the land and around the world were not schizophrenics. Treating them with antipsychotic drugs would have been inappropriate and probably had no good effect.

        — many of the schizophrenics in the hospitals — even on heavy doses of chlorpromazine — were in no shape to go out and live in the community.

        — many of the patients had been institutionalized for decades — thirty years or more — and had no skills to live outside, regardless of their mental health status.

        — much of the driving force for closing the hospitals came from politics and money, with some input from civil liberties activists. For one thing, the buildings at many of the hospitals were old, and much in need of repair or replacement. Vacating the buildings was an attractive option — something that seemed reasonable, since it was understood that there were now drugs to make people well enough to live outside the hospital.

        — many of the promised community resources and living places for former psych hospital patients never materialized.

        — hospital staff, under pressure of deinstitutionalising schedules, were sometimes forced to place patients wherever they could. Many patients ended up in nursing homes, where they made life difficult for the elderly residents.

        — when the mental hospitals were finally emptied out, many mentally ill persons had died, many were homeless, many ended up in jails and prisons.

        It’s all been a long time ago now. I’m sure some patients did recover enough on the drugs to return to normal life in the community. My impression is that they were the minority.

        Since mental patients can now, by law, only be hospitalized for very short times, the “revolving door” is a reality for many: have a crisis, be hospitalized for a short time, get patched up with drugs, go back out.

    1. mikecawdery

      |Adrian Many thanks for the URL

      I left the my message below on their website. I wish everyone else would do the same

      Reply
  40. mikecawdery

    Regarding Study 329 Where is the outrage
    Comments in the BMJ raise the issue of institutional responsibility Keller MB, Ryan ND, Strober M, et al. Efficacy of paroxetine in the treatment of adolescent major depression: a randomized, controlled trial.
    J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2001;40:762-72.

    CONCLUSIONS from this study:
    Paroxetine is generally WELL TOLERATED AND EFFECTIVE for major depression in adolescents.

    A point raised in the rapid responses
    Paroxetine trial reanalysis raises questions about institutional responsibility

    http://www.bmj.com/content/351/bmj.h4629/rapid-responses

    This in turn questions the actions of the EMA, MHRA, NICE and the UK DoH.

    Have any of these institutions fined GSK (the fine of course is ultimately paid by taxpayers or insurance payers – a commercial cost)? Of course not!

    Have any of the authors or ghostwriters been prosecuted for this fabrication? Of course not!

    Has the UK Government done anything to compensate those damaged by this drug? Of course not!. Indeed, as I understand it the Government has made it more difficult by removing medical injuries from legal aid.

    In general all the top Pharma companies in the US have been fined hundred of millions (some billions) of dollars, ultimately paid by patients as a “business cost” but not one person has been prosecuted! By contrast, despite the same practices/corruption being extant in the UK, absolutely nothing has happened – no fine, no prosecution, nothing.

    Just as Prof Peter Gotzsche has shown in his book “Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime” but in reality the institutions setup to protect the public have connived at the corruption.

    Indeed Study 329 Where is the outrage Where indeed! Only platitudes from the medical establishment.

    Reply
  41. Dr. Terry Lynch

    A minority of us medics have been outraged by such lies and deception in mental health for many years now Malcolm. Within the powerful church/belief system that is psychiatry and the medical profession, we are considered heretics and treated as such.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Terry,

      This is exactly my own view as an outsider on the medical establishment, especially the psychiatric part of it, and this is also the reason why I so strongly admire people like you and Malcolm who dare to take a scientific stance and turn yourself into heretics.

      Reply
      1. drterrylynch123

        Thank you Goran, yes I have found considerable resistance within my profession to direct questioning. Prioritising self-interest over public wellbeing is unfortunately a theme that surfaces regularly within the mental health arm of the medical profession.

    2. joanne mccormack

      Hi Terry
      I am not so sure we are considered heretics any more, but our voice is small. I have had no censure for my practice even though I have worked in 7 places, and counting. Where I can, and patients are in agreement, I utilize any of Mindfulness, hypnotherapy and/or real food diets as an alternative to drugs. My website has not been slated, and I am still in demand as a locum GP. Maybe it is because there are not enough GPs around, maybe not, but I am getting more support than negativity.
      Joanne
      http://www.healthylivingsite.me
      I have added 4 resources to a cholesterol resource page – it would take weeks to read through them all but only an hour each for the two YouTube clips.

      Reply
      1. drterrylynch123

        Thank you Joanne, I am glad your experiences have been positive. My experiences may have been somewhat different as I have directly and publicly challenged the fundamentals of psychiatry in Ireland and internationally. Others who have done this at that level (eg Michael Corry, Peter Breggin) have, I believe, had similar experiences. Not that it bothers me. And I do what I can to protect myself, successfully so far.

      2. Joanne McCormack

        Hi Terry
        I admire your courage. You can tell I quietly get on under the radar but you are doing something much bolder and braver. I’ll look up the other guys you mention. Last week I was invited to join the Physicians and Ancestral Health group, which I am told is an international group based in the US and a psychiatrist Ann Childers from the group emailed me. Just wondering if you have heard of them or are already a member?
        Joanne

      3. drterrylynch123

        Hi Joanne, what you are doing is very important. Great that you are bringing a broader understanding to your work and patients. I havent heard of that group, sounds interesting.

  42. Stephen

    Joanne, is it easier to be independent as a locum? I get the feeling my doctor disagrees with quite a lot, but doesn’t feel she can publicly say so. She told me that NICE guidelines meant she had to recommend me blood-pressure medication, but she seemed quite happy when I refused them.

    Reply
    1. joanne mccormack

      Stephen
      I just was notified of this comment. It is probably easier to be independent as a locum. You have less peer pressure. However, GPs can be very independent minded people, even within partnerships. They can see the complexities and the contradictions within the advice from bodies such as NICE, and they can help people see the range of options before them. There is always a paragraph about lifestyle rather than drugs, which some gloss over. There is always the paragraph about individual choice.

      Reply
  43. Tabitca Cope

    I am sadly not surprised, I am a retired academic ,I was given a new inhaler last year because it was more cost effective. It made me so ill I could barely stand. So I did what I do best and started doing some research. I got a copy of the original research papers and details of all tests done. Some people had died on the trials but because they were already ill ,no post postmortems took place. I then discovered the FDA in the USA had said they expected more deaths as being a new drug there had been no long term trials.What did NICE say ? Nothing.
    It seems every new drug is pushed at patients without adequate research or investigation and when you bring problems to the attention of the regulatory bodies it is ignored. What is worse about the blog post above was that it was young people suffering, the very ones that should be protected. If I had died as a result of the new drug, I am older, have lived my life so not such a loss, For it to happen to those who still have their lives to live is a scandal.

    Reply
  44. sjburden

    I am reticent to suggest this idea, but one thing that could be done is abolish the Corporate legal form. It is a creation of the state (usually via a legislative decision), and has two unique characteristics: immortality and individual legal immunity. The abolition of the corporation would reintroduce legal liability to the owners (stockholders) and officers.

    As a state creation, it is a natural conduit for corporatism (the collusion of states and corporations to exploit the consumer.)

    Only individuals can make decisions/choices–groups/collectives cannot. An individual can be held legally responsible, and punished for their individual choices. The worst that can happen in a group context is that it can be fined or in some other way sanctioned. We as a society are reticent to punish stockholders and corporate officers in unrelated areas for good reasons.

    In a limited partnership type of structure, everyone is on notice that they can be help personally responsible. But if civil or criminal charges can be brought against individuals within an organization for the decisions they are part of, all of a sudden, ethical behavior will become the rule, not the exception.

    There are numerous minor variations on the current corporate concept which could still work in our current global environment such as a modified version of the common/preferred stock paradigm. Common stock holders would be exempt from legal liability, whilst preferred stockholders would not–and thus would receive better returns and priority–just as in the current paradigm.

    Individual liability is the only answer to our current dilemma of lawless corporate exploitation with direct government collusion.

    Reply
      1. jack

        Joanne, what do you recommend for high BP. on meds but would like to come off these. Do you agree BP meds are not very good for you.

      2. Joanne McCormack

        Hi Jack
        I strongly recommend people stay on BP medications till their BP is well under control (in the opinion of their doctor) and then their BP medications are gradually withdrawn under supervision of their medical practitioner.
        It is wonderful if a BP can become normal through holistic methods but sometimes they are not enough.
        Joanne McCormack

      3. ann

        What holistic methods would you recommend. Do you think the bp meds affect the kidneys and liver. I would rather not take them.

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