I'm not or never have been an academic. I have no qualifications. I only go on my research and personal experience with Seroxat/Paxil.
During this exchange of emails I became aware that the whole risk/benefit regarding SSRi's is so blindingly obvious to regulators and pharmaceutical companies. They have known for years that the benefits do not outweigh the risks. They have merely been keeping quiet about it. When someone does question their thinking behind the risk/benefit ratio a plan kicks into action. We get pharma spokespersons running off at the mouth with the same line,"Seroxat has benefited millions of people world-wide" springs to mind here - a line constantly thrown out by Spokespersons from GlaxoSmithKline when Seroxat has come under pressure from the mainstream media. They can't, however, back this claim up, but they have a history of not being able to back certain claims, don't they?
To my knowledge GlaxoSmithKline have never been hauled over the coals for their initial promoting of Seroxat. They used the chemical imbalance line during the early years of Seroxat's promotion - that's how they sold the use of Seroxat to the doctor's you, I and our children visit when we feel things are getting on top of us.
We now know that serotonin cannot be measured, we now know that the chemical imbalance theory was just that - a theory. This theory has been blown out of the water - Glaxo have since altered the wording around this chemical imbalance nonsense but, to my knowledge, have never been prosecuted for fraudulently promoting a product. I'm right to suggest it was fraudulent promotion aren't I?
Then we have the UK Medicine regulator - the MHRA. For years they lived in their own clandestine world - an almost masonic world where outsiders were seen as peasants who didn't deserve explanations as to why certain drugs were granted a license. In recent years, and it has to be said, since the whole Seroxat debacle unfolded, the MHRA have tried to be more transparent to us peasants. The thalidomide horror highlighted the need for better regulation back in the days when the MHRA were called the MCA. I don't think it was a coincidence that they wished to disassociate themselves from that particular nightmare - they needed to gain public trust - what better way than a complete name change? A couple of builders, Bodgeit & Scarper, had their reputation tarnished when they built a conservatory that collapsed on its owners. Much of their patio laying work was also criticized as being shoddy at best. What do Bodgeit & Scarper do? They change their name and along with the name change goes the poor reputation. MCA/MHRA - comparisons anyone?
So here we have the two main bodies in GlaxoSmithKline and the MHRA that hold the key to you, I and our children's safety. Glaxo are just being as stubborn as the next pharmaceutical company - they throw money at class-action lawsuits and stifle the litigants with gagging orders. Ultimately, these class action lawsuits are settled with no admission of liability [except in the case of Tobin v SmithKline]
The Tobin v SmithKline case sent a huge shock-wave through GlaxoSmithKline. Their highly paid law team thought it was a case they could defend so they took it the whole distance - they lost and ever since have been settling Paxil lawsuits out of court in America. They can't afford more documents scattered across the Internet and splashed across the mainstream media can they?
So, what of the MHRA's role, surely alarm bells rang when they heard of the Tobin victory against SmithKline? As a regulator surely they must have, at the very least, thought 'Hey, this drug seems to be problematic, I think we should have a recall.' Alas, they didn't and today millions of people who apparently benefit from Seroxat are, in the main, largely unaware that there are hundreds of reported risks to taking this SSRi. Anecdotal reports are not taken on board by the UK regulator, they prefer their own reporting system - The Yellow Card System - which is basically an 'official' anecdotal reporting system of adverse drug reactions [ADR's] - Once again, the peasants [you and I] have to play by their rules.
Is there any product, be it pharmaceutical or otherwise, currently still on the market that has received as much bad press as Seroxat? Is there any such product, that is robustly defended by its manufacturer as being safe, that still remains on the market? I cannot think of one? Before the Glaxo whores start shouting, "What about other SSRi's?" - Yes, I'm fully aware that this is not just about Seroxat, I am fully aware that this is a whole class issue, I'm fully aware that GlaxoSmithKline are not the only pharmaceutical company who manufacture and market guns with a chamber of 6 bullets - where only one is live ammunition.
I have become fed-up of hearing my own voice, one hears one's voice when constructing an article of this nature. Will we ever see change? Will the current Seroxat Group Action against GlaxoSmithKline be yet another one that is settled with the obligatory restraints? When will the MHRA start using its apparent influence to help those it promises to protect, the peasants?
As a 45 year old British citizen I have watched through the years how the American culture eventually hits our streets: Rock N' Roll, McDonalds, Coca Cola, Skateboarding, et al have all had an impact on British culture - the current trend seems to be that of British youth talking in an accent that is familiar in the Bronx. I hope I am wrong when I say that the next big culture to be imported will be the SSRi and non SSRi culture that currently has a hold on American children where teachers have now become overnight psychiatrists who diagnose pupils with ADHD because they were a little boisterous in the classroom. It will eventually spread to our shores folks, make no bones about it. It does not matter that SSRi's have been banned in the use of minors in this country, they are still prescribed 'off-label' because we have no regulatory body that can tell doctor's that what they are doing is wrong. Watch out for Pharma executives teaming with Ofsted, it's happened already last year with the appointment of Glaxo's, Paul Blackburn to Ofsted's board. Such a stink was spotted by many bloggers and advocates that they complained and wrote about it until their fingers bled. Blackburn resigned but there will be another along shortly just like there will be more ex-pharma employees who join the MHRA when the current crop decide to retire. It's domination of the highest order, it's keeping the peasants in their place but more importantly it's controlling the children.
Let children experience life, let them experience what it feels like to mourn the death of a brother, a sister, a parent, a dog. By removing feelings pharmaceutical drugs [SSRi's] are depersonalizing young human beings. Can you imagine when today's children grow up and raise their own families? Can you imagine the advice they will give to their children when they are feeling a little dejected? "Here son, take one of these, you will never have to experience what billions of people before you have experienced."
It's part of life but a part that pharma want to take away. It's a chemical lobotomy designed to keep the peasants in check and to line the pockets of the greedy.
Dr Alastair Benbow, Glaxo's Head of European Clinical Psychiatry,once said on national TV:
"...If you imagine a school of more than a thousand children, all of whom are deeply troubled by depression. Less than a small class size would have these suicidal thoughts or attempts"- this after his employer's, GlaxoSmithKline, had learned that Seroxat could indeed cause suicide ideation in children that took it!