One of Ireland’s ‘Mental Health Charities’ which has a long association with Lundbeck is ‘Aware’. As I said in my last post, why would a mental health charity associate itself with a pharmaceutical company that make antidepressants, which (by their own admission) can cause a person to enact suicide. Major conflict of interest, I think.
Dr Harry Barry is a board member of Aware and is a medical doctor based in County Louth. According to the synopsis of his book here, “he has a particular interest in the area of mental health and has extensive experience in his practice of dealing with issues such as depression, addiction and anxiety. He regularly features on national radio and in national print to discuss mental health issues, including Today FM and The Irish Independent.”
In one of these Irish Independent articles, Dr Barry makes this statement, supporting Lundbeck’s Lexapro, he said “Common anti-depressants in 1990s were Prozac, he says. Now Lexapro, which he describes as a more modern and powerful form of Prozac, is more commonly prescribed.” That sure is a good enticement for someone to try Lexapro. The only problem I have with Harry’s statement is that it is wrong.
Considering I’m not a medical professional, I asked Professor David Healy, who is probably the best person in the world to ask about Ssri’s, what he thought about Dr. Barry’s statement. He said, and I quote “This is wrong on a few fronts, citalopram – same as lexapro – was first made before prozac. Citalopram/Lexapro is not more powerful and may even be weaker than Prozac”.
At the launch of Lundbeck’s Mental Health Barometer, Dr Barry says ““When you take anti-depressants, they work from the bottom of the brain up. When you engage in talk therapy, it works from the front of the brain down. However, the studies have shown that when you use the two approaches together, the results are more effective and quicker to get a result.” I thought this was codswallop, so I asked Professor Healy what he thought about the latter statement; He said one word: baloney.
Some questions need to be asked. If the Irish public are getting their Information from the National papers, surely on such important issues, the relevant information should be based on scientific fact?