Newspaper and internet articles, Random

How many ‘Doctor Drews’ are there and is ITV biased?

My opinion that Irish KOPs (Key Opinion Leaders) within the medical field are being corrupted by Pharmaceutical money, is no secret. I do not see how any person who is on a Pharmaceutical company’s payroll, can give the public unbiased ‘medication’ advice in the media! I wonder which Irish ‘medical professionals’ will be exposed when this country eventually catches up with full-disclosure?

The latest ‘doctor’ to be caught, albeit not in Ireland, is Dr. Drew Pinsky. He was exposed as part of the fall-out with GSK’s 3 Billion dollar fine. It’s interesting that GSK didn’t seem to have any problem hanging this guy out to dry.

 The Wall Street Journal had this to say about Dr Pinsky:

In June 1999, popular radio personality Dr. Drew Pinsky used the airwaves to extol the virtues of GlaxoSmithKline PLC’s antidepressant Wellbutrin, telling listeners he prescribes it and other medications to depressed patients because it “may enhance or at least not suppress sexual arousal” as much as other antidepressants do. But one thing listeners didn’t know was that, two months before the program aired, Dr. Pinsky—who gained fame as “Dr. Drew” during years co-hosting a popular radio sex-advice show “Loveline”—received the second of two payments from Glaxo totaling $275,000 for “services for Wellbutrin.”

This reminded me of an e-mail I had sent to ITV’s ‘ThisMorning’ show last year. I had e-mailed the show regarding a segment they did on a man with depression that day. The ITV doctor spoke of antidepressants and how the drugs can be of great benefit. I remember waiting for him to include something about the dangers and that the drugs can also have terrible side-effects, including suicide, aggression and extreme personality changes. I was left waiting! I’m not accusing the ITV doctor of receiving Pharma money, BUT, I AM saying that ITV should be giving both sides of the story. Why would ITV allow such a unilateral approach on these dangerous drugs to be delivered to the public? The e-Mails I sent and received in reply sums it up. In another lifetime I would have found it funny…




Hi there,

I have just listened to the discussion on depression and while anti-depressants can and do work for some people, extreme caution has to be advised due to the very serious side-effects associated with these drugs. My 22 year old son killed himself and another young man while on cipramil (celexa) for 17 days. He never had a violent bone in his body. There are plenty of warnings out there about these drugs and as long as patients and their parents and/or caregivers are informed about these possible side effects, then they can make their own informed choice.

Professor David Healy of Cardiff university has done a lot of work on this issue and has written about suicide/homicide associated with these drugs!

I think people should be made aware that they don’t work for everyone and can have a complete opposite effect of a “happy pill”.

Kind Regards,

Leonie Fennell


Reply from ThisMorning show:

Mendez, Jackie


to me

Thank you for your email.  Please let us know if you require helplines.

Kind Regards, VIewers Enquiries

Jackie Mendez | Phone-in manager | ITV Studios | ITV plc

Tel: 0207 157 5830  |

ITV plc Head Office Tel +44 (0) 20 7157 3000

Please consider the environment before printing this email





Hi Jackie,

Thanks for the offer of the helpline numbers, my son is dead so it’s a bit too late for me though!

I would much rather see a slot on your show dedicated to the serious side effects of these drugs. I get seriously worried for people when I see a piece like todays because despite the fact that the medication worked for that guy, there was no spokesperson for the other argument. I have of course seen the panorama programme but I hadn’t even heard of it before Shane died.

It’s partly the reason that I sent my son to the doctor to get an anti-depressant because I had seen programmes like that and was sure that medication would give him a boost and had never heard or seen anything to do with side effects of suicide/violence.

There are numerous warnings of suicide/violence including coming from the E.U, a blackbox warning in the U.S, warnings of self harm and harm to others and also an anti-depressant effexor with “homicidal ideation” listed on the patient information leaflet.

The Commission of the European Communities issued a warning against child antidepressant use, stating the drugs can cause suicidal behavior including suicide attempts and suicidal ideation, aggression, hostility (predominantly aggression, oppositional behavior and anger) and/or related behavior and for which the age has been upped to include 18-25 year olds.

As I said Professor David Healy can give the medical facts if you’re interested. He was the “Expert witness” at my son’s Inquest in Ireland and the jury returned an open verdict because of the medication in his system (despite the fact there could be no doubt that he actually killed himself).

I would be extremely worried that someone would see your show and think that it’s a good idea to medicate their child, husband ect;

Kind regards,


2 thoughts on “How many ‘Doctor Drews’ are there and is ITV biased?”

  1. Leonie- I sent a letter to VH1 (US) where Dr. Drew has a television show- he does a rehab show with old B and Z listers who want to bring back their careers and are addicted to various drugs (Legal and illegal) or alcohol. It’s the saddest show you can imagine – former boy band heart throbs and child actors coming off drugs in a beautiful Southern California hospital, and you hear them vomiting off camera, shaking off camera from withdrawal, it’s horrible.

    Anyway, I sent the letter to VH1 and said it was bad that they were making money off Dr. Drew and his Z list, and in future they should really check their hosts’ background like they were forced to do several years ago, when they went through a reality TV dating show where the winner ended up murdering his girlfriend after the show taped, in a most horrific murder that captured headlines in both the US and Canada.

    I never got anything back from them other than an email stating that they received the first email and due to the large amount of email they get they don’t usually respond to every email.

    Yes, Dr. Drew did a horrible thing and that should be noted. It’s just a shame that hardly anyone cares, or worse, sees anything really bad in his actions.


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