Newspaper and internet articles

Is Minister Kathleen Lynch responsible for two more deaths?

Trust me Does Kathleen Lynch’s inaction make her partly responsible for the recent deaths of John Deegan and Deirdre Keenan?

This week the Irish Independent reported that John Deegan, a 53 year old farmer had shot and killed himself and his 51 year old partner Deidre Keegan. Both families are said to be ‘very shocked by what had happened’. It seems that this is another Irish case of murder/suicide, one in a long list of awful tragedies, and happening with increasing regularity.

Today the Independent reported that Mr Deegan had been suffering from depression and more importantly: “It is understood that Mr Deegan had been on medication prescribed by a doctor during the past couple of months.” The experts will say that incidents like this are enormously complex and that no-one knows the complexities or intent behind the perpetrator’s reasoning. What the experts won’t say is that these drugs can cause suicide, homicide, aggression, mania and akathisia (a known precursor to suicide and/or homicide). The dangerous period is upon starting, discontinuing and changing dosage (up or down). These are adverse effects of prescription drugs which are not widely known but the truth is, Minister Lynch, the person with responsibility for mental health, does know. She is well aware of the side-effects of prescription drugs.

The facts: Two experts met with Minister Lynch in Leinster House last May. Professor David Healy told Minister Lynch that SSRIs were causing people to kill themselves and kill others. He said that drug induced death ‘is the leading cause of death Minister Kathleen Lynch. Picture courtesy of Irish Election Literaturewithin the mental health field‘. Declan Gilsenan, assistant State Pathologist for over 30 years, told her of his ‘intuition’ that SSRI’s are causing suicides and that more people have died by suicide as a direct result of seeking help, than those who didn’t. He said in his 30-year experience carrying out post-mortems, he had seen way too many suicides of people who had just started on SSRI antidepressants. So you would think that Minister Lynch would have acted immediately in order to stop any more unnecessary deaths; nope, it doesn’t seem so! Despite both experts offering their services to stop the rising deaths, nothing has been done. It seems that upsetting psychiatry’s ‘medical model’ or pharma’s ‘apple cart’ isn’t an option.

Another issue is whether Mr Deegan was monitored when first prescribed these drugs. Was he warned of the risks/side-effects of SSRI’s in advance of prescription? These are two simple recommendations, among others, set down by the Irish Commission of Human Rights last year.

Co-incidentally, a few days before this latest tragedy happened, Prof Healy published this blog: Prescription-only Homicide and Violence. He also did a report for Shane’s Inquest which might be of interest, here. The Irish Government cannot cry foul at this stage, or say they were not aware, as the information below proves otherwise:

The Dáil; Here

The Seanad (Senate); Here

Leinster House; Here

IHRC RecommendationsHere

As for Kathleen Lynch, James Reilly and the latest Irish Government: In my opinion they are putting the pharmaceutical industry’s interests before the interests of the people they purport to serve.

.

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/killers-mental-health-clue-in-murder-of-mother-of-six-29096796.html

https://leoniefennell.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/eli-lilly-and-the-irish-government/

https://leoniefennell.wordpress.com/2012/12/23/was-minister-mcentee-let-down-by-the-government-he-loyally-served/

cipramil (celexa) stories,, lundbeck, Newspaper and internet articles, Our story., psychiatry, Shanes story.

Academic Integrity in Ireland and the UK; Is there any such thing?

Shane and the lads.“I grew up in Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s, a period when Catholic censorship meant that work by Joyce, Beckett, Kiely, Broderick, McGahern, O’Brien, Dunne, Moore and many others were banned in Ireland because they tackled sexual issues. But it is a moot point as to whether that censorship was any more draconian than the current censorship. Having prided ourselves on finally overcoming Catholic, Nazi, McCarthyite or Soviet censorship, we perhaps think this could never happen again. We fail to see what is happening and to call it what it is.

 The above paragraph comes from a book called ‘Universities at Risk: How Politics, Special Interests and Corporatization Threaten Academic Integrity’. This particular section was written by Prof David Healy.

Does anyone believe that anything has changed in Ireland since Prof Healy grew up in the 50s and 60s? I believe it’s actually a lot worse; as back then it was blatant, unapologetic censorship. Now it’s not as obvious but infinitely more corrupt. The question is not which academics are paid by ‘industry’ but ‘which academics are not?’ Conflicts of interests are intrinsic within Ireland and the Uk’s medical field: from the initial training that medics receive which are sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry, all the way to the Irish Medicine’s Board being almost fully funded by the pharmaceutical industry. Then there is depression websites which partner themselves with pharma companies, for example: Aware and Lundbeck. Okay, so a mental health ‘charity’ allows itself to partner a drug company which make drugs which can cause suicide? A person feeling suicidal then looks for help from a group which partner the drug company which make the drug which caused the suicide ideation in the first place. Bizarre is one word I would use. What about Brainwave (the Irish Epilepsy association) accepting funding from UCB (a drug company which make anti-seizure drugs)? A person only has to listen to the late John McCarty to know how wrong this actually is; “She was four and bold.” What about the recent lobbying of Enda Kenny and the Irish Government by industry? Just how cosy is this relationship? The Irish Times reported on the Government’s (now retracted) decision not to approved payment for new drugs: “new documents released by the Government show that Mr Kenny received strong representations on the cuts by leading pharmaceutical companies.” The tail wagging the dog, I wonder?

An article last Sunday in the UK Independent is another fine example of a serious ‘conflict of interest’. The article ‘Hooked on happy pills’? How thePower, Politics and pharmaceuticals. media demonises mental health medication’ attempts to convince the reader that antidepressants are quite often negatively portrayed in the media. Even the title wrongly and flippantly refers to these drugs as ‘happy pills’. The author Rachel Whitehead speaks of her experience as an employee of Rethink, a mental health charity. She says “Rethink Mental Illness, is neither ‘for’ or ‘against’ medication, what we’re interested in is people having a choice over their own treatment and finding what works for them.” Well that sounds promising, doesn’t it? What the author doesn’t say is that Rethink has accepted funding from drug companies including Roche and Lundbeck. Roche, you may recall is the manufacturer of Roaccutane, an acne drug, which was estimated to have caused between 300-3000 deaths by suicide or homicide. ‘The goose that laid the Golden Egg’ by Doug Bremner, details Roche’s corruption and intimidation tactics when an Irishman tries to get to the bottom of the role Accutane played in his son’s self-inflicted death. Although Roche withdrew this drug in the US in 2009, it is still available in Ireland. Rethink may want to rethink where it gets its funding, as Lundbeck’s lexapro and Cipramil have also caused numerous deaths by suicide and/or homicide. Then there is the mental health charity ‘Sane’, who also accept Lundbeck’s drug money. Remember Lord Milo, who died by suicide a week after being prescribed Lundbeck’s Cipramil? Marjorie Wallace of Sane even made a statement after Lord Milo’s death, stating “the evidence that emerged in Lord Milo’s inquest raises disturbing questions.” You bet it does Marjorie!  Did Cipramil cause Lord Milo’s suicide?

So why does this bother me today? I’ll tell you why. Today it snowed, beautiful, white, fluffy snow. I’m not really one to feel sorry for myself, waste of time and energy, but today I felt sorry for Shane and his siblings, for how much they were all missing out on. Normally he’d be the first one to make a snowman, delighting in making snow angels and there would be crying and laughter in equal measures after the snowball fights. So something is missing today; Shane.

I could never put into words just how badly I feel he was let down by the different bodies in Ireland. Firstly there are the academic ‘experts’ who argued the case for SSRIs and who, it then transpired, were paid by the same manufacturers. Then there is the Irish Medicine’s Board who said there is sufficient warning on the package inserts here. So the experts deny that SSRIs can cause suicide and violence, yet the IMB say the warnings of suicide and violence are sufficient? Figure that one out! Then there was the expert engaged by the Irish medical council, Prof CJ Cowen, of Oxford University. Prof Cowan, who is also associated with Lundbeck, actually told me that he believes that ‘in some circumstances SSRIs can lead to people behaving violently to themselves and others’. He acknowledged that he didn’t have enough facts in Shane’s case but deferred to Prof Healy’s expertise in ‘these kinds of assessments’. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that the Medical Council never thought to ask him either questions. In Shane’s case there were a number of Professors who involved themselves in the media defense of the drug, namely: Prof Patricia Casey, Prof Timothy Dinan, Prof Michael Gill, Prof Brian Lawlor, Prof James V Lucey, Prof Kevin Malone, Prof David Meagher and Prof Colm McDonald. Then there was the more formal statement from former president of the Irish College of Psychiatry, Justin Brophy, ‘CLARIFICATION ON ANTIDEPRESSANT MEDICATION’. Justin, who works in Newcastle Hospital, a hospital in Wicklow for people suffering from ‘mental health’ issues, does not believe what the IMB says is sufficient warning on the Package insert. Now that is my point!

Yep, good old Politics, Special Interests and Corporatization are still threatening Academic Integrity. Academic censorship is still very much alive and kicking in Ireland. It seems there is little difference in the way Irish and Uk ‘mental health’ charities and academics protect the pharmaceutical industry. As John McCarty said, how do these people sleep at night?

Newspaper and internet articles, psychiatry, Random

Was Anna Byrne another Sertraline (Zoloft) victim?

There is a very public debate raging in Ireland at the moment regarding the tragic death of a young woman who died while suffering a miscarriage at Galway University Hospital. An estimated two thousand people protested outside Leinster House (Irish Parliment) in memory of Savita Halappanavar, who died of septicaemia as a consequence of the Irish Government’s reluctance/cowardice to legislate in this area. My heart goes out to her family and indeed to the woman and her child. The country is in uproar and rightly so.

There was another young woman who also died this year (March) but on this occasion there was no public outcry or no protest outside Leinster House (Irish Parliment). Anna Byrne was Carrying twins (almost full term) when she died by jumping off Howth head. Her inquest was held last week and was reported in the Irish independent (among other more sensationalist newspapers). Given the sensitivities surrounding this case and the fact that the family are (and will always be) grieving, I debated long and hard about writing about Anna. I was away with my family in Berlin when this report came out and Anna was never far from my thoughts; she and her two sons deserved more.

The really surprising thing was that the ‘Independent’ reported on the details of this unfortunate woman’s treatment. She was being treated by her doctor and subsequently a psychiatrist. Irish media, in cases where a person has died by suicide (unlike the UK and the US) rarely report on a person’s Inquest due to the fear of ‘copycat suicides’ and ‘social contagion’. There are strict media guidelines with the reporting of these cases; how’s that working in Ireland you might ask? Not too good!

Anna Byrne who was 35 and heavily pregnant with twins, had been on Seroxat for a number of years. This drug was discontinued earlier in her pregnancy. She was then put on Sertraline by her GP who described it as a commonly used antidepressant during pregnancy; seriously? Sertraline aka Lustral (Ireland) and Zoloft (US) commonly prescribed during pregnancy? Did this doctor not know of the birth defects associated with this family of drugs? Was this woman warned that this drug can cause suicide, depression, aggression, manic behaviour and serious birth defects? Adam Urato, assistant professor of maternal-fetal medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine and a co-author of a recent paper on this very issue, said:

“The truth of the matter is that we are currently witnessing a large-scale human experiment. Never before in human history have we chemically altered human foetal development on such a large scale… As I am telling you this right now, there is a doctor somewhere in the world counselling a pregnant woman that if she stays on her antidepressant medication she will help control her mood and that will lead to a better pregnancy result – and there really is not a shred of evidence to support that.”

Was Anna told that these drugs can, at the very least, double the suicide risk? Was she told that the  danger period is upon starting, discontinuing, or changing dosage (up or down)? This woman’s dose was doubled 6 days before her death by psychiatrist John Sheehan. C’mon, join the dots here. Does this woman and her two children not deserve every woman in this country to protest outside government buildings?

I looked up the psychiatrist ‘Dr John Sheehan’ and found him here, speaking at a conference supported by Pfizer (makers of Sertraline/Zoloft), Eli Lilly and Jansen. The speakers also included Timothy Dinan of UCC who last year denied any knowledge that Zoloft can cause suicide following Nicolas Maguire’s inquest in May 2011. Mr Maguire died by suicide shortly after being prescribed Zoloft for anxiety. Similar to most psychiatrists and medical professionals who publicly deny problems with these drugs, Timothy does a lot of work for pharmaceutical companies. This, unlike in the US, is not seen as a serious conflict of interest.

The body entrusted with the expertise in this area ‘The Irish College of Psychiatry’ (who have collectively denied that antidepressants can cause suicide) will defend their ‘medical model/drugs’ till the end, as in the recent debate with Professor Healy and Professor Veronica O’ Keane here. They will spout that the ‘benefits outweigh the risks’ till they actually convince themselves. This is despite the EMA warnings and despite the fact that the drug companies have admitted that the drugs can cause suicide. Notice the difference in Zoloft’s Patient Information Leaflet from Ireland and the US; Criminal.

I would remind medical professions that they are walking on thin ice, as was shown in the the case of Dunne (an inf.) v. National Maternity Hospital [1989] IR 91. Here it was found:

“A medical practitioner who establishes that he followed a practice which was general and approved by his colleagues of similar specialisation and skill is nevertheless negligent if the plaintiff thereupon establishes that such practice has inherent defects which ought to be obvious to any person giving the matter due consideration.”

Given that ex-Seroxat users have declared that the adverse discontuation effects can last for months and sometimes years, the introduction of Sertraline and the subsequent doubling of dosage can all cause a person to act on suicide ideation, it is entirely plausible that the medication caused Anna and her babies’ deaths. Considering Anna is dead, the benefits did not outweigh the risks in this case.

Where is the public outcry for Anna and her babies? The Irish Government have been informed by Professor David Healy that these drugs are causing suicide, that these drugs are the leading cause of death within the mental health field and that the same drugs are causing misciarrages and birth defects. At the same meeting Dr Declan Gilsenan said he had serious concerns that more people are taking their own lives as a direct result of seeking help (and subsequently prescribed mind altering drugs), than those who have not. The Government’s inaction on this issue is a bloody disgrace!

…………………………….

UPDATE REGARDING SEROXAT; Syracuse, N.Y. — Joe Mazella, Basketball coach, died by suicide in Sept 09 while on Seroxat. His widow, Janice Mazella has just won a $1.6 million medical malpractice verdict on Tuesday Nov. 20, 2012 against two psychiatrists who had treated the coach before he committed suicide. Here.

https://leoniefennell.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/the-medical-experts-meet-in-leinster-house/

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/new-drug-fears-for-pregnant-women/story-fnb64oi6-1226503730380

cipramil (celexa) stories,, lundbeck, Newspaper and internet articles, Our story., psychiatry, Shanes story.

Medical experts meet in Leinster House.

Today we met with Kathleen Lynch, the minister with responsibility for mental health. After the initial niceties, the first point she made was that she saw the article in the Examiner and she was hoping that the meeting today would be kept private and out of the public domain. This she said, was due to the other families who were also involved and she hoped that we could keep this an “in house and very much a private meeting.”

Sorry, I will not be playing the political game.

I disagree with Minister Lynch and I am of the opinion that keeping these issues a secret is exactly where the problem began. Did the Minister think that she had to remind us that there were other people involved?

I personally know of a previous meeting in the Dail where the suicidal/aggression side-effects of SSRI’s were brought to the attention of a Government Minister. Maybe if something was done about the situation at that time, there wouldn’t be other people involved and Shane would be off traveling around the world. But nothing was done, so we will never know, will we?

Declan Gilsenan was great; he spoke about his ‘intuition’ that SSRI’s are causing suicides and that the way to prove or disprove this would be to get statistics done on suicide victims. This, he said, wouldn’t be too difficult. He also brought the manual which the medical professionals learn from, which clearly state that SSRI’s can cause suicide. He asked if more suicide victims had sought help and therefore been prescribed SSRI’s, than people who didn’t. Imagine what a tragedy that would be?

Professor Healy was brilliant as always and spoke of the SSRI trials that were done on non-depressed people who went on to become suicidal once the drug was introduced and were fine again once the drug was discontinued. This he said is denied by the Irish College of Psychiatry. No surprise there then? He further stated that drug induced death is the leading cause of death within the mental health field.

At the end of the meeting Minister Lynch assured us that she would take all our points on board and bring them to the attention of the Minister for Health, James Reilly. This is the same James Reilly that previously stated “SSRIs aren’t addictive and treat depression effectively.” He also denied that GPs were systematically over-prescribing SSRIs. Minister Lynch also said she would be talking to the College of Psychiatry of Ireland again and intended to talk to them about the whole education piece. This is the same College of Psychiatry which collectively deny that SSRI’s can cause suicide despite the fact that the drug companies have to admit that they can?

I won’t be holding my breath but you never know! “Drug induced death is the leading cause of death within the mental health field.” Can this really be ignored? Antidepressants can cause suicide…Can this possibly be ignored?

Once again the adverse effects of antidepressants have been brought to the attention of the Irish Government, this time by the experts; the ball is firmly in their court!

cipramil (celexa) stories,, Newspaper and internet articles, psychiatry

Will Ireland bring change?

What was that you said???

This is a picture of the lovely Dr Corry who testified about the dangerous side-effects of SSRI’s to the Irish Government in 2006. Link. We met him shortly after Shane died when he said in the papers that he would stake his career on the fact that Shane “would not have done what he did if he wasn’t on anti-depressants.” It turned out his career was at stake when Timothy Dinan, a member of the Irish College of Psychiatry made a complaint to the Medical Council about Dr Corry’s comments. Dr Corry said the same thing again on RTE a few weeks later and this time another member of the college made a complaint against RTE to the Broadcasting Association of Ireland. They really don’t like to be contradicted do they? Is it any wonder that medical professionals are afraid to speak out. Dr Corry died on 22.02.2010.

Something is happening here in Ireland with a growing number of brave doctors, psychiatrists, and medical professionals willing to speak out. An increasing number are raising their concerns about the use of mind-altering SSRI’s. hallelujah! For years the Irish College of Psychiatry have denied that Antidepressants can cause suicide and violence. They have been allowed to deny the devastating side-effects of these drugs, undisputed, for far too long. I won’t go into my opinion on their level of ignorance, I’ve said it already. Denying the side-effects of these drugs, prescribing them for complaints from bed-wetting to broken hearts and getting paid handsomely by the same pharmaceutical companies who make these drugs, is in my opinion an unforgivable disgrace; especially when even the drug companies have to admit that the drugs can cause, inter alia, both suicide and violence.

Now here’s another name to add to the list, Ita McSwiney, a psychotherapist who has worked as a nurse in adult mental health services for over 30 years. This week in the ‘Irish Examiner’ she spoke out and said she wanted to add her name to the growing number of people concerned about the  side-effects of SSRI’s. Here she tells of her patients experiences of the side-effects:

“From my experience of my work, I have no doubt that a significant number of people, particularly in the early treatment phase with antidepressants, experience bizarre, and often uncharacteristic thoughts, impulses and images  that can be both terrifying and  difficult to ignore. Examples disclosed to me in the course of my work that come to mind include:

(i) A sudden urge to drive across oncoming traffic at speed;
(ii) An impulse to drive their vehicle at speed over unprotected quays, into a wall or over a cliff;
(iii) An urge to physically harm themselves or attack a loved one;
(iv) On  one occasion a patient expressed the urge to physically attack me, having  spotted a potential weapon near to hand.”

What was that you said??? No evidence? Full Article Here.

Newspaper and internet articles, Our story., psychiatry, Shanes story.

Just how long will the Irish Government bury their heads in the sand?

Just how long will the Irish Government bury their heads in the sand?

In light of Declan Gilsenan’s (Retired Assistant State Pathologist) concerns about the number of people committing suicide on SSRI Anti-depressants, what will the Irish Government do?

I have just got off the phone from Kathleen Lynch’s office AGAIN, regarding our proposed meeting concerning the issue of these drugs and the causal effect with suicide.  Following Declan Gilsenan’s comments in the Irish Examiner, I would have thought this would be a matter of utmost importance. I understand I may be seen as a grieving mother and therefore a bit lacking upstairs; that’s why I organised an ex-minister with the same concerns, Prof Healy and Declan Gilsenan who are also willing to attend this meeting. Despite this, my numerous e-mails, including my latest one to our Taoiseach Enda Kenny, have as yet remained unanswered.

DID THEY NOT HEAR WHAT HE SAID? Of the last 5 Autopsies he performed on suicide victims, 4 had been recently introduced to Antidepressants. DO THEY THINK THE ‘BENEFITS OUTWEIGHED THE RISKS’ IN THESE CASES?

The Irish Examiner: “When an autopsy expert with 30 years of experience suspects a possible link between suicide and the use of powerful anti-depressant drugs, it becomes a matter of the utmost concern and one that warrants immediate investigation. The grave doubts expressed by former assistant state pathologist Dr Declan Gilsenan lend considerable weight to calls for action on this controversial issue. The authorities would be failing in their duty of care to the public if they do not heed his concerns over the number of suicide cases where he had carried out autopsies on victims who had recently started taking the anti-depressants in question.”

The Government, for some reason, along with the European Commission in Brussels, are keeping an eye on my blog and yet are ignoring the issue. They would rather listen to the Irish Psychiatry of Ireland who state there is no problem and these drugs do not cause suicide. Funny how the drug companies have to admit that they actually do! Link.

Then again, considering a lot of these Psychiatrists have a nice little sideline working for the same Pharmaceutical Companies who make these drugs, Is it any wonder they don’t want to rock the boat? Are the lives of the innocent people they are supposed to protect not sufficient to rouse their Guilt complex? Or maybe they suffer from some form of delusional disorder; I’m sure there must be a pill for that.

cipramil (celexa) stories,, lundbeck, Newspaper and internet articles, Random

India

I was on the internet today researching a young man who died in a citalopram/cipramil trial in India. His name was Dharmesh Vasava, he was 22 and died shortly after participating in a trial for citalopram. At first he was reported to be in hospital with pneumonia and on humanitarian grounds, the company (Sun pharmaceuticals Link) paid for his treatment (Their kindness is staggering). He died a few days later!

Dharmesh was a causal labourer, his mother was a sweeper in a local school, while his father worked in a textile mill on daily wages. According to another participant of the same trial, the subjects were lured with money by agents working for the company. Vasava’s brother, Mukesh, told Bharuch police that Dharmesh became a victim of negligence of the pharma company that took his blood for tests. The People’s Union of Civil Liberties, Vadodara, conducted an investigation into the death. PUCL suggested that the participants were unlikely to have been able to give their voluntary informed consent to participate.

Drug trials are going on all over the world but there seems to be a sinister trend with the amount of drug companies doing trials on the poor people of India, with the quality of these trials in some cases questionable at best. These trials have been sponsored by the big players (among others) Lundbeck, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Novo Nordisk, GlaxoSmithKline, Shire, Novartis, Bayer, Merck, Sanofi Aventis and Roche.

The Business Standard reported that there were 671 deaths logged last year in drug trials in India and there is evidence that compensation was only given in 3 cases.Link. There have been questions raised about the data quality in some of these trials along with problems with corruption and scams, and presumably the same data that drug companies are using to get approval for the same drugs from the fda, the ema, the mhra and the Irish Medicines Board!

In one Indian hospital alone 49 babies died involving drug testing. Link

How is this going on in 2011? India is only half way from here to Australia, not a different planet!! Are Indian babies not worth as much as Irish babies???? Ah yes I forgot, drug trials/experiments were done on babies and children in Ireland too. Link , and Link.

Do the Irish government officials know when they are wining, dining and greeting these drug company executives off planes, that they are killing people across the globe?

Drug Trials—the Dark Side (BMJ)…Link