lundbeck, Newspaper and internet articles, Random

Dr No: No, doctors don’t Know…

Depressed DoctorToday’s Irish Independent reported on the tragic deaths of two young doctors from Tallaght Hospital. The two junior doctors had died by ‘their own hand’ in the past six months.

The article raises concerns about the ‘high-pressure and stressful work environments in the country’s hospitals’. The article states that ‘doctor support services’ have warned that the deaths are not isolated incidents and urged medics to seek help rather than self-treat when they are sick. Dr Ide Delargy, said: “Doctors don’t tend to come forward for treatment at the moment. They tend to self-treat and self-medicate…”

Is anyone, apart from me, seeing a totally different perspective here? Doctors are bombarded from a early stage in their training with pharmaceutical company funding and drug company spiel. Medical students and young doctors are more likely to believe what the ‘friendly’ drug company sales rep is saying; the sales rep’s objective is to convince the medical professionals that their drugs are ‘safe and effective’. As we all know, that’s not always true; perhaps more often than not, untrue and a downright lie.

As we now know, most of the large pharmaceutical companies have been slapped with hefty fines for wrongdoing and fraudulent marketing, some amounting to billions; take a bow GSK, Pfizer, Abbott, Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly. John Virapen, who worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 35 years, mostly for Eli Lilly, but with various others including Lundbeck, has said the sales reps are taught to persuade, bribe and use whatever it takes to get these (often dangerous) drugs prescribed. He readily admitted to bribing the Swedish government in order to get Eli Lilly’s Prozac past the licencing process. He also said, in the case of SSRIs, that reps were aware that these drugs were causing people to kill themselves and others but they were told to keep quiet.

My point is that these young doctors are victims of pharmaceutical industry propaganda. They believe that these so called ANTIdepressants will do exactly what it says on the tin. Yes, I’m aware that these drugs work for some people, and whether or not that’s because of the placebo effect hardly matters; If they work for you, that’s great. In many, many cases though, the word ‘ANTIdepressant’ is false advertising at its very worst, as these drugs at least double the risk of suicide upon starting, discontinuing and change of dosage (up or down). In the US, after accidents, suicide is the most common cause of death among medical students. It seems that there are problems here in Ireland too with self medicating. Unless the media (against the recommended guidelines it has to be said) actively report on the circumstances surrounding a person who has died by their own hand, we might never know if the drugs played a part. From what I have observed in over 3 years of researching, my opinion is that the majority of people who die by suicide have been on one antidepressant or another at the time leading up to their deaths. False advertising? For these people, ‘depressant’ would have been a better word.

Ex Pharmaceutical Rep John Virapen: “I became the General Manager of Eli Lilly & Company in Sweden and later worked for global players such as Novo Nordisk and Lundbeck from Denmark. As far as the product range goes: sometimes it was wonder pills against arthritis, or the human insulin scandal, or rejuvenating cures (growth hormones), and finally the new psychotropic family of Selective Serotonin Reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are wrongly called mood lifters. These drugs are anything but that. They drive people to suicide or to kill others.” (Preface Page ix) Free download of John Virapen’s brilliant book Side Effects Death’.

BMJ, British Medical Journal: Doctors’ self prescribing.

Dr Janet Wreglesworth was prescribed Cipramil/Celexa in Nov 07. She was dead by Feb 08.

Dr Mark Gradwell diagnosed himself with “full blown clinical depression” and was prescribed anti-depressants.

Console.ie/2012 “In the year prior to death, 81% (of suicide victims) had been in contact with their GP or a mental health service. Among those who had been in contact with the GP, the majority (67.4) had done so 4 times or more during the year prior to death.” Link

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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