The ‘Beast of Baflo’ or a case of GSK (Glaxo’s Seroxat Kills)

Baflo policeA case presently being played out in a Netherlands Court involves a man who killed two people: his girlfriend, and a policeman who was responding to the emergency call.

Mr Asalam S. was taking Paroxetine (AKA Paxil and Seroxat) at the time of the killings. He is originally from Benin in Africa and at the time of the killings (April 2011), he had recently had his asylum application refused. The incident occured in the village of Baflo, which led to the perpetrator being dubbed as ‘The Beast of Baflo’. The trial continues in the Groningen courts tomorrow (Monday 11 Feb).

Last week, testimony regarding the dangers of anti-depressants was offered to the court by professor of pharmacology Dr. Anton Loonen. Prof/Dr. Loonen from the University of Gronengen, stated that this drug can lead to violent outbursts. The newspaper reported that Mr Asalam S. told his doctor that he was feeling unwell, which subsequently led to his dosage of Paroxetine being increased. As we know this can lead to tragic consequences. According to statements made by officers he acted ‘like a zombie’ and someone who ‘had nothing to lose’.

No doubt GlaxoSmithKline will have their ‘experts’ attending. It’s unfortunate for them that they have a dubious history; what telling the truth means to GSK, means something entirely different to the general public!  This pharma company (GSK) were previously held liable in the case of Donald Schell, 60, who had been taking Paxil for just 48 hours when he shot and killed his wife, his daughter, his granddaughter and himself. You can download a copy of the verdict here.

This is not the first time that the Netherlands have come across an alleged ‘Seroxat induced’ killing. There was the so-called ‘axe murders’ which happened in Badhoevedorp in 2008. A former flight attendant Elzelien K. (aged 66) killed her husband, 61, and daughter, 22, as they slept. She had been  ‘depressed’ since her son had died in an accident 10 years beforehand but had recently started on a high dosage of Seroxat. During the trial, Elzelien K. said her actions were an ‘unimaginable mystery’ and ‘they were everything to me’. Dutch article here.

In a recent post Professor Healy stated that the information about SSRI induced disinhibition, violence and suicide has been in the public domain for nearly 25 years. He also stated:

“Somewhere around 90% of the school or other mass shootings that have happened in recent years in America or Europe have involved shooters on psychotropic drugs usually antidepressants. The public sympathy for the victims typically also extends to the doctor who is seen as one more victim.  But the so called perpetrator is much more likely to be a victim than the doctor.  He may have been turned into a guided missile by his doctor.  These are people in treatment whose doctors clearly failed to recognize the risks they posed.”

So as more and more experts warn of the dangers of SSRIs, the inaction by the the EU is increasingly baffling. Of course, it’s not just Seroxat which has the potential for suicide and homicide. All SSRIs can cause suicide, violence. akathisia, worsening depression, ect, ect. Five days after first taking Celexa, Robert Raines, 78, shot and killed his wife, Elsie, 71, then himself. Article here. These cases will go on and on until something is done to hold the different pharmaceutical companies responsible.

It will certainly be interesting to see what happens in the Groningen courtroom. No doubt the pharma experts muppets will tow the company line. What is Glaxo’s motto? Oh yes; “enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer”. Tell that to the Seroxat victims!

Many thanks to Noel McCullagh, an Irish journalist living in the Netherlands, for the translating/reporting of this story.

Newspaper and internet articles, Random

Irish reports on GSK’s fraudulent marketing.

Following yesterdays news that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has been fined $3 billion for fraudulently marketing their products, I found the differences in Irish reporting and worldwide reports quite frightening. In the Irish Times and RTE News articles it reported, that among GlaxoSmithKline’s wrongdoing, was illegally marketing Paxil to children. OK SO FAR!

NO-WHERE in either Article does it say that the reason this marketing was so abhorrent, is because this drug increases the risk of suicide in children, a fact well known to GSK and the regulators (Under 25’s).

In contrast to the Irish reports, the New York Times and The UK Independent both include the fact that this drug can cause suicide in young people. I wonder why Irish people are not getting the same facts.

The other surprise was that no-where in these Irish Articles did it say that Paxil is marketed as Seroxat in Ireland. The Irish public would probably have never heard of Paxil but would certainly have heard of the publicity, mostly bad, surrounding Seroxat.

I recommend, that if anyone really wants to know the true appalling facts surrounding GSK, then there is no better place to get information than Bobby and Truthman’s websites.

Irish reporting: Irish Times Article and The RTE News Article.

UK and US reporting: UK Independent Article and The New York Times Article.

Interestingly Seroxat was again in the Irish papers (Irish Independent) this week, named as Seroxat not Paxil, here “Man attacked terrified party guest with sword after mixing alcohol and medication”.

Update: What I should have made clearer is that the European suicide warnings with these drugs are for under 25’s. If anyone has read the stories on this blog and others, age has nothing to do with a drug-induced suicide. Ask Brian PalmerRobert Raines or Donald Schell (Prozac, Celexa and Seroxat/Paxil)

Cases, Newspaper and internet articles

Precedent blaming an SSRI in suicide/homicide case.


Donald  Schell went to his doctor because he was having problems with sleeping. His doctor prescribed Paxil (also known as Aropax and Seroxat), an ssri antidepressant. Two days later Mr.Schell shot and killed his wife, his daughter, his granddaughter and himself.

This was the first guilty verdict returned against a pharmaceutical company regarding adverse behavioural effects of an SSRI antidepressant. The trial was in 2001 and despite the findings of the jury, pharmaceutical companies including GSK and lundbeck are still getting away with denying SSRIs can cause suicide/homicide. Billions of euros spent on advertising instead of researching safer drugs have their unsuspecting consumers believing this shameful propaganda!


WyomingNews .com

 Paxil verdict: $6.4 million

Becky Orr
Published in the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle

CHEYENNE – A Gillette man killed his family and himself because he took the antidepressant Paxil, a U.S. District Court jury decided Wednesday. Jurors ruled in favor of the man’s relatives, awarding them $6.4 million, and against a global pharmaceutical company that makes the medication. The jury of five women and three men found in favor of the survivors of Donald Schell and his family after deliberating about 3½ hours.

It ruled that taking Paxil was the proximate cause of the deaths of Schell and his wife, daughter and granddaughter. In what could have far-reaching effects, the jury also found that evidence showed Paxil can cause some people to kill themselves and/or others. SmithKline Beecham – now GlaxoSmithKline due to a recent merger – makes Paxil.

It is part of a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. Other such drugs include Prozac and Zoloft and are commonly prescribed to treat depression. The jury ruled that the company is 80 percent responsible for the deaths. It held Schell 20 percent responsible. On Feb. 13, 1998, Schell, 60, shot and killed his wife, Rita; their daughter, Deborah Tobin; their 9-month-old granddaughter, Alyssa, and himself. The deaths occurred at the Schells’ home in Gillette while Deborah Tobin and her daughter were visiting.

The jury awarded $8 million in total damages, which comes to $6.4 million for the family when the percentage of responsibility is factored in. The family had sought close to $26 million. The jury awarded, before the 80 percent factor:

n $2.5 million for the death of Deborah Tobin to her husband, Tim Tobin.
n $2.5 million for the death of Alyssa Tobin to her father, Tim Tobin.
n $750,000 for the death of Donald Schell to son Michael Schell.
n $750,000 for the death of Rita Schell to son Michael Schell.
n $500,000 for the death of Rita Schell to her mother, Flo Reavis.
n $500,000 for the death of Rita Schell to sister Neva Hardy.
n $500,000 for death of Rita Schell to sister Peggy Dean.

“We will appeal,” said Charles Preuss, an attorney representing GlaxoSmithKline. He said he was surprised at the verdict. He said the defense presented “compelling evidence” that Paxil is a safe and effective treatment for depression. Lawyers for the company said throughout the trial that Schell’s deepening depression caused the tragedy. He had experienced depression several times before, the company’s lawyers said.

“There no evidence linking Paxil to suicide or homicide,” Preuss said.

Preuss added that Paxil did not have enough time to work in Schell. The two pills that Schell did take did not cause the deaths, Preuss said. But the jury decided otherwise. Tim Tobin rested his head on the plaintiff’s table as U.S. Magistrate Judge William C. Beaman read the verdict aloud. He then cried and embraced Hardy. He hugged his lawyers and other family supporters who also cried. During the 2½-week trial, Tobin often put his hands to his face to wipe away tears. He and Hardy filed the wrongful death lawsuit in February 2001 as personal representatives of the family.

“It was such a long road since everything happened,” an emotional Tobin said afterward. He added that he wanted to prove the drug caused violent reactions among a small group of people. He said he hopes people now will be aware about Paxil’s benefits and problems. It should be prescribed with care, he added. “The only thing I’m really hit with is at least they mean something,” he said of those who died. On his decision to battle the drug company, he said, “I tried to think of what the four people I had lost would want to me to do. I knew Don. I knew he wouldn’t have done something without the medication provoking it.”

Added Andy Vickery, the family’s co-counsel from Texas, “You bet it (the verdict) vindicated Don Schell’s good name.” Tobin said he will now return to his home in Billings, Mont., and his job as a phone inspector. “We were such a simple family,” he said. “For the rest of my life, I’ll have to deal with what happened.” According to court testimony, Schell was given samples of Paxil on Feb. 12, 1998, when he visited his internist in Gillette. When the deaths occurred, he apparently had taken two tablets and other pills to help him sleep. This is the first time Paxil has been at the center of a civil trial, Vickery said. It also is the first verdict returned against an SSRI.

Vickery and James Fitzgerald of Cheyenne, the family’s other co-counsel, said during the trial that Paxil is a good drug for most people. But for a small group, they said, it can trigger violent behaviors, including suicide and homicide. “I’ve handled many of these cases,” Vickery said, “where someone who just goes nuts within the first 30 days after taking it (an SSRI).” About the verdict, Vickery said, “We weren’t surprised. The jury did the just thing, when faced with the evidence.”

During the trial, Vickery showed a clinical study done by the company of 2,963 patients who took Paxil. He said the data showed that some experienced agitation, hallucinations, psychosis, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts. Some had only been on the drug for a brief time. The data were not made available to doctors, he said. But SmithKline knew about it, he added. Fitzgerald said such information does not come to light without people like Tobin and Hardy. He said the drug company now should include a black box warning on Paxil’s information label stating that it can cause violent behavior in some people. “They (the drug company) have been told they have done wrong,” Fitzgerald said. He said doctors also should have information to help them consider whether to prescribe a sedative along with Paxil because the antidepressant can cause agitation. They should be informed of the need to conduct a mental health history of a patient before they prescribe the drug, he said.

In Schell’s case, evidence indicated the Gillette man had difficulty when he was prescribed Prozac years before. He had told a relative he experienced hallucinations while on Prozac, testimony showed. Vickery said if people are fully informed, that will increase their confidence rather than scare them away from taking the drug. Preuss said after the verdict that the clinical report the family’s lawyers referred to was a double-blind study. The study’s results showed Paxil was more effective in preventing suicide than a placebo and a comparative drug. The results were available to the Food and Drug Administration, he said.