psychiatry, Random, Shanes story.

Well-Being Foundation Award

The Well-Being Foundation: “It’s that time of year. Time mag, the IT, the Grauniad, they all do it. We’re not great ones for PoY awards, partly because they exclude so many deserving people, but for once — Leonie Fennell is our Woman of the Year. Hero!” 

Photo Courtesy of Caroline
Photo Courtesy of Caroline

Aw shucks! I’m not quite sure what to say here, except – I’m very proud to accept the ‘Woman of the Year’ award from the Well-Being Foundation. This Foundation was set up by Dr Michael Corry and his partner Aine Tubridy.

Taken from the Well-being website following Dr Corry’s death on 22/02/2010 – “If opposition is any sign, then Michael’s campaigns certainly rattled the ‘great and the good’ of Irish psychiatry. Professor Patricia Casey sued him and RTE for libel in 2005, a case settled by the broadcaster, and Professor Ted Dinan of UCC made a complaint to the Fitness to Practice Committee of the IMC over his public comments on the role of SSRIs (in Shane’s case).” Ah yes, so no surprises there then!

It was a pleasure to meet both of these lovely people, albeit, it goes without saying that I wish it was under different circumstances. I accept this award with enormous pride on behalf of myself and Shane, particularly as it’s coming from the Well-being Foundation. Thank you, and rest in Peace Dr Corry and Aíne Tubridy!

Cuba 12

Dr Corry and Aine Tubridy

Random

Weird and wonderful cases

Lord DenningJust for fun!

What I’ve learned while studying a law degree. Strangely, to me at least, I have learned that the ‘law’ does not necessarily mean justice or fairness. I’ve learned that mature students like me, need not necessarily be very mature; thank goodness. It’s quite possible, maybe even a requirement, to be an immature mature student!

The lecturers (at least in the Wicklow Campus of ITCarlow) can be a little scary, yet also fabulously intelligent. Without exception they are helpful and kind, even with someone with a pea sized brain like moi. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough, even on the days when I’m frozen in terror of being asked a question. Despite ‘on occasion’ knowing the answer, why does my (admittedly pea-sized) brain turn to mush when a lecturer fixes their gaze in my direction?

One of the judicial characters which all law students will have studied is the fabulous English Judge ‘Lord Denning’.  He was ’83  years young’ when he retired and was widely referred to as the ‘people’s judge’. He made some brilliant and memorable judgments in his time as High Court and appellate judge. Upon his death he was referred to as the ‘greatest English judge of modern times’ and ‘the most famous and influential judicial figure of the century’. I think a lot of us have a soft spot for the flamboyant Lord Denning; yet even he was not infallible and made some terrible mistakes, particular in the case of the ‘Birmingham Six’.

Lord Denning, in considering whether the Birmingham six should be allowed to appeal their conviction, stated “If the six men win, it will mean that the police are guilty of perjury, that they are guilty of violence and threats, that the confessions were invented and improperly admitted in evidence and the convictions were erroneous” and further “This is such an appalling vista that every sensible person in the land would say that it cannot be right that these actions should go any further.” So in other words, wrongly convicted prisoners should stay in jail rather than be released and risk a loss of public confidence in the law. Once retired, he further stated that all the fuss regarding miscarriage of justice wouldn’t have happened if the ‘Birmingham Six’  had been hanged. Quite a spectacular faux pas indeed, yet I’m not sure whether Lord Denning ever saw it that way.

Another thing I have learned is that the cases I find most interesting are the funny and weird ones, which others may not find particularly interesting or particularly relevant. From the Irish Garda who acted in a ‘lewd’ manner in his local pub, to the American who sued over ‘defective’ underpants, IT IS SUBMITTED (ha) that college for the immature mature student will never be boring!

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Strange and wonderful cases:

(I apologize in advance to my mam for the following Irish case!)

Stoker v Doherty  (Ireland) 

Garda picA Garda (Irish Policeman) who was stationed in the small rural town of Ballacolla, County Laois, was charged with bringing the reputation of ‘An Garda Síochána’ into disrepute. Garda ‘Thomas Stoker’ was socialising in a local public house with another man named Kenneth Senior when he committed the offence of lewd behaviour. He was not in uniform and was in fact off-duty on the night in question. The complaint related to ‘lewd’ comments by the Garda, but also included ‘permitting’ his wife to act in a similarly lewd manner in the same establishment. On the night in question, the Garda commented to Mr Senior (referring to his wife): “What do you think of Anne, would you r**e her, you can have her for the night if you want her.” He was subsequently sacked from An Garda Síochána, hence the Supreme Court appeal.

Full Supreme Court Judgment here (courtesy of Bailli.org).

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Arkell v. Pressdram (England)

ArkellAn exchange of solicitor letters (defamation allegations), which became known as ‘Arkell v. Pressdram (1971)’. Full exchange below:

Solicitor (Goodman Derrick & Co.):

We act for Mr Arkell who is Retail Credit Manager of Granada TV Rental Ltd. His attention has been drawn to an article appearing in the issue of Private Eye dated 9th April 1971 on page 4. The statements made about Mr Arkell are entirely untrue and clearly highly defamatory. We are therefore instructed to require from you immediately your proposals for dealing with the matter. Mr Arkell’s first concern is that there should be a full retraction at the earliest possible date in Private Eye and he will also want his costs paid. His attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of your reply.

Private Eye Magazine:

We acknowledge your letter of 29th April referring to Mr J. Arkell. We note that Mr Arkell’s attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of our reply and would therefore be grateful if you would inform us what his attitude to damages would be, were he to learn that the nature of our reply is as follows: fuck off.

[No further correspondence was initiated by Mr Arkell] 

Courtesy of nasw.org here.

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Stambovsky v Ackley  (New York)

NY Haunted HouseStambovsky concerned the doctrine of ‘Caveat Emptor‘ (let the buyer beware) and the sale of a haunted house. Helen Ackley put her Victorian house up for sale (in Nyack, New York). Mr Jeffrey Stambovsky signed a contract agreeing to purchase the house and made a downpayment, completely unaware that the house was reputedly haunted. Helen (the owner) had herself published an article about it being haunted some years beforehand in the ‘Reader’s Digest’ magazine. Stambovsky, who subsequently discovered the  ghostly reputation surrounding the house, attempted to void the contract by suing for ‘nondisclosure’. He initially lost under the common law doctrine of caveat emptor (let the buyer beware). He appealed the decision twice, before finally being successful in the Appelate Division of the Supreme Court (U.S.) where he recovered his deposit.

Full Judgment here (Courtesy of Kevinunderhill)

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Freed v. Hanes Brands Inc., (Florida)

UnderpantsThe plaintiff in this case, Mr Freed, alleged that ‘defective manufacturing’ of his underpants which ‘gaped open and acted like a sand-belt’ on his ‘privates’, caused ‘debilitating pain’ which resulted in him being ‘hardly able to walk’. He alleged that his injury had ruined his Hawaiian holiday, which he had won as a reward for selling more than $20,000 in diet products. Strangely, Mr Freed (a self confessed belly-man) testified that due to his weight he was unable to look down and see, emm, anything! The Court found it more likely that the manner in which he got into his underwear had caused his ‘penile injury’, and not in fact defective workmanship. Mr Freed lost the case.

Full Judgment here (Courtesy of Columbia.edu)

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Garratt v Dailey  (Washington) 

ChairRuth Garratt was in her garden chatting to her sister who was accompanied by a little boy (Five year-old Brian Dailey). As Ms Garrett went to sit on a garden chair, the little boy removed it, causing her to fall and break her hip. She sued the five year-old for battery. The trial judge heard testimony from Ms Garratt’s sister but instead favoured the testimony of the defendant (the five year old). The judge did not award damages to Ms Garratt but remanded the case for clarification of Brian’s intent. A battery could only be established if it was proved that Brian knew with ‘substantial certainty’ that Ms Garratt would sit down where the chair had been. There is so much wrong with this case, I wouldn’t know where to start.

Full Judgment here.

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Donoghue v Stevenson (Scotland)

Ginger beerMay Stevenson was separated from her husband and had 4 children, of which only one survived, Henry. May was the instigator of what we all now know as ‘the law of negligence’, where a ‘duty of care’ is owed to our ‘neighbour’. May was enjoying a ‘ginger beer float’ in the ‘Wellmeadow café’ in Paisley (Scotland) with her friend, when she discovered the remnants of a snail. The snail remains allegedly came from the opaque bottle of beer which her friend had bought for her. As May didn’t buy the beer herself, she had no contract with the management of the café, so she sued the manufacturer, Mr Stevenson. Donoghue was probably one of the most important cases in legal history, yet poor old May never lived to see it. May died in 1958, age 59, in Gartloch Mental Hospital, having reportedly suffered from a mental illness. I wonder what poor May was subjected to in the name of psychiatric ‘care’, considering lobotomies were a common treatment in 1958? Electroshock ‘therapy’ was also a frequently used ‘cure’ in the 50s, where patients commonly received broken bones having ‘treatment’ while shackled to a gurney. I can’t say for sure, but I would bet my last euro that poor May’s last days weren’t pretty!

Full judgment here (courtesy of Bailli.org)

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DPP V Ó Muiris (Ireland)

DonkeyThe Judge, Gardaí, Solicitors and defendants dissolved into fits of laughter during this case involving a busker, some bald tires and a ‘whistling donkey’. Mr Ó Muiris was before the court charged with having four defective tyres. Garda Scanlon told the court that he noticed the defendant driving his Hiace van with worn tyres, when his attention was immediately drawn to the inside of the van, where he saw a donkey looking back at him. Evidence was given that the donkey played the tin whistle as part of Mr Ó Muiris’ busking act. The court heard Mr Ó Muiris had one previous conviction for drink driving. Mr Mann, his solicitor, quickly interjected, stating that ‘that offence was for driving his Hiace van, and not his donkey’.

Courtesy of the ‘Kerryman’. Article here.

Our story., Random

Westminster Exposé

WestminsterSo myself and the poor long-suffering husband are just back from London, having attended a talk in the House of Commons given by Professor David Healy; ‘Antidepressants and The Politics of Health‘.

The meeting was chaired by MP Jim Dobbins who has previously aired concerns about the pharmaceutical industry and its close involvement within academia, such as the case with Professor David Nuttcase Nutt here. I don’t really have an issue with Professsor Nutt, other than with his false declaration to the Nation (on BBC radio) that ‘it’s impossible to kill yourself with an overdose of SSRI antidepressants‘. Dr Ciara Kelly said the same thing here on Irish radio. Very dangerous propaganda!

I challenged Prof Nutt on his statement (via Twitter) where he changed his story slightly and said ‘ALMOST impossibly’. Tell that to all the people who have died by an SSRI overdose of these ‘safe’ drugs Prof Nutt! Brian at ‘AntiDepAware‘ has a list of some SSRI victims here; Karen Gloster (2005), Barbara BerryDeborah Owens (2006), Rhian Evans (2007), Rodney Harrop (2008), Philip Bromley (2009), Belinda KellyMichael MillerNatalie CashinSusan Mealing (2010), Patrick Carroll (2011), Malcolm AverissRobert Lennon (2012) Donna ChaseMark Cain (2003), Christine ByrneDianne Pickersgill (2008) Dale Pashley (2007), Brian Elder (2010), Afsheen Khan (2011)

Anyway, I’m rambling off the point again this morning. Suffice to say,  as is usual, our trip did not always go as planned. We decided, as we were going to London for this talk, to bring the kids with us and maybe go to Legoland the following day. We had plenty of time as the flight was an early one and the talk wasn’t on until 2pm in Westminster. The Ryanair plane sounded decidedly dodgy, as if it was running on dirty fuel (haha, Tony will tell you I have a good mechanical ear) and unsurprisingly the pilot decided that we would have to change planes. This left us two hours behind schedule so the pressure was on, the kids were happily oblivious but the odds at arriving on time were stacked against us. In stepped my brother-in-law in his superman underpants in order to save the day and meet us in London Bridge. He took the kids to my sisters in Kent (where we were staying with 3 cousins, all girls and under the age of 3). This left us plenty of time to head to Westminster for the talk. Back on track.

There was nothing I could do about the frizzy hair at that stage but I thought I’d better change out of the tracksuit bottoms. I decided I would have to change into my ‘Westminster’ clothes in the toilet on the train. Yep, that sounds like a good idea you think? Thanks, I thought so too. The toilet doors were of the circular kind which we have here in Ireland too. There was a nice man sitting outside the toilet when I went in, who smiled at me and said hello; the English are so polite aren’t they? So I took the boots and tracksuit bottoms off and was standing in my underwear (thank God for small mercies) when the train jolted and I leaned backwards, for balance you understand. I leaned on the open-door button, which promptly left me standing in my knickers exposing myself to the poor man sitting outside. Frantic pressing on the buttons failed to close the doors for a lifetime of seconds, until the doors finally closed on the man’s shocked expression. I debated whether I could stay in the toilets until the man either got off or died from old age, whichever came first, but eventually braved the situation and departed from the toilet where I grinned at him in a stupid fashion. He couldn’t look me in the face and glanced quickly out the window. Oh well, nobody was arrested and Tony’s well used to my little accidents/incidences.

So having laughed our heads off all the way to Westminster, we finally made it with a half an hour to spare. After the talk was over, we retired to another room where a question and answer session took place. Jim Dobbins actually voiced what we all knew all along, that the pharmaceutical industry has the Government over a barrel and if the Govt were to sanction ‘industry’, they would threaten to take their business elsewhere, hence GSK et al having control in the UK. This is no doubt the case in Ireland where industries influence is palpable everywhere. If pharma can have such a huge influence over the UK Government, what chance do we have over here in our small country with a population of 4.5 million citizens and with a proven history of unscrupulously corrupt Ministers? You would have to wonder why Kathleen Lynch and James Reilly have done nothing about SSRI-induced deaths.

LegolandDavid Healy’s talk was brilliant as always. We also had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Brian of AntiDepAware and his equally gorgeous wife. We met with Bobby Fidd which is always a pleasure but who missed the chat afterwards having commandeered my poor husband to go outside for a smoke, and who subsequently both got lost.

The 3 gorgeous girlies under the age of 3 were hilarious, funny and little dotes. I don’t know how any household survives them, but I actually miss them already!

PS. The LegoLand experience was amazing and went without any major incident thankfully. All children accounted for, happy and alive, which is more than I can say for my eldest son’s involvement with Lundbeck pharmaceuticals and some uninformed Irish doctors.

Bob Fiddaman’s account of the meeting can be read here, while Brian’s can be read here.

Newspaper and internet articles, Our story., Random

Wicklow Casper Conference

PresentationWell, I did it. I survived the conference with Maria, I didn’t run out the side door and she didn’t have to slap me; well not too hard anyway. Maria was fabulous and I couldn’t have asked for a more experienced ally.

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She was able to give people a real feel for her son Toran, along with an abundance of science behind drug-induced deaths. The stories we heard on Saturday were tragic and very avoidable, but hopefully we can inform the future generation and stop the madness that SSRIs are inducing. 

Maria is the CEO of Casper NZ. New statistics have shown that in the groups which Casper has helped, there has been a 20% reduction in deaths by suicide. For young people that is a stunning reversal, because in the previous year there had been a 45% increase in 15-19 year olds taking their own lives. That has never been done in Ireland and we need to take notice. Despite all the suicide awareness groups, pharma funded and otherwise, the suicide rate in this country is huge. Maria has been asked to speak in other countries including Dubai, The Cook Islands, Australia and the US. I have no doubt she is making a difference; can we possibly ignore these results or will we just keep over-prescribing the unhappy pills which double the risk of suicide and violence?

PS. Thank you so much to everyone who made a huge effort to attend, from all over the country and indeed from across the water. I am humbled! Video to follow once my son Jake gets his act together and posts to Youtube.

Newspaper and internet articles, Random

Why would anyone defend the use of Lariam?

Sgt. Robert BalesRTE’s Prime-time (Irish National Broadcaster) tackled the issue of Lariam-induced suicides within the Irish army on May 23rd. The programme can be viewed here.

For those who are not aware of Lariam (aka Mefloquine), it is a highly controversial anti-malaria drug used within the defense forces when deployed overseas. The drug can cause many serious adverse effects and numerous families have blamed it for their loved one’s suicide. Interestingly, it comes 5th in the PLOS ONE ‘Prescription Drugs associated with violence’ study (after Champix and Seroxat). The US army stopped the use of Lariam following numerous suicides and severe psychiatric reactions associated with its use. Tragically, for all concerned, this drug has been implicated in the massacre of 17 Afghan citizens including children by Sgt. Robert Bales (pictured) on March 11, 2012. His wife said “I have no idea what happened, but he would not – he loves children. He would not do that.

A few weeks after the Prime-time programme (which included grieving families and their harrowing testimonies), I was disappointed to see the Minister for Defence, Alan Shatter, defending Lariam in the media. He defended the use of the drug, disputing its links to suicide and said “There is no evidence in any of the coroners’ inquests linking any deaths to Lariam.” He seemed to have completely undermined the Prime-time programme and it made no sense to me. Why would he do that?

Sorry but I have no answers to Minister Shatter’s involvement but I do have a very recent warning (8th July 2013) from Roche Pharmaceuticals which the Minister might find embarrassing. The link can be found here but Minister Shatter might find the excerpt below interesting.

Lariam

Minister Shatter said of the nine cases of lariam suicides” “given the limited period of time during which Lariam remains in the bloodstream, according to our expert advice, it is extremely unlikely that the product could have been a contributory factor in practically all of these cases”. Irish Times June 19th. The following excerpt may help him a little bit with that one:

Lariam 1

Roche, who originally marketed Lariam, is no stranger to controversy, having also invented the notorious acne drug Accutane. This drug is also widely linked to suicide and following numerous lawsuits in 2009 Roche pulled the drug from the US market. The Irish Medicine’s Board still allow it though despite a high profile court case involving a courageous Irish father here. Roche’s corruption and intimidation tactics were subsequently captured in Doug Bremner’s ‘Before You Take That Pill’.

What I do find interesting is why Roche came out with the warning now. Was it pressure from the Prime-time documentary? Was it pressure from the pharma-funded Irish Medicine’s Board? I doubt it! But one thing is for sure, it was not out of the goodness of Roche’s pharma heart.

Lariam 2

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Army reviews notorious drug after Afghan massacre

PLOS ONE ‘Prescription Drugs associated with violence’ 

US Army curbs Lariam

Cases, cipramil (celexa) stories,, lundbeck

Panorama – Citalopram Causes Birth Defects

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Despite the evidence uncovered by Panorama, Lundbeck ( at 25 mins), never a company to shy away from another lie, stated – “Citalopram does not appear to be associated with an increased risk of major fetal malformations.” The two unfortunate Irish babies who are logged into the Irish Medicine’s Board database are not worth a mention then? Ah yes, just a couple of damaged and dead babies to add to Citalopram’s collateral damage list! The late John McCarthy put it perfectly “how do these people sleep?

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

Panorama Expose on Citalopram use in Pregnancy.

Unhappy pill

Next week BBC’s Panorama team are tackling the issue of antidepressant use in pregnancy. The programme will be broadcast on Mon 1st july, entitled ‘The Truth About Pills and Pregnancy‘.

According to the UK Independent “The programme will broadcast an interview with Anna Wilson, whose son David spent the first five weeks of his life in hospital. A 20-week scan had shown that David had a heart defect and would need surgery immediately after being born. Anna had been taking the prescription drug Citalopram to treat her anxiety four years before her pregnancy began, and was told that she was safe to continue whilst pregnant. The show will feature interviews with Prof Pilling, who will say that GP prescription guidelines are about to be updated to take into account evidence suggesting a link with SSRIs and heart defects.”

A manufacturer contacted by the BBC denies any link to major foetal malformations (no prizes for guessing Lundbeck here).

Panorama spoke to eight mothers who had babies born with serious heart defects after taking a commonly used SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) antidepressant while pregnant.

An article on BBC News stated “Lundbeck, the manufacturer of Citalopram, said a recent review of scientific literature concluded that the drug ‘does not appear to be associated with an increased risk of major foetal malformations’.”

It seems that Lundbeck are lying again or there is a serious lack of communication between the various medicines regulators and the pharmaceutical industry. Below is an adverse reaction report logged with the Irish Medicines Board involving a baby born with a Cleft Lip, associated with the mother’s use of Citalopram.

IMB 1

What about the following, also reported as Citalopram induced? This particular report concerns the intrauterine death of an unborn baby due to ‘Citalopram exposure during pregnancy’.

IMB 3

Then there was our meeting in Copenhagen with the two Lundbeck goons. We asked if Citalopram/Escitalopram was a teratogen. Their answers (or non-answers) may surprise you…

Leonie                       Right, will I go on because there’s no point, we’re stuck at that one?  Anyway.  Do you think that it’s advisable to virtually bathe foetuses in Serotonin given it is now accepted this family of drugs are firmly associated with birth defects?

Dr. Madsen               Virtually bathe?

Leonie                       Foetuses in Serotonin – pregnancy.

Tony                         Pregnant women.

Dr. Madsen               I don’t know what you mean by virtually bathe

Leonie                       I’m talking about anti-depressants are known to cause birth defects.  If you think so, would it not be better if women of child-bearing age were cautioned against, perhaps even contra-indicated from using this drug?  Citalopram or Escitalopram?

Dr. Madsen               Em, I think in…..

Leonie                       Your views?

Dr. Madsen               In pregnancy?

Leonie                       Yeah

Dr. Madsen               Em, I think em, physicians need to double their efforts to make sure that there is a correct risk versus eh, benefit eh, assessment of the em, of any action.

Leonie                       Is Citalopram and Escitalopram a teratogen?

Dr. Madsen               Em, meaning, what, what, what do you mean?

Leonie                       Can it cause harm to foetuses? Unborn babies.

Dr. Madsen               Em, obviously, in order to have our compounds approved we have done em, a large number of pre-clinical trials em, and we are constantly monitoring and the eh, while the recommendation I believe throughout, is to be, be extra cautious when administering any eh, medications to pregnant women…

Leonie                       Can it cause harm?….. to unborn babies?

Dr. Madsen               Anything can cause harm, can cause harm in any dose

Leonie                       So yes it can.

Dr. Madsen               depending on dose

Leonie                       Yep

Em, why if it can cause harm, is this not clearly, clearly stated on the packaging and information leaflet?

Mr. Schroll                Do you talk about the patient leaflet or do you talk about the SPC, the label that the Doctors use in order to prescribe the medication?

Leonie                       I’m talking about a pregnant woman that goes down and gets it in the chemist.  Is it on the patient information leaflet?

Mr. Schroll                In the patient leaflet it says you have to talk to your Doctor….

Leonie                       And what does it say in the Doctor’s leaflet?

Mr. Schroll                That he has to be extra cautious.  I think that if you go to the… to, to the Irish home page, I believe it is like that, it’s like that in Denmark and elsewhere.  If you go to the medicines agency authorities

Leonie                       So,

Mr. Schroll                the medicines agency authorities you can see what is in the checks that the Doctors and that is up to them to decide…..

Leonie                       So you are passing the buck back to the Doctor again.

Mr. Schroll                I think when it’s prescription medication, yes.  If it was eh, eh,

Leonie                       And will they be told that it can harm their unborn baby?

Mr. Schroll                Sorry?

Leonie                       Will the pregnant woman be told that the drug can, can harm her unborn baby?

Mr. Schroll                It would be part of the discussion to talk about the risks and the benefits and that would be up to the Doctor.

Leonie                       It would be up to the Doctor to tell them that the drug can harm their unborn baby?

Mr. Schroll                Eh, now, you’re talking…..

Leonie                       It’s not up to Lundbeck, no?  It’s up to the Doctor to tell the woman that the drug can harm their unborn baby?

Mr. Schroll                To be cautious, yes, yes.

The Irish word ‘amadáin’ springs to mind. I could think of a few English ones too but think I’d better refrain. The Panorama programme should be excellent viewing as usual, particularly with Shelley Jofre as reporter. She did the previous expose concerning GSK and Seroxat suicides. I can see her putting Lundbeck in their place.

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Lundbeck Meeting here.

IMB adverse reaction reports.

MHRA (UK) adverse reaction reports.

cipramil (celexa) stories,, lundbeck

Be Aware/Beware of Lundbeck’s ’99 and me’

Shane, Lucy and ChrissyLundbeck, your not so friendly Pharma company are at it again in the Irish Isles. This time it’s the launch of a ‘new bipolar disorder campaign’ 99 and me.

What does the ’99 and me’ leaflet tell us? Well, let’s see: “Seeking help for symptoms of bipolar disorder is no cause for worry. Approximately 40,000 people in Ireland are currently being treated for the condition – that is approximately 1 in every 100 people in the country. Your healthcare professional is always on-hand to offer friendly advice and support. They can advise you on the right treatment pathway to suit you.”

The campaign, according to IrishHealth.com, “aims to tackle misunderstandings about the condition, to remove the stigma surrounding it and to encourage people to get the treatment they need as soon as possible.” Dr Paul Scully of St James’s Hospital stated “not infrequently, bipolar can be misdiagnosed as depression and, as a result, patients don’t receive the treatment and support they need“.

Naturally Lundbeck have a treatment for bi-polar disorder. Unfortunately the treatment may be worse than the cure; will your hands-on friendly healthcare professional tell you that? Firstly there is Sycrest/Saphris which lists Akathisia as a ‘common’ side effect. Akathisia, you may know, is well known as the precursor to suicide and/or homicide.

Then there is Abilify. According to PharmaTimes the ‘National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’ (NICE) “has issued draft guidance recommending Lundbeck/Otsuka’s Abilify for the treatment of teenagers with bipolar disorder.” Remember Akathisia, particularly if this drug is prescribed to your teenager. The RxISK database has 348 reported deaths, 573 cases of Akathisia, 572 cases of Psychotic disorder, 381 cases of Agitation, 351 cases of Schizophrenia, 303 cases of mania, 303 cases of Delusion, 292 cases of Hallucination, 295 Suicide attempts, 293 Completed suicide and 276 cases of Aggression, all directly reported as an adverse effect of consuming Abilify. I could go on but you can have a look for yourself: RxISK (Abilify)

At the moment there is a Bi-polar Conference (13-16 June) ongoing in Florida. It’s called the ’10th International Conference on Bipolar Disorders’ and the listed disclosures would make your hair stand on end, here. Interesting to see the notorious pharma shill Charles Nemeroff in attendance. Despite the numerous conflicts of interest, at least in the US pharma declarations are listed, where-as Irish Psychiatrists and Doctors seem quite reticent in revealing their pharma connections. It would certainly be interesting to see what pharma connections, if any, Dr Paul Scully of St James’s Hospital has, including Lundbeck honoraria.

It should be noted; in my experience, if you or your loved one happen to have an adverse reaction (as listed above), your hands-on friendly GP will side with the pharmaceutical industry and turn their backs on you quicker than you can say ‘Judas Iscariot’.

Newspaper and internet articles, Random

Pharma advertising In Ireland

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It takes a lot to shock me nowadays, but I admit to being shocked by an article in todays Irish Independent. It reported here that cheese advertisements will have to carry a health warning in order to limit intake under new restrictions on advertising to children. Cheese will carry a health warning as part of a bid to tackle childhood obesity; yet antidepressants are handed out like bloody smarties and your friendly GP will not give you a health warning on the doubling of suicide and violence risk? That makes no sense.

Under EU legislation, Ireland does not permit ‘direct to consumer’ (DTC) advertising for prescription products. This is unlike in the US and New Zealand where DTC advertising is permitted. In the case of a TV advertisement in the US, it must include a “major statement” for prescription drugs. A major statement must include a ‘spoken’ presentation of the drug’s most important risks. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this must be done in a way that is clear, conspicuous, and neutral.  In addition, they must include either every risk or provide enough sources (adequate provision) for the audience to obtain the drugs prescribing information.

EU advertising restrictions must mean that Irish broadcasting must be safer for the consumer, right? Actually, it doesn’t seem so. Last week I watched an Advert on TV3 regarding ‘Centrine Allergy’ which is an ‘over the counter’ antihistamine made by Rowex pharmaceuticals in County Cork. Considering there was no listed side-effects, this advert seemed to imply that Centrine Allergy is pretty harmless, so I looked up the patient  information leaflet (PIL). The possible adverse effects of taking this antihistamine include depression, hallucination, aggression, extreme fatigue, agitation, rapid heart beat, swelling, changes in liver function,weight increase, convulsions, confusion, difficulty in sleeping, difficulty focusing, blurred vision, unusual eye movements, fainting, tremor, tics, pain and/or difficulty passing water and memory loss.

It could be argued that this medication should not have OTC status considering the dangerous side-effects which can occur with consumption. Surely the advert should, at the very least, include the serious side effects above? What about the safety of the unborn baby? Surely pregnant women should be advised, that as Rowex admit to ‘limited experience’ within pregnancy, their advise is to ‘use with caution’, and further, that Centrine allergy should not be used during breast-feeding.

I sent off a complaint to TV3 and got a swift response the following day. The response included “The advertisement to which you refer is entirely in accordance with all relevant regulation. There is no requirement under regulation to include all the possible side-effects of a medicinal product in an advertisement” and “the advertisement clearly states through text at the bottom of the screen, that you should always read the label and to ask your pharmacist for further information. There was no attempt to mislead the public about the possible side effects of this medicine.” If this is the case, and there is no requirement to include all (or any) side effects with DTC pharma advertising, the regulations need further regulating! I sent my complaint and the TV3 reply on to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), so we’ll have to wait and see what happens next.

Centrine Allergy PIL here.

While I was trying to find the advertisement to record, I came across this one above, advocating for the ‘early diagnosis and treatment’ of Arthritis. It recommended sending off for a free information pack to ‘Arthritis Ireland’. Note the Pfizer logo on the bottom right. It seems their latest campaign to ‘raise awareness’ is in partnership with Pfizer, who just happen to be seeking EMA approval for their new Arthritis medication; now there’s a surprise! In Nov 2012 the FDA approved Pfizer’s Xeljanz (Tofacitinib) for patients with Arthritis. The EMA though rejected Pfizer’s initial application, concluding that the serious side-effects such as liver damage, certain cancers and gastro-intestinal perforations, meant that the ‘benefits did not outweigh the risks’. Pfizer was not to be deterred. Dr Yvonne Greenstreet, Pfizer’s senior vice-president of medicines development, stated “The re-examination process will enable us to seek to address the CHMP’s questions, and we will continue to work closely with the EMA with the goal of making this medication available to the appropriate patients in Europe.” Hmm; I get the feeling that ‘Arthritis Ireland’ is being used as a pawn by Pfizer in the EMA approval process. Only time will tell!

cipramil (celexa) stories,, lundbeck, Our story., psychiatry

LKMC Syndrome.

Lundbeck Killed My Child DisorderSo what’s happening this week in the depressing world of suicide and ‘mind altering drugs’?

The following was meant to be tongue in cheek but actually the subject is too serious and I miss my son too much to make light of this issue.

Did you hear there’s a new syndrome that’s just been confirmed? Yep, LKMS disorder aka ‘Lundbeck Killed My Son’ Disorder. I suppose if I was being fair, it should be called ‘LKMC’ aka ‘Lundbeck killed my Child’ Disorder. There are many of us affected by this virus, although thankfully it isn’t contagious.

It should be noted that LKMC disorder is a global problem, not just restricted to Ireland or the UK. In fact America, New Zealand and China are reporting an ever-increasing rate of suicide. I have previously shown that the unsuspecting Chinese are killing themselves at an alarming rate, most likely due to the relatively new ‘depression’ advertisements, pushed by dubious pharmaceutical companies including Lundbeck, here.

The latest news regarding the DSM-5 is that grief for more than 2 weeks, even after the death of a loved one, can be seen as a symptom of Major Depressive Disorder, here. Considering that Shane is dead almost four years and I can still blubber like a lunatic at the worst possible moments; that surely means I’m decidedly unwell. I wonder if a pill could cure the death of my son? Can they miraculously make him re-appear? Even your toddler’s ‘temper tantrums’ may be diagnosed as an illness under the new and ‘unimproved’ DSM-5 and therefore medicated accordingly.

This week researchers from Duke University reported that antidepressants, including Lundbeck’s Lexapro appears to help prevent a potentially serious stress-related heart condition. You can find the study in ‘The Journal of the American College of Cardiology’ here. I’d list the conflicts of interests but there isn’t enough room on the page. You can access them yourself by clicking the ‘Author Information’. Now you will have to pardon my stupidity here, but surely these researchers know that Lexapro causes heart-attacks and sudden death? The FDA sent out a warning letter to all practitioners advising of the risk of heart problem with Citalopram in August 2011. This was revised in March 2012 to include Escitalopram, which is no surprise as they’re basically the same drug (as found in a Brussel’s Court here).

Lundbeck whose patents (and patience) are running out, have been frantically scrambling around for their next block-buster drug. Vortioxetine aka Brintellix is their latest offering.  Data concerning Vortioxetine efficacy was presented at the 2013 American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting (APA). 4 trial results were shown, 3 for and 1 against. It’s the 1 against that I would be interested in. Was there any deaths? There was certainly a death in one of the Citalopram trials. Are they going to publish all the Vortioxetine trials as GSK are supposed to be doing? Actually no, ignore that, GSK backtracked on that particular promise!

We will have to wait and see whether Vortioxetine will get a ‘licence to kill’ by the FDA and the EMA, and if so, whether it will add to the growing cases of LKMC disorder.