Review by Annie Bevan
Children of the Cure should send shock waves throughout a pharmaceutical industry hell-bent on promoting drugs at any cost and waken up those whose main interests lie in the safeguarding of the general public.
Never before has a book been unleashed on the market which unmasks the lengths a British pharmaceutical company will go to ensure that young children are caught up in the unsavoury shenanigans of ghosting and distorting clinical trial data just to increase sales of a drug called Paroxetine.
It is far from a pretty story that you wonder how they thought they could get away with it.
Faced in 2012 with questions about the $3 billion fine imposed on GSK – triggered by a sequence of events starting with Study 329 – is it just the cost of doing business? Andrew Witty snapped back:
“Although corporate malfeasance cases end up looking very big, they often have their origin in just… one or two people who didn’t quite do the right thing. It’s not about the big piece. The 100,000 people who work for GSK are just like you, right? I’m sure everybody who reads the BMJ has friends who work for drug companies. They’re normal people… Many of them are doctors.”
But, get away with it they did and if it weren’t for the team at RIAT no one would be any the wiser.
“End of an Era” Andrew Witty
Most of us who have suffered monumental injuries from Seroxat, some decades ago, some more recently, will have some sense of validation now that the facts and figures are on the table for all to see.
The pressure for the general public to take antidepressants and swallow the hype largely coming from the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Royal College of General Practitioners down over the years is verging on a mass slaughter. These Colleges have not kept themselves up to date but exist in a bubble of self-righteous idealism.
You might wonder if this pervasive attitude is important. It is.
It runs through the MHRA and the NICE bodies. Junk is the word.
All these entities work in tandem. They spin off each other and the ensuing results of this have created a protective cocoon for themselves with no thought and no evidence that what they have done is remotely in the public interest.
Despite Governmental hearings, high profile Welsh and Scottish Petitions, MHRA investigations and Legal attempts there is very little that has moved forward as a protective shield.
Indeed, the protective shield from most psychiatrists and general doctors is completely lacking and is, in fact, is doing more harm than good.
It seems that there is an inert motion to suffocate the deadly and injurious effects of most SSRIs.
Suicide Prevention Experts and Coroners are also complicit.
Are we then hamstrung?
I took my Seroxat case of medical negligence to a top law firm in Glasgow with the intent to sue. It had been almost impossible to find a lawyer to take on my case. In a Dickensian office, a woman was knee-deep in files. She seemed on the ball and typed out my case as I spoke. She agreed I had a case.
It fell at the first hurdle with a suburban GP, who, on reading my medical records fell in with all the erratic, disjointed and generally profoundly lost leaders that were the notes in my medical records.
My case was rejected.
In summary, the GP took me off 20 mg Seroxat cold turkey not paying heed to a letter from the psychiatrist to swap to Fluoxetine when wanting to stop Seroxat. He didn’t tell me about this.
Subsequently, chronic akathisia took hold and in a severely agitated state, I begged her to send me to a hospital. Already having experienced unwarranted abuse from this GP, she told me to drive myself to the mental hospital. She had phoned the psychiatrist who was paged at another hospital. She made no mention of what drugs she had given me and she made no mention of cold turkey from Seroxat. The psychiatrist didn’t ask.
My arrival was met with more abuse from a Chinese admissions medical person. Six days later the psychiatrist arrived. I drove home with suicidal ideation and I was lucky to arrive.
Three days later I had what you might call a seismic reaction and tried various methods of doing myself in. It would be funny if it wasn’t so terrifying; how can a person fail so badly. I ended up rather bloody and swallowed 28 beta-blockers.
In the “real” hospital, I disappeared for a long time from my bed and tried to suffocate myself with a large heavy-duty plastic bag gratefully found in the toilet. Fail again…
The Senior Registrar wrote to the GP and not the psychiatrist detailing my Seroxat experience.
The psychiatrist then upped the dose to 40 mg.
It is clear that everyone I came across was acting in their own bubble, without any communication about drugs or anything else. This was clearly ridiculous. More so when everyone was so close to each other in a rural situation with the nearby mental hospital.
The whole thing was such a horrendous experience; a practice nurse befriending me and giving me dreadful advice, the GP then trying to befriend me by inviting me to her home, the GP then fabricating in writing what she had done, threatening phone calls from the owner of the surgery in Canada.
This is only a small portion of events. Headmasters who refused my child her education; and on and on and on…
In essence, I found the way forward was to spend vast amounts of time researching and reading everything I could lay my hands on about Seroxat. There was more than I could ever have realised.
All in all, it was a shocking waste of everyone’s time, but we were the threesome ‘once was’ family that took the brunt with the totally insane two years of two withdrawals and then several years of complaints.
My MP was marvellous writing to the Health Minister at the time and giving me feedback from Andy Burnham which I sent to David Healy, as he was a key player in the report.
Children of the Cure is the sure-fire way to expose the manipulations of this Great British Company, GlaxoSmithKline.
Annie Bevan has contributed to David Healy’s Blog and RxISK.org since 2012.
Former VP, Sales and Marketing, North America and Canada, with primary interests in electronics
Winner of a prestigious award from the British Overseas Trade Board for concept, concise and eloquent report writing and presentation