It makes you stop and think.
It really does.
“Mr Medawar had originally criticised the Committee on Safety of Medicines for accepting as valid the main conclusions of a study conducted on paroxetine (Seroxat) which had been jointly conducted by someone who was then a member of the committee and an employee of the manufacturer of the drug. Their study was later published in a journal edited by the same committee member, who also had personal interests in the manufacturer of the drug”.
It is unbelievable that the article dates from 1999… I read the whole thing and was left thinking nothing has changed at all, has it?
Charles Medawar is still in the saddle – still trying to get the same complaints heard; the MHRA is still about as much good as a chocolate fireguard – and it’s linked far too closely to Big Pharma; Glaxo is still trying to hide clinical trial data that shows Seroxat to be dangerous and useless, while denying there’s anything wrong in the way it markets its drugs; government and most politicians do nothing to help sufferers; I’ll even bet in his private moments Alastair Benbow still thinks to himself “We are trying to help people. The evidence, however, is clear, these medicines [Seroxat] are not linked with suicide, these medicines are not linked with an increased rate of self harm”.
But just hold on there – some things have changed – on a personal level I’m no longer taking Seroxat – there is life after the drug, at least for me. Even though my many years on Seroxat and withdrawal from it were the stuff of nightmares, I’m still here. I’m lucky.
And there’s the internet, providing forums for help and better information than you’re likely to get from your average Doctor; empowering people, connecting them and sharing information; there’s YouTube, and MySpace, there’s archive.org – keeping Paxil Protest alive and making sure that Glaxo don’t get their own way.
Then there’s the High Court action against Glaxo in London which has just started.
Without the internet there would have been no appearances on national television, telling the truth to the daytime TV audience – no sunny Sunday afternoons outside Glaxo’s HQ in London being interviewed by American documentary makers – and none of this Blog and all the other Blogs and websites that I hope you make good use of.
It’s not 1999 anymore, things have changed.
I hope that I’ll be able to look back in five years from today and say that again.
We live in a changing world – and I’m not sure that Glaxo have quite realised it has now become impossible for them to keep a lid on things. They can’t shut us all up.
It’s too late – you can’t turn off the internet.